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Up-Tight: The Story of The Velvet Underground (Classic Rock Reads) Paperback – 15 Mar 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press (15 Mar. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071195223X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711952232
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.5 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,448,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "frank_blake" on 8 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
This, far from being your average coffee table bio isn't really a bio in the normal sense of the word but, rather, a combination of bio and an "in their own words". Although this means that it can lose its thread occasionally, it also means that you get a very real flavour of that whole period from the point of view of the band and their circle, including Mr Warhol & Nico, of course. The other factor that allows this book to offer a quite untainted perspective is that it was originally published in 1983, i.e. when there were only the 4 original albums available (apart from the obligatory dodgy bootlegs) and, as such, accurately conveys the frustration the band felt at the lack of recognition they had suffered throughout the time they were together and since. It's a good and easy little read and I highly recommend it to anyone remotely interested in the V.U.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Scoble on 5 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
This book combines a standard biography and a mass of interviews with everyone involved, meaning it also feels a bit "in their own words", which is still brilliant. Due to the original books publishing date, it means that interviews were conducted with the likes of Nico and Warhol, as well as (almost literally) everyone ever involved with the Velvets. The fact that it pre-dates the deaths of many key players means such an in-depth look at the band will never again be made.
The sections which aren't 'in their own words' are very well researched, and extremely well written, meaning this book stays ingaging to the end.
The update does have a 'quickly stuck on' feel to it, but it remains interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Forgot M. Password on 1 April 2009
Format: Paperback
A very easy and enjoyable read, packed with information and first hand accounts from the people who were there. A must for any Velvets fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By martin jones on 27 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book gives a good insight into the background of the new york scene at the time and how the band came together.It then tells of the band's progress and has interviews that give the perspective of the individuals on some of the major points in the band's life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Invaluable sourcebook 25 July 2004
By B. Scrivener - Published on
Format: Paperback
UP-TIGHT is an invaluable sourcebook for VU fans and those simply curious about the band that inspired their mere 10,000 fans to start 10,000 bands of their own, as the cliche goes. I'm delighted to see that it is back in print.

Bockris wisely lets the participants speak for themselves, for the most part. Since virtually all (save Lou Reed) had retreated from public life (that is, gotten straight jobs) at the time the book was written, they provide a refreshing perspective as compared to what one usually sees in this type of book.

The standard of writing and research here is much higher that your typical 'rock book'. Not only does it give Velvet Underground the serious treatment they deserve, it is also a worthwhile resource for those interested in Andy Warhol.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As perfect of a document as we are likely to have 21 Sept. 2006
By David Alston - Published on
Format: Paperback
Some 20 years after it's first publication, UP-TIGHT remains the definitive history of The Velvet Underground, and is also one of the essential glimpses into the social and creative world of Warhol's Factory.

Very well illustrated, with many black and white photos documenting the era, Bockris compiles and edits an oral history of the time, with valuable input from all of the key players.

Highly recommended for those with any interest in the Velvets, or Warhol, and an essential snapshot of America's 60s cultural landscape.

-David Alston
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
She couldn't believe what she heard at all .... 15 Dec. 2010
By M. Bromberg - Published on
Format: Paperback
A concise biography that details the trajectory of the Velvet Underground month-by-month, year-by-year, as the group evolves from Lou Reed's pop-rock roots to Andy Warhol patronage and art-rock noise, through a subdued, confessional third album and finally, "despite all the amputations," to rock'n'roll. Victor Bockris has written a witty, detailed story with first-person accounts, full of the band's personal turmoil, drug use, and ego-fueled confrontations. The interviews illuminate the art of the music and the band's struggle for commercial success in equal measure, two opposing goals that lead to the inevitable end of the band with centrifugal force. Great black-and-white photographs capture a band as interested in its own look as in its music. This is much more than a fan's book, and the Velvets' highwire act performed without a net ought to dispel any notion of the monolithic "peace and love" image of Sixties' music.
Outstanding photos, inside dirt 10 Oct. 2007
By Jeffrey D. Moore - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has contributions from several of Warhol's factory insiders (Victor Bockris, Gerard Melanga) who were personally involved with the Velvet Underground's groundbreaking shows in NYC (in addition to their status as card-carrying members of Warhol's film-and-silkscreen juggernaut). Their recollections, letters, and photographs from their time with the band paint a vivid picture of a beautifully chaotic scene peopled by colorful, indulgent artists and hipsters in a shimmering New York. The city is a character in its own right; an actor of nearly perceptible intent.

The photos alone are worth the price of admission. They are beautiful and artful records in black and white of the band and the surrounding Factory maelstrom through the most vivid and productive period of their shared existence. Despite the insider access of the photographers, they do little to deflate the Velvet's dark mythology. Rather, they distill perfectly the self-created mythology of the band as they birthed it.

There are great stories here, too, that could only have been told by firsthand participants. They offer rich portraits of the band and supporting cast, with intimate details of the band throughout their existence. From Lou Reed's early influences, to Warhol's insertion of Nico as the band's icy continental seer of doom, to accounts of their wild psycho-sexual art-rock shows, to their uncomfortable role on the fringes of fame, to the deterioration of the relationship between Reed and Cale, this is an essential text for any serious fan of the Velvet Underground.
14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Intelligent & entertaining approach 17 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
An intelligent and entertaining approach to one of the most influential (read: they didn't sell a lot of records in their heyday)rock bands ever. Great pix too. The Velvets epitomized a time when artists didn't feel narrowly compelled to practise any ONE discipline, but rather people were less afraid to combine ideas, cross genres and disciplines. The spirit of the time, to me, suggests Possibility. Yes, Warhol et al. could drift into pretention, but that's the price (and it's really not such a costly one) you pay for being daring. You may go too far sometimes, and by today's (stupid?) standards, perhaps some of the VU "happenings" might appear contrived. But I don't think so! Altogether, VU rules. Way ahead of their time, and before it too. And beside it.
Buy this book, but more importantly, buy into the Underground.
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