As a teen, I was too dumb and too ignorant to appreciate The Velvet Underground and subsequent work by Lou Reed. In 1996 I watched "Trainspotting", one of the few movies that ever made it into my DVD collection, and based on a single viewing of this great flick, I ran out and bought the soundtrack. On the soundtrack was Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" and at the age of twenty-two, I finally got it.
Today, I totally appreciate the work of The Velvet Underground and can hear their influence in much of the modern music I enjoy. On Wednesday I'll share the MP3 of "Heroin" and you'll hear what I mean.
On a related note, I was recently introduced to John Cale's version of "Hallelujah" which is just splendid and was clearly an inspiration to Jeff Buckley. Here's a nice little timeline of members' time with the band. That's Lou Reed, Doug Yule, Sterling Morrison, Willie Alexander, John Cale, Walter Powers III, Angus MacLise and Maureen Tucker. V.U. was never commercially successful, but that doesn't mean they weren't great. I wish I had figured that out earlier.