The Velvet Underground - Richard Witts

The Velvet Underground - Richard Witts

New York City

The Velvet Underground - Richard Witts

Richard Witts [+-]
Goldsmiths College
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Richard Witts is a lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and the author of the award-winning biography Nico (Virgin Books 1993), presenter of the prize-winning Radio 3 documentary 1968 In America (1994) and author of the cultural history study Artist Unknown (Little, Brown, 1999), as well as many articles on music history.


Although New York is not the capital of the United States, it is without doubt the capital of America’s broken rules. And it’s by far the largest city in the land, the nation’s focus for nance, fashion and freakery. Many heartland Americans resent the place. They see New York City as a spot solely for making money and throwing it around. Others consider it a shred of old Europe that drifted over the Atlantic ocean and got stuck around the mouth of the Hudson River, an island full of churlish mists. Nevertheless, these critics concede – even admire – the productive, adrenalin energy and the kinetic vigour to be found in “the city that never sleeps”. Perhaps, as Jean Baudrillard argues, “There is no human reason to be here, except for the sheer ecstasy of being crowded together.”2 The Velvet Underground’s chief songwriter Lou Reed describes it as a place where you must “Run run run run run” just to keep yourself in drugs.

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Witts, Richard. New York City. The Velvet Underground. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 1 - 12 Sep 2006. ISBN 9781904768272. Date accessed: 25 Jul 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.18845. Sep 2006

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