Lou Reed

Lewis Allan Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and poet. He was the guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and had a solo profession that spanned 5 a long time. The Velvet Underground was not a business success throughout its existence, however grew to become considered one of the vital influential bands within the historical past of underground and different rock music. Reed’s distinctive deadpan voice, poetic and transgressive lyrics, and experimental guitar taking part in had been emblems all through his lengthy profession.

After leaving the band in 1970, Reed launched twenty solo studio albums. His second, Transformer (1972), was produced by David Bowie and organized by Mick Ronson, and introduced him mainstream recognition. The album is taken into account an influential landmark of the glam rock style, anchored by Reed’s most profitable single, “Stroll on the Wild Aspect”. After Transformer, the much less business however critically acclaimed Berlin peaked at No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart. Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal (a stay album launched in 1974) bought strongly, and Sally Cannot Dance (1974) peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200; however for a protracted interval after, Reed’s work didn’t translate into gross sales, main him deeper into drug habit and alcoholism. Reed cleaned up within the early Eighties, and progressively returned to prominence with The Blue Masks and New Sensations (1984), reaching a important and business profession peak together with his 1989 album New York.

Reed participated within the re-formation of the Velvet Underground within the Nineties, and made a number of extra albums, together with a collaboration album with John Cale titled Songs for Drella which was a tribute to their former mentor Andy Warhol. Magic and Loss (1992) would grow to be Reed’s highest-charting album on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at No. 6.

He contributed music to 2 theatrical interpretations of Nineteenth century writers, certainly one of which he developed into an album titled The Raven. He married his third spouse Laurie Anderson in 2008, and recorded the collaboration album Lulu with Metallica. He died in 2013 of liver illness. Reed has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame twice; as a member of the Velvet Underground in 1996 and as a solo act in 2015.


1942–57: Adolescence

Lewis Allan Reed was born on March 2, 1942, at Beth-El Hospital (later Brookdale) in Brooklyn and grew up in Freeport, Lengthy Island.[1][nb 1] Reed was the son of Toby (née Futterman) (1920–2013) and Sidney Joseph Reed (1913–2005), an accountant.[3] His household was Jewish and his grandparents had been Russian Jews who had fled antisemitism;[4] his father had modified his identify from Rabinowitz to Reed.[5] Reed mentioned that though he was Jewish, his “actual god was rock ‘n’ roll“.[6][7]

Reed attended Atkinson Elementary College in Freeport and went on to Freeport Junior Excessive College. His sister Merrill, born Margaret Reed, mentioned that as an adolescent, he suffered panic assaults, grew to become socially awkward and “possessed a fragile temperament” however was extremely centered on issues that he favored, primarily music.[8] Having discovered to play the guitar from the radio, he developed an early curiosity in rock and roll and rhythm and blues, and through highschool performed in a number of bands.[9]

Reed as a highschool senior, 1959

He started experimenting with medicine on the age of 16.[8]

Reed was dyslexic.[10]

1958–64: Early recordings and training

Reed’s first recording was as a member of a doo-wop three-piece group known as the Jades, with Reed offering guitar accompaniment and singing backing vocals.[11] After collaborating at a expertise present at Freeport Junior Excessive College in early 1958, and receiving an enthusiastic response from the viewers,[12] the group was given the possibility to file an authentic single “So Blue” with the B-side “Depart Her for Me” later that yr.[11] Whereas the only did not chart, notable saxophonist King Curtis was introduced in as a session musician by the producer Bob Shad to play on each songs,[12][11] and the only was performed by a substitute DJ throughout the Murray the Ok radio present,[13] which gave Reed his first-ever airplay.[12][11] Reed’s love for taking part in music and his need to play gigs introduced him into confrontation together with his anxious and unaccommodating mother and father.[8]

His sister recalled that in his first yr in faculty he was introduced dwelling at some point, having had a psychological breakdown, after which he remained “depressed, anxious, and socially unresponsive” for a time, and that his mother and father had been having issue coping. Visiting a psychologist, Reed’s mother and father had been made to really feel responsible as insufficient mother and father, they usually consented to giving Lou electroconvulsive remedy (ECT).[8] Reed appeared responsible his father for the remedy to which he had been subjected.[8] He wrote concerning the expertise in his track, “Kill Your Sons” from the album Sally Cannot Dance (1974).[14] Reed later recalled the expertise as having been traumatic and resulting in reminiscence loss. He believed that he was handled to dispel his emotions of homosexuality.[15] After Reed’s loss of life, his sister denied the ECT therapies had been meant to suppress his “gay urges”, asserting that their mother and father weren’t homophobic however had been informed by his medical doctors that ECT was essential to deal with Reed’s psychological and behavioral points.[8]

