He always had his camera to hand—his polaroid camera, to be precise, which was much simpler to use and accompanied him throughout his fascinating career as a portraitist. Photography, essentially in black and white, provided the matrix for Warhol’s vivid colour portraits as well as his famous filmed black-and-white portraits, the Screen Tests. His prior discovery of the photo booth, with its immediacy and coin-slotting the only artistic intervention required, altered Warhol’s relationship to pictures and applied the distantiation needed to apprehend the aesthetics of others. The privacy of the booth enabled Warhol, who was painfully shy, to strike a pose and compose one or more characters. His Screen Tests of the five Velvet Underground members flirted with photography; imperceptible movement rendered the breathing of the models, who were filmed in a near-photographic frame against a black-and-white background with strong lighting, like photographs in motion. They are a cinematographic extension of his portrait work, and reflect Warhol’s importance as the Velvet Underground’s manager. He definitely acted as the revelator and catalyst of the band, which swam against the dominant hippie-movement flow, fusing rock with a radical artistic ambition. Following the trail blazed by Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground were the first rock band to address literary and artistic themes, rooted in a world of urban marginality described coldly and crudely by Lou Reed, and which were fascinatingly close to Warhol’s world. Though largely ignored at the time, the Velvet Underground (1965–1970) became one of most influential bands in rock history from 1970 onwards, due largely to their legendary first album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967), produced by Warhol. Since the late 1970s, the band has served as a point of reference and an inspiration for many bands and artists such as Patti Smith, Suicide, Joy Division and REM.