Record Review - Jim DeRogatis: The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wildside

When Lester Bangs, Lenny Kaye and every other half-cocked rock critic on the planet has weighed in on the Velvet Underground, what’s left to discuss? Not much. That’s why Chicago Sun-Times pop critic Jim DeRogatis lets the pictures do the talking in this friggin’ gorgeous collection of photos, fliers and album art that captures the Velvets in all of their glorious vanity. A brusque 1975 interview with Sterling Morrison is the most revealing component. Otherwise, the coffeetable book has to be the greatest visual history ever produced on the band. What’s more, it isn’t overwrought with pointless hero worship like the kind that guides so many other books that broach the Velvet Underground. DeRogatis’ Walk on the Wildside shows Reed, Cale, Morrison, Tucker, Nico, Warhol and the rest of the hangers-on in the good, raw and ugly. (Voyageur Press) 4 stars out of 5