Upon his restoration from his sickness and related remedy, Reed resumed his training at Syracuse College in 1960,[8] finding out journalism, movie directing, and artistic writing. He was a platoon chief in ROTC; he mentioned he was later expelled from this system for holding an unloaded gun to his superior’s head.[16]

In 1961, he started internet hosting a late-night radio program on WAER known as Excursions on a Wobbly Rail.[9] Named after a track by pianist Cecil Taylor, this system sometimes featured doo wop, rhythm and blues, and jazz, significantly the free jazz developed within the mid-Nineteen Fifties.[17] Reed mentioned that when he began out he was impressed by such musicians as Ornette Coleman, who had “at all times been an ideal affect” on him; he mentioned that his guitar on “European Son” was his approach of making an attempt to mimic the jazz saxophonist.[18] Reed’s sister mentioned that in her brother’s time at Syracuse, the college authorities had tried unsuccessfully to expel him as a result of they didn’t approve of his extracurricular actions.[19] At Syracuse College, he studied beneath poet Delmore Schwartz, who he mentioned was “the primary nice individual I ever met”, they usually grew to become mates. He credited Schwartz with displaying him how “with the only language conceivable, and really quick, you’ll be able to accomplish probably the most astonishing heights.”[20] One in every of Reed’s fellow college students at Syracuse within the early Nineteen Sixties (who additionally studied beneath Schwartz) was the musician Garland Jeffreys; they remained shut mates till the tip of Reed’s life.[21]

Jeffreys recalled Reed’s time at Syracuse: “At 4 within the afternoon we would all meet at [the bar] The Orange Grove. Me, Delmore and Lou. That will usually be the middle of the crew. And Delmore was the chief – our quiet chief.”[21] Whereas at Syracuse, Reed was additionally launched to intravenous drug use for the primary time, and shortly contracted hepatitis.[22] Reed later devoted the track “European Son”, from the primary Velvet Underground album, to Schwartz.[23] In 1982, Reed recorded “My Home” from his album The Blue Masks as a tribute to his late mentor. He later mentioned that his objectives as a author had been “to carry the sensitivities of the novel to rock music” or to write down the Nice American Novel in a file album.[24] Reed met Sterling Morrison, a scholar at Metropolis College of New York, whereas the latter was visiting mutual good friend, and fellow Syracuse scholar, Jim Tucker. Reed graduated from Syracuse College’s School of Arts and Sciences with a B.A. cum laude in English in June 1964.[14][25]

1964–70: Pickwick and the Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground, 1968

In 1964, Reed moved to New York Metropolis to work as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Information. He may be heard singing lead on two cuts on The Surfsiders Sing The Seaside Boys Songbook.[26] For Pickwick, Reed additionally wrote and recorded the only “The Ostrich”, a parody of in style dance songs of the time, which included strains comparable to “put your head on the ground and have someone step on it”. His employers felt that the track had hit potential, and assembled a supporting band to assist promote the recording. The advert hoc band, known as the Primitives: Reed, Welsh musician John Cale, who had just lately moved to New York to check music and was taking part in viola in composer La Monte Younger’s Theatre of Everlasting Music, Tony Conrad and sculptor Walter De Maria. Cale and Conrad had been stunned to seek out that for “The Ostrich”, Reed tuned every string of his guitar to the identical word, which they started to name his “ostrich guitar” tuning. This system created a drone impact just like their experimentation in Younger’s avant-garde ensemble. Disenchanted with Reed’s efficiency, Cale was nonetheless impressed by Reed’s early repertoire (together with “Heroin”), and a partnership started to evolve.[20]

Reed and Cale (who performed viola, keyboards and bass guitar) lived collectively on the Decrease East Aspect, and invited Reed’s faculty acquaintance guitarist Sterling Morrison and Cale’s neighbor drummer Angus MacLise to affix the band, thus forming the Velvet Underground. When the chance got here to play their first paying gig at Summit Excessive College in Summit, New Jersey, MacLise stop as a result of he believed that accepting cash for artwork was a sellout and didn’t need to take part in a structured gig. He was changed on drums by Moe Tucker, the sister of Reed and Morrison’s mutual good friend Jim Tucker. Initially a fill in for that one present she quickly grew to become a full-time member along with her drumming an integral a part of the band’s sound, regardless of Cale’s preliminary objections. Although it had little business success, the band is taken into account one of the vital influential in rock historical past.[27][28][29] Reed was the primary singer and songwriter within the band.[30]

Had he completed nothing else, his work with the Velvet Underground within the late sixties would guarantee him a spot in anybody’s rock & roll pantheon; these outstanding songs nonetheless function an articulate aural nightmare of women and men caught within the magnificence and terror of sexual, road and drug paranoia, unwilling or unable to maneuver. The message is that city life is hard stuff—it’s going to kill you; Reed, the poet of destruction, is aware of it however by no means appears away and by some means finds holiness in addition to perversity in each his sinners and his quest. … [H]e continues to be certainly one of a handful of American artists able to the religious dwelling run.

