Only collectible because of the influential band that named themselves after a copy they found in the street: this 1963 paperback “The Velvet Underground” by Michael Leigh (on left) was given to me as a birthday present around 1983–84. (from someone in another rather influential band)
Can’t say I’ve ever read it cover to cover, but I like the whippy “T” typography and have kept it in its protective plastic for 28 years. (Also: am I crazy or is the S&M boot illustration by Paul Bacon Studio on the cover kind of related to Warhol’s early shoe illustration work?)
The book on the right was a 1968 follow up sequel. (Nice that it features a photo of the earlier book.)
Also collectible: the first Velvet Underground album (below left)—the one with the peel-able yellow banana skin sticker. (We have one of those too, but only because Debby was cool enough to buy one and her records are mixed in with mine.) It always struck me funny how Andy Warhol’s signature was so prominent with no mention at all of the Velvet Underground or Nico on the front cover. Similar to Robert Brownjohn’s humorously arrogant stationery design for Michael Cooper. (Of course there might have been more information on a label affixed to the disposable shrink-wrap…)
The album with the green banana (on right) is the 2007 “Unripened” bootleg LP, made from an acetate pressing of an earlier version of the official 1967 release. (different mixes, different takes, etc.)
On the original cover the small printed instructions read, “PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE”; the instructions next to the green banana read, “UNRIPENED LISTEN SLOWLY AND HEAR.”
There are lots of other versions of (and allusions to) this album cover, and Warhol’s silkscreened banana design has been pretty influential in its own right.
(A bootleg book/record cover and some related Warhol/Velvets banana merchandise, after the fold…)