56 Ludlow Between Hester And Grand, The Apartment Where The Velvet Underground Started


“Our apartment was a railroad flat—a long room running from the windows in the front to a small bedroom and a bathroom in the back. I slept on a mattress, under the windowsill in the front overlooking Ludlow. We burned crates and furniture in the fireplace to keep warm. There was no heat in the winter other than the gas stove. Tony and I lived on what we could afford—mostly canned stew and milkshakes. Across the street in the morning, you could hear kids from the nearby high school singing doo-wop in the doorway there. Other kids threw rocks at us because they thought we looked like the Beatles. A lot of guys around here didn’t like them early on.”
John Cale, writing (appropriately enough) in the Wall Street Journal, reminisces about the apartment at 56 Ludlow Street where he and Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison wove together the influences of Erik Satie, John Cage, Phil Spector, Hank Williams and Bob Dylan to create “a new form of rock.”