Rolling Stone, 1975[31]

The band quickly got here to the eye of Andy Warhol. One in every of Warhol’s first contributions was to combine them into the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Warhol’s associates impressed lots of Reed’s songs as he fell right into a thriving, multifaceted creative scene.[32][33] Reed hardly ever gave an interview with out paying homage to Warhol as a mentor. Warhol pushed the band to tackle a chanteuse, the German former mannequin and singer Nico. Regardless of his preliminary resistance, Reed wrote a number of songs for Nico to sing, and the 2 had been briefly lovers.[34]

The Velvet Underground & Nico was launched in March 1967 and peaked at No. 171 on the U.S. Billboard 200.[28] A lot later, Rolling Stone listed it because the thirteenth biggest album of all time; Brian Eno as soon as said that though few folks purchased the album, most of them had been impressed to kind their very own bands.[35] Václav Havel credited the album, which he purchased whereas visiting the U.S., with inspiring him to grow to be president of Czechoslovakia.[36]

By the point the band recorded White Gentle/White Warmth, Nico had stop the band and Warhol had been fired, each in opposition to Cale’s needs. Warhol’s alternative as supervisor was Steve Sesnick. In September 1968, Cale left the band at Reed’s behest.[37] Morrison and Tucker had been discomfited by Reed’s ways however continued with the band. Cale’s alternative was Boston-based musician Doug Xmas, who performed bass guitar, keyboards and who would quickly share lead vocal duties within the band with Reed.[38] The band now took on a extra pop-oriented sound and acted extra as a automobile for Reed to develop his songwriting craft.[39] They launched two studio albums with this line-up: 1969’s The Velvet Underground and 1970’s Loaded. Reed left the Velvet Underground in August 1970.[40] The band disintegrated after Morrison and Tucker departed in 1971.[41]

1970–75: Glam rock and business breakthrough

After leaving the Velvet Underground, Reed moved to his mother and father’ dwelling on Lengthy Island, and took a job at his father’s tax accounting agency as a typist, by his personal account incomes $40 every week[42] ($267 in 2020 {dollars}[43]). In 1971, he signed a recording contract with RCA Information and recorded his first solo album at Morgan Studios in Willesden, London with session musicians together with Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman from the band Sure. The album, Lou Reed, contained variations of unreleased Velvet Underground songs, a few of which had initially been recorded for Loaded however shelved.[nb 2] This album was neglected by most pop music critics and didn’t promote nicely, though music critic Stephen Holden, in Rolling Stone, known as it an “virtually good album. … which embodied the spirit of the Velvets.” Holden went on to match Reed’s voice with these of Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan and to reward the poetic high quality of his lyrics.[44]

Reed’s business breakthrough album, Transformer, was launched in November 1972. Transformer was co-produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and it launched Reed to a wider viewers, particularly within the UK. The one “Stroll on the Wild Aspect” was a salute to the misfits and hustlers who as soon as surrounded Andy Warhol within the late ’60s and appeared in his movies. Every of the track’s 5 verses describes an individual who had been a fixture at The Manufacturing facility throughout the mid-to-late Nineteen Sixties: (1) Holly Woodlawn, (2) Sweet Darling, (3) “Little Joe” Dallesandro, (4) “Sugar Plum Fairy” Joe Campbell and (5) Jackie Curtis. The track’s transgressive lyrics evaded radio censorship. Although the jazzy association (courtesy of bassist Herbie Flowers and saxophonist Ronnie Ross) was musically atypical for Reed, it will definitely grew to become his signature track.[45] It happened because of a fee to compose a soundtrack to a theatrical adaptation of Nelson Algren’s novel of the identical identify; the play did not materialize.[46] “Stroll on the Wild Aspect” was Reed’s solely entry within the Billboard Scorching 100 singles chart, at No. 16.[47]

Ronson’s preparations introduced out new facets of Reed’s songs. “Good Day”, for instance, options delicate strings and hovering dynamics. It was rediscovered within the Nineties and allowed Reed to drop “Stroll on the Wild Aspect” from his live shows.[48]

Bowie and Reed fell out throughout a late-night assembly which led to Reed hitting Bowie. Bowie had informed Reed that he must “clear up his act” in the event that they had been to work collectively once more.[5][nb 3] Reed employed a neighborhood New York bar-band, the Tots, to tour in assist of Transformer and spent a lot of 1972 and early 1973 on the street with them. Although they improved over the months, Reed (with producer Bob Ezrin’s encouragement) determined to recruit a brand new backing band in anticipation of the upcoming Berlin album. He selected keyboardist Moogy Klingman to provide you with a brand new five-member band on barely every week’s discover.[50]

