Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed
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Lou Reed, who died in 2013, was best known to the general public as the grumpy New Yorker in black who sang Walk on the Wild Side. To his dedicated admirers, however, he was one of the most innovative and intelligent American songwriters of modern times, a natural outsider who lived a tumultuous and tortured life.
In this in-depth, meticulously researched and very entertaining biography, respected biographer Howard Sounes examines the life and work of this fascinating man, from birth to death, including his time as the leader of The Velvet Underground - one of the most important bands in rock'n'roll.
Written with a deep knowledge and understanding of the music, Sounes also sheds entirely new light on the artist's creative process, his mental health problems, his bisexuality, his three marriages, and his addictions to drugs and alcohol.
In the course of his research, Sounes has interviewed over 140 people from every part of Lou Reed's life - some of whom have not spoken publicly about him before - including music industry figures, band members, fellow celebrities, family members, former wives and lovers.
This book brings Lou Reed and his world alive.
York. The Village Voice condemned it as a ‘schlocky musical’, while The New York Times concluded that Wilson’s visuals were better than Lou’s music. After Time Rocker, Lou resumed his usual summer touring schedule, which typically included a string of European dates. That year he kept a tour diary for the New Yorker as he criss-crossed the Continent, creating a fascinating record of a middle-aged rock star on the road at the end of the twentieth century, flitting from one country to another,
born in 1966, making him thirty-nine when he started working with Lou. Like a lot of rock stars, Lou was immature in many ways – wilful, demanding, petulant and egocentric. He required a lot of looking after, but paradoxically he also insisted on being in charge. They got into the habit of meeting once a week for breakfast in a restaurant near Lou’s apartment to talk over his issues, and ideas for new projects. One topic of discussion was his recording career. Lou had signed with an independent
which followed the adventures of a libidinous good-time girl named Lulu (coincidentally, Lou’s nickname at the Silver Factory) who took a string of lovers, most of whom met with disaster. She shot one man dead during a jealous argument, thus ending the first play. The second play tracked her descent into prostitution in London where she was ultimately murdered by Jack the Ripper. Bizarre and explicit, the plays were originally meant as a satire on the German bourgeoisie of the late nineteenth
of songs, recording dozens of albums, performing countless shows and getting involved in numerous side projects. He was ultimately as busy as his mentor. The happening at the psychiatrists’ dinner was the prototype for a mixed-media show, called Andy Warhol, Up-tight, first staged at the Cinémathèque in New York in February. Once again, the Velvets performed with Gerard and Edie dancing, while Andy and his helpers projected still images and Factory films on to them, and screens behind them. The
friend. He moved into a dormitory on the University Heights campus of New York University, in the Bronx, in September 1959. Living alone in Manhattan, away from his family and friends for the first time, Lou became anxious and depressed, to the extent that he suffered a breakdown. Bunny recalls the dramatic events that took place that autumn. ‘Sometime during his freshman year at NYU, when I was twelve, my parents went into the city and returned with Lou, limp and unresponsive. I was terrified