11 Secrets About the Making of Velvet Underground & Nico

Last month marked 50 years since the the highly influential record, but how much do you actually know about what happened behind the music?

  1. If you flip the album art upside down you will see a banana.
  1. Andy Warhol originally wanted to paint a watermelon for the album art, but Lou Reed said that he felt a banana would be better since he a had strong connection to bananas due to much of his childhood being spent on a banana farm.
  1. Then Warhol took a picture of Reed holding a banana to his face like it was a phone and wanted to use it for the album art, but the photo was lost and never to be found again.
  1. When The Velvet Underground toured they had to stop playing the album’s songs because of how fans would throw bananas on stage when they heard the record’s material.
  1. The band had problems with a drug trend called “banana slipping,” where one would slip on a banana and immediately eat the banana they slipped on after they hit the ground, when recording the album.
  1. During this era of the band, they had sort of a “fifth Beatle” named Raymond who was the band’s official banana peeler.
  1. German singer Nico was brought into the studio to sing vocals for a few tracks on the album during a week where Reed was so upset at the fact that the atomic symbol for potassium is K that he refused to come in to record, so the band brought in Nico to finish the job.
  1. When talking about bananas, the band always used the term “’nanners.”
  1. “Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand” in the popular sitcom Arrested Development was based on a banana stand that the band frequented on their lunch breaks.
  1. A man dressed up as everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur Barney would occasionally join the band on stage at their shows to collaborate on a cover of the famous “Apples and Bananas” song from Barney and Friends.
  1. The album was originally packaged with signed and numbered banana peels from the band with a huge disclaimer from their label warning its proprietors to not throw the peels onto race tracks.