Reed married Bettye Kronstad in 1973. She later mentioned he had been a violent drunk when on tour.[51] Berlin (July 1973) was an idea album about two speed-freaks in love within the metropolis. The songs variously concern home violence (“Caroline Says I”, “Caroline Says II”), drug habit (“How Do You Suppose It Feels”), adultery and prostitution (“The Youngsters”), and suicide (“The Mattress”). Reed’s late 1973 European tour, that includes lead guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, combined his Berlin materials with older numbers. Response to Berlin on the time of its launch was unfavourable, with Rolling Stone saying it “a catastrophe”.[52] Reed discovered the poor opinions it acquired very irritating.[53] Since then the album has been critically reevaluated, and in 2003 Rolling Stone included it of their listing of the five hundred biggest albums of all time.[54] Berlin peaked at No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart.[55]

Following the business disappointment of Berlin, Reed befriended Steve Katz of Blood, Sweat & Tears (who was the brother of his then-manager Dennis Katz), who urged Reed put collectively a “nice stay band” and launch a stay album of Velvet Underground songs.[56] Katz would come on board as producer, and the album Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal (February 1974) contained stay performances of the Velvet Underground songs “Candy Jane”, “Heroin”, “White Gentle/White Warmth”, and “Rock and Roll”. Wagner’s stay preparations, and Hunter’s intro to “Candy Jane”[57] which opened the album, gave Reed’s songs the stay rock sound he was on the lookout for, and the album peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard 200 for 28 weeks and shortly grew to become Reed’s largest promoting album.[nb 4] It went gold in 1978, with 500,000 licensed gross sales.[58]

Sally Cannot Dance which was launched later that yr (in August 1974), grew to become Reed’s highest-charting album in america, peaking at No. 10 throughout a 14-week keep on the Billboard 200 album chart in October 1974.[59]

In October 2019, an audio tape of publicly unknown music by Reed, primarily based on Warhol’s 1975 guide, “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Again Once more“, was reported to have been found in an archive at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[60]

1975–79: Habit and artistic work

Reed in 1977

All through the Nineteen Seventies, Reed was a heavy person of methamphetamine and alcohol.[51][61] In the summertime of 1975, he was booked to headline Startruckin’ 75 in Europe, a touring rock pageant organized by Miles Copeland.[62] Nevertheless, Reed’s drug habit made him undependable and he by no means carried out on the tour, inflicting Copeland to switch him with Ike & Tina Turner.[62]

Reed’s album Steel Machine Music (1975) was an hour of modulated suggestions and guitar results. Described by Rolling Stone because the “tubular groaning of a galactic fridge”,[63] many critics interpreted it as a gesture of contempt, an try to interrupt his contract with RCA or to alienate his much less subtle followers. Reed claimed that the album was a real creative effort impressed by the drone music of La Monte Younger,[64] and suggesting that quotations of classical music could possibly be discovered buried within the suggestions,[65] however he additionally mentioned, “Nicely, anybody who will get to facet 4 is dumber than I’m.”[66][67] Lester Bangs declared it “genius”, although additionally psychologically disturbing. The album, now considered a visionary textural guitar masterpiece by some music critics,[68] was reportedly returned to shops by the 1000’s and was withdrawn after a number of weeks.[69][70]

Lou Reed would not simply write about squalid characters, he permits them to leer and breathe in their very own voices, and he colours acquainted landscapes by way of their very own eyes. Within the course of, Reed has created a physique of music that comes as near disclosing the parameters of human loss and restoration as we’re more likely to discover. That qualifies him, for my part, as one of many few actual heroes rock & roll has raised.

—Mikal Gilmore, Rolling Stone, (1979)[71]

1975’s Coney Island Child was devoted to Reed’s then-partner Rachel Humphreys, a transgender girl Reed dated and lived with for 3 years.[72] Humphreys additionally seems within the photographs on the quilt of Reed’s 1977 “better of” album, Stroll on the Wild Aspect: The Better of Lou Reed. Rock and Roll Coronary heart was his 1976 debut for his new file label Arista, and Road Problem (1978) was launched within the midst of the punk rock scene he had helped to encourage. Reed took on a watchful, aggressive and generally dismissive angle in direction of punk. Conscious that he had impressed them, he frequently attended reveals at CBGB to trace the creative and business growth of quite a few punk bands, and a canopy illustration and interview of Reed appeared within the first concern of Punk journal by Legs McNeil.[73]

Reed performing onstage with guitarist Chuck Hammer, June 1979, The Backside Line, New York Metropolis

