A Retrospective on The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground was an American Rock band from the big apple. It was formed by Lou Reed and featured John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Angus Maclise. The Velvet Underground was managed by Andy Warhol for a spell, and was the house band for some Warhol events from 1966 to 1967.  Warhol insisted that Nico, a German singer, collaborate with TVU at some point, and after a year of working on the album, it was finally released by Verve Records in March of 1967. The album cover is famous for its Warhol flare: a yellow banana sticker with “Peel slowly and see” printed near the tip of the banana. Consumers who peeled the banana skin found a pink, peeled banana beneath.

downloadAlthough they had almost no success during their existence on the shelves and streets, the Velvet Underground is now recognized as one of the most influential bands of the rock era. Their album featuring Nico that debuted in 1967 was called “the most prophetic rock album ever made” by Rolling stone in 2003.

After TVU moved on from Andy Warhol as manager, they made White Light/ White Heat, which was often referred to by the band as an album that reflected, “consciously anti-beauty”velvet

From “Who Loves The Sun”, which sounds like a mix of the Smiths and the Beatles, to “Femme Fatale”, which sounds like a melancholy tune from a coming-of-age comedy-drama movie by John Hughes, The Velvet Underground has a wide span of music. While “Pale Blue Eyes” acts as a quiet lullaby to a lost lover, “Sister Ray” is a 17 minute rock anthem to drugs, violence, and transvestism. In 2013, Velvets fanbase spiked with the death of Lou Reed. Today, The Velvet Underground is an “oldie but a goodie” and is more popular than they ever were in the 1960s. rs-15392-20140519-velvetunderground-x1800-1400535552

Homecoming Conversation 2015, “Time, experience and joy”

Anne Cullimore Decker, Homecoming 2015

Recipient of the U’s highest award, the Honorary Doctorate, Anne Cullimore Decker.

We celebrate Homecoming 2015 with U arts alumni, Anne Cullimore Decker. Utah’s “grand dame of theater,” Anne Cullimore Decker, was recently awarded University of Utah’s highest award, the honorary doctorate.

This makes it an important year for this famed alumnus who has made huge contributions to the performing arts throughout her life and career as thespian and teacher. Anne was preparing for a trip to celebrate her 80th birthday in London with husband, Ashby and three sons.

“Our job in theater is to provoke people into looking at a fictitious character on stage, so they get a glimmer, or glimpse of themselves.”

Before the conversation had gone too far, Anne shared thoughts on the past and present that ended with an important suggestion for all students.

When asked about Decker’s achievements in the arts, graduate of the U’s Bachelor of Fine Arts, Actor Training Program, Stein Erickson said, “Anne is amazing. She is a steward of the arts and artists.”

Homecoming Conversation 2015

We got together with a few alumni to celebrate Homecoming 2015.

Distinguished alum, Larry Gluth, SVP of Habitat for Humanity (US and Canada) reflects on then and now. Larry described that leadership is about service and giving back, leadership values learned from his parents that Larry continues to rely on today.

“I’m fiercely independent. I had to work my way through school,” said Gluth.

Essentially, Larry’s job is to support hundreds of others, who support a growing network of affiliates and partners who help others build a roof over their heads. In a word, Habitat’s program is “holistic rather than incremental,” said Gluth. It’s about partnerships with families.

“My organization focuses on providing people with a decent and safe place to live.”

After a “brutal winter” at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota, Larry and a friend visited Park City, Utah. From a “very practical perspective,” they promptly decided University of Utah “sounded terrific.”

“We realized we could go to school, and ski in the same day,” said Gluth. “So Utah it was.”

Larry and son, Connor, at Utah vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor last fall.

Larry and son, Connor, at Utah vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor last fall.