Reed launched his third stay album, Reside: Take No Prisoners, in 1978; some critics thought it was his “bravest work but”, whereas others thought of it his “silliest”.[71] Rolling Stone described it as “one of many funniest stay albums ever recorded” and in contrast Reed’s monologues with these of Lenny Bruce.[71] Reed felt it was his greatest album to this point.[71] The Bells (1979) featured jazz trumpeter Don Cherry. Throughout 1979 Reed toured extensively in Europe and all through america performing a variety of songs, together with a set of core songs from his Berlin album and the title monitor from The Bells that includes Chuck Hammer on guitar-synth. Round this time Reed additionally appeared as a file producer in Paul Simon’s movie One-Trick Pony.[74] From round 1979 Reed started to wean himself off medicine.[51]

1980–89: Marriage and mid-period

Reed performing stay throughout a profit live performance for A Conspiracy of Hope at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 1986

Reed married British designer Sylvia Morales in 1980.[75][76] Morales impressed Reed to write down a number of songs, significantly “Suppose It Over” from 1980’s Rising Up in Public[77] and “Heavenly Arms” from 1982’s The Blue Masks. The latter album was enthusiastically acquired by critics comparable to Rolling Stone author Tom Carson, whose evaluate started, “Lou Reed’s The Blue Masks is a superb file, and its genius is without delay so easy and strange that the one applicable response is marvel. Who anticipated something like this from Reed at this late stage of the sport?”[78] Within the Village Voice, Robert Christgau known as The Blue Masks “his most managed, plainspoken, deeply felt, and uninhibited album.”[79] After Legendary Hearts (1983) and New Sensations (1984), Reed was sufficiently reestablished as a public determine to grow to be a spokesman for Honda scooters.[80] Within the early Eighties, Reed labored with guitarists together with Chuck Hammer on Rising Up in Public, and Robert Quine on The Blue Masks and Legendary Hearts.

Reed’s 1984 album New Sensations marked the primary time that Reed had charted throughout the US High 100 since 1978’s Road Problem, and the primary time that Reed had charted within the UK altogether since 1976’s Coney Island Child. Though its lead single “I Love You, Suzanne” solely charted at No. 78 on the UK Singles Chart it did obtain gentle rotation on MTV. Two extra singles had been launched from the album: “My Pink Joystick” and the Dutch-only launch “Excessive within the Metropolis” however they each did not chart.

In 1998, The New York Occasions noticed that within the Nineteen Seventies, Reed had a particular persona: “Again then he was publicly homosexual, pretended to shoot heroin onstage, and cultivated a ‘Dachau panda’ look, with cropped peroxide hair and black circles painted beneath his eyes.”[81] The newspaper wrote that in 1980, “Reed renounced druggy theatrics, even swore off intoxicants themselves, and have become brazenly heterosexual, brazenly married.”[81]

On September 22, 1985, Reed carried out on the first Farm Support live performance in Champaign, Illinois. He carried out “Doin’ the Issues That We Need To”, “I Love You, Suzanne”, “New Sensations” and “Stroll on the Wild Aspect” as his solo set, later taking part in bass for Roy Orbison throughout his set. In June 1986, Reed launched Mistrial (co-produced with bassist Fernando Saunders). To assist the album, he launched two music movies: “No Cash Down” and “The Authentic Wrapper”. In the identical yr, he joined Amnesty Worldwide’s A Conspiracy of Hope quick tour and was outspoken about New York Metropolis’s political points and personalities. He additionally appeared on Steven Van Zandt’s 1985 anti-Apartheid track “Solar Metropolis”, pledging to not play at that resort.

The 1989 album New York, which commented on crime, AIDS, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, then-President of Austria Kurt Waldheim and Pope John Paul II, grew to become his second gold-certified work when it handed 500,000 gross sales in 1997.[58] Reed was nominated for a Grammy Award for greatest male rock vocal efficiency for the album.[47]

1990–99: Velvet Underground reunion and varied initiatives

Reed met John Cale for the primary time in a number of years at Warhol’s funeral in 1987. They labored collectively on the album Songs for Drella (April 1990), a track cycle about Warhol.[82] On the album, Reed sings of his love for his late good friend, and criticizes each the medical doctors who had been unable to save lots of Warhol’s life and Warhol’s would-be murderer, Valerie Solanas. In 1990, the primary Velvet Underground lineup reformed for a Fondation Cartier profit present in France.[83] In June and July 1993, the Velvet Underground once more reunited and toured Europe, together with an look on the Glastonbury Pageant; plans for a North American tour had been cancelled following a dispute between Reed and Cale.[84][85]

Reed had launched his sixteenth solo album, Magic and Loss, in January 1992. The album is targeted on mortality, impressed by the loss of life of two shut mates from most cancers. In 1994, he appeared in A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who. In the identical yr, he and Morales had been divorced.[86] In 1995, Reed made a cameo look within the unreleased online game Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors. If the participant selects the “inconceivable” issue setting, Reed seems shortly after the sport begins as an unbeatable boss who murders the participant together with his laser beam eyes. Reed then pops up on the display and says to the participant, “That is the inconceivable stage, boys. Unimaginable does not imply very troublesome, very troublesome is profitable the Nobel Prize, inconceivable is consuming the solar.”[87]

In 1996, the Velvet Underground had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame. On the ceremony, Reed, Cale and Tucker carried out a track titled “Final Night time I Stated Goodbye to My Pal”, devoted to Sterling Morrison, who had died the earlier August.[88] In February 1996 Reed launched Set the Twilight Reeling, and later that yr, Reed contributed songs and music to Time Rocker, a theatrical interpretation of H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine by experimental director Robert Wilson. The piece premiered within the Thalia Theater, Hamburg, and was later additionally proven on the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.[89]

From 1992, Reed was romantically linked to avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson, and the 2 labored collectively on a number of recordings. They married on April 12, 2008.[90]

2000–12: Rock and ambient experimentation

In February 2000, Reed labored with Robert Wilson on the Thalia Theater once more, on POEtry, one other manufacturing impressed by the works of a Nineteenth-century author, this time Edgar Allan Poe. In April 2000, Reed launched Ecstasy. In January 2003, Reed launched a 2-CD set, The Raven, primarily based on POEtry. The album consists of songs written by Reed and spoken-word performances of reworked and rewritten texts of Edgar Allan Poe by actors, set to digital music composed by Reed. It options Willem Dafoe, David Bowie, Steve Buscemi, and Ornette Coleman.[91] A single disc CD model of the album, specializing in the music, was additionally launched.[nb 5]

In Might 2000, Reed carried out earlier than Pope John Paul II on the Nice Jubilee Live performance in Rome.[93] In 2001, Reed made a cameo look within the film adaptation of Prozac Nation. On October 6, 2001, the New York Occasions printed a Reed poem known as “Laurie Sadly Listening” through which he displays on the September 11 assaults (additionally known as 9/11).[94] Incorrect studies of Reed’s loss of life had been broadcast by quite a few US radio stations in 2001, brought on by a hoax e mail (purporting to be from Reuters) which mentioned he had died of a drug overdose.[95] In April 2003, Reed started a world tour that includes the cellist Jane Scarpantoni and singer Anohni.

In 2003, Reed launched a guide of pictures, Feelings in Motion. This comprised an A4-sized guide known as Feelings and a smaller one known as Actions laid into its onerous cowl. In January 2006, he launched a second guide of pictures, Lou Reed’s New York.[96] A 3rd quantity, Romanticism, was launched in 2009.[5][97]

Reed performing in Málaga, Spain, 2008

In 2004, a Groovefinder remix of his track “Satellite tv for pc of Love”, known as “Satellite tv for pc of Love ’04”, was launched. It peaked at No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart.[98]

In October 2006, Reed appeared at Hal Willner’s Leonard Cohen tribute present “Got here So Far for Magnificence” in Dublin, together with Laurie Anderson, Nick Cave, Anohni, Jarvis Cocker, and Beth Orton. He performed a heavy metallic model of Cohen’s “The Stranger Tune”.[99]

In December that yr, Reed performed a sequence of reveals at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, primarily based on Berlin. Reed performed with guitarist Steve Hunter, who performed on the unique album and Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal, and was joined by singers Anohni and Sharon Jones. The present was produced by Bob Ezrin, who additionally produced the unique album, and Hal Willner.[100] The present performed on the Sydney Pageant in January 2007 and in Europe throughout June and July 2007. The album model of the live performance, entitled Berlin: Reside at St. Ann’s Warehouse, and a stay movie recording of those live shows had been each launched in 2008. In April 2007, he launched Hudson River Wind Meditations, an album of ambient meditational music. It was launched on the Sounds True file label. In June 2007, he carried out on the Site visitors Pageant 2007 in Turin, Italy, a five-day free occasion organized by the town. In the identical month “Pale Blue Eyes” was included within the soundtrack of the French-language movie, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.[101] In August 2007, Reed recorded “Tranquilize” with the Killers in New York Metropolis, a duet with Brandon Flowers for the B-side/rarities album Sawdust.

Reed performing on the
Hop Farm Pageant in Paddock Wooden, Kent, 2011

On October 2 and three, 2008, he launched his new group, which was later named Steel Machine Trio, on the Walt Disney Live performance Corridor Complicated in Los Angeles. The trio featured Ulrich Krieger (saxophone) and Sarth Calhoun (electronics), and performed improvised instrumental music impressed by Steel Machine Music. Recordings of the live shows had been launched beneath the title The Creation of the Universe. The trio performed at New York’s Gramercy Theatre in April 2009, and appeared as a part of Reed’s band on the 2009 Lollapalooza.[102]

Reed supplied the voice of Maltazard, the villain within the 2009 Luc Besson animated/live-action function movie Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard and appeared as himself in Wim Wenders’ 2008 movie Palermo Capturing.

Reed performed “Candy Jane” and “White Gentle/White Warmth” with Metallica at Madison Sq. Backyard throughout the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame on October 30, 2009. In 2010, Reed featured on the track “Some Form of Nature” with digital band Gorillaz, from their third studio album Plastic Seaside.[103][104] In October 2011, Metallica and Reed launched the collaboration album Lulu.[105] It was primarily based on the “Lulu” performs by the German playwright Frank Wedekind (1864–1918). The album acquired combined and primarily unfavourable opinions from music critics.[106][107] Reed joked that he had no followers left.[108] The album debuted at No. 36 on the Billboard 200 with first-week gross sales of 13,000 copies.[109]

In 2012, Reed collaborated with indie rock band Metric on “The Wanderlust”, the tenth monitor on their fifth studio album Synthetica. This was to be the final authentic composition he labored on.[110]

Dying, legacy, and honors

Reed had suffered from hepatitis and diabetes for a number of years. He practiced tai chi over the past a part of his life.[51][111] He was handled with interferon however developed liver most cancers.[111] In Might 2013, he underwent a liver transplant on the Cleveland Clinic.[112][113] Afterward, on his web site, he wrote of feeling “larger and stronger” than ever, however on October 27, 2013, he died from liver illness at his dwelling in East Hampton, New York, on the age of 71.[114] He was cremated and the ashes got to his household.[115][116]

His widow Laurie Anderson mentioned his final days had been peaceable, and described him as a “prince and a fighter”.[111] David Byrne,[117] Patti Smith,[118] David Bowie, Morrissey, Iggy Pop, Courtney Love, Lenny Kravitz, and plenty of others additionally paid tribute to Reed.[119][120][121] Former Velvet Underground members Moe Tucker[122] and John Cale made statements on Reed’s loss of life,[123] and people from exterior the music business paid their respects comparable to Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.[124]

On October 27, 2013, the day of Reed’s loss of life, Pearl Jam devoted their track “Man of the Hour” to him at their present in Baltimore after which performed “I am Ready for the Man”.[125] On the day of his loss of life, the Killers devoted their rendition of “Pale Blue Eyes” to Reed on the Life Is Lovely pageant in Las Vegas.[126] My Morning Jacket carried out a canopy of “Oh! Candy Nuthin'” in California[127] whereas Arctic Monkeys carried out “Stroll on the Wild Aspect” in Liverpool.[128] That very same night time, Phish opened their present in Hartford, Connecticut with the Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll”.[129] On November 14, 2013, a three-hour public memorial was held close to Lincoln Heart’s Paul Milstein Pool and Terrace. Billed as “New York: Lou Reed at Lincoln Heart”, the ceremony featured favourite Reed recordings chosen by household and mates.[130] On March 14, 2014, Richard Barone and Alejandro Escovedo produced and hosted the primary full-scale tribute to Lou Reed on the SXSW Music Pageant in Austin, Texas, with over twenty worldwide acts performing Reed’s music.[131]

Reed’s property was valued at $30 million, $20 million of which accrued after his loss of life. He left all the things to his spouse and his sister.[132]

Reed’s induction into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame as a solo artist was introduced on December 16, 2014.[133] He was inducted by Patti Smith at a ceremony in Cleveland on April 18, 2015.[134] In 2017, Lou Reed: A Life was printed by the Rolling Stone critic Anthony DeCurtis.[135]

Asteroid 270553 Loureed, found by Maik Meyer at Palomar Observatory in 2002, was named in his honor.[136] The official naming quotation was printed by the Minor Planet Heart on June 2, 2015 (M.P.C. 94391).[137] Spiders with furry our bodies are referred to as velvet spiders and one which was just lately found in Spain is called Loureedia, as a result of it has a velvet physique and lives underground.[138]

An archive of his letters and different private results was donated to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the place it may be considered by members of the general public.[139]

Since his loss of life, allegations have been made about Reed, together with of misogyny,[140][141] and racism.[141][142]



Lou Reed’s foremost guitar throughout the Velvet Underground period was a 1964 Gretsch Nation Gentleman, which he modified extensively, to the extent that it grew to become unplayable.[143][144] He performed varied inventory Fender Telecasters, later favoring fashions that had been constructed particularly for him, such because the Rick Kelly ‘Lou Reed’s T’ Customized Telecaster and the Fender Customized Store Danny Gatton Telecaster.[144] He has performed varied different electrical guitars all through his profession:

  • Carl Thompson[144]
  • Steve Klein[144]
  • Epiphone Riviera[144]
  • Steinberger Synapse Transcale ST-2FPA Customized[144]
  • Gibson ES-335TD
  • Fender Electrical XII twelve-string
  • Gibson SG


  • Jim Kelley Amplifiers[145][146]
  • Fender ‘extensive panel tweed’ Deluxe Amp 5C3
  • Soldano SLO 100 100-Watt Tube guitar amplifier
  • Tone King Imperial 1×12 Combo guitar amplifier
  • Sears Silvertone 1484 Twin-Twelve


The Velvet Underground

  • The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
  • White Gentle/White Warmth (1968)
  • The Velvet Underground (1969)
  • Loaded (1970)


  • Lou Reed (1972)
  • Transformer (1972)
  • Berlin (1973)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal (1974)
  • Sally Cannot Dance (1974)
  • Steel Machine Music (1975)
  • Coney Island Child (1975)
  • Rock and Roll Coronary heart (1976)
  • Road Problem (1978)
  • The Bells (1979)
  • Rising Up in Public (1980)
  • The Blue Masks (1982)
  • Legendary Hearts (1983)
  • New Sensations (1984)
  • Mistrial (1986)
  • New York (1989)
  • Magic and Loss (1992)
  • Set the Twilight Reeling (1996)
  • Ecstasy (2000)
  • The Raven (2003)
  • Hudson River Wind Meditations (2007)


  • Songs for Drella (1990) (with John Cale)
  • Lulu (2011) (with Metallica)


12 months Title Function Notes
1966 The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound Himself
1980 One-Trick Pony Steve Kunelian
1983 Get Loopy Auden
Rock & Rule Mok’s singing voice “My Identify is Mok” and “Triumph”; third track “Ache and Struggling” was sung by Iggy Pop
1988 Everlasting File Himself
1993 Faraway, So Shut! Himself
1995 Blue within the Face Man with Unusual Glasses
1995 Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors Himself Unreleased online game; Seems as an unbeatable Boss if the participant units the sport’s issue to “Unimaginable”.
1997 Closure Himself
1998 Lulu on the Bridge Not Lou Reed Cameo
2000 Who Let The Canine Out Himself
2001 Prozac Nation Himself
2008 Berlin: Reside at St. Ann’s Warehouse Himself
Palermo Capturing Himself
2009 Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard Emperor Maltazard (voice) Changed David Bowie, who voiced the character within the first installment.
2010 Arthur 3: The Struggle of the Two Worlds Emperor Maltazard (voice)
2010 Pink Shirley Director, Interviewer Documentary, 28 minutes.
2016 Danny Says Topic Documentary, 104 minutes. Options archival tape from 1975 of Lou Reed listening to the Ramones for the primary time with music supervisor Danny Fields




  • Beeber, Steven Lee (2006). The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret Historical past of Jewish Punk. ISBN 9781556527616.
  • Bockris, Victor (1994). Transformer: The Lou Reed Story. ISBN 0-684-80366-6.
  • Brown, Invoice (2013). Phrases and Guitar: A Historical past of Lou Reed’s Music. Colossal Books. ISBN 9780615933771.
  • Clapton, Diana (2012). Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground. Music Gross sales Group. ISBN 9780857127570.
  • DeCurtis, Anthony (2017). Lou Reed: A Life. New York: Little Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-37654-9.
  • McNeil, Legs; McCain, Gillian (2006). Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral Historical past of Punk. Grove Press. ISBN 9780802142641.
  • Reed, Lou (1991). Between Thought and Expression: Chosen Lyrics of Lou Reed. Hyperion. ISBN 1-56282-923-8.
  • Roberts, Chris; Reed, Lou (2004). Lou Reed: The Tales Behind the Songs. Hal Leonard. ISBN 0-634-08032-6.
  • Thompson, Dave (2009). Your Fairly Face Is Going to Hell: The Harmful Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed. Backbeat Books. ISBN 9781617134081.
  • Unterberger, Richie (2009). White Gentle/White Warmth: The Velvet Underground Day-by-Day. London: Jawbone Press. ISBN 978-1-906002-22-0.

  • Lou Reed at AllMusic
  • Lou Reed discography at Discogs Edit this at Wikidata
  • Lou Reed at IMDb
  • Lou Reed on the Web Broadway Database
  • Lou Reed papers, 1958-2015, held by the Music Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

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