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Lou Reed Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 2 March 1942Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 27 October 2013Amagansett, New York, USA  (liver disease)
Birth NameLewis Allan Reed
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

He formed the group The Velvet Underground with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol's Factory scene, which housed a great number of the most freaked and experimental artists at the time. The German singer and actress Nico sang in the group for a short period-- but the original line-up began to split up. The group, at its best, made only four original albums: "The Velvet Underground & Nico" (1967), "White Light/White Heat" (1968), "The Velvet Underground" (1969), and "Loaded" (1970). They stand today as milestones in the history of rock.

In 1970, Lou Reed began his solo career. His second album, "Transformer" (1972), was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, long-time admirers of the Velvets. That year, he had his first--and still only--top 20 song, "Walk on the Wild Side." Through the 1970s, he made a prolific number of albums with "Berlin" (1973), "Rock 'n' Roll Animal" (1974), and "Street Hassle" (1978) as the artistic highlights of this period. On St. Valentine's Day 1980, Lou Reed married Sylvia Morales, and that was another turning point in his career. The following album, "The Blue Mask" (1982), stands as one of his best and most composed. In 1989, he made "New York"--a love letter to his city with its good and bad, and with a heavy criticism of American thought.

In the 1990s, he continued to be one of the most sharp-tongued rock 'n' roll poets of his time. In 1990, he once again collaborated with ex-Velvet-partner John Cale. Their album, "Songs for Drella," was a very personal tribute to friend and artist Andy Warhol, who had recently died. In 1993, The Velvet Underground was re-formed with its original line-up, and toured in Europe in 1993. In 1997, Lou Reed, along with former Velvet band mates John Cale, Maureen Tucker, and the late Sterling Morrison were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lou Reed stood as one of the most important songwriters of our time and has served as inspiration to a multitude of artists such as David Bowie, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails, U2, David Byrne and Patti Smith.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jørn, jns@mobilixnet.dk

Spouse (3)

Laurie Anderson (12 April 2008 - 27 October 2013) (his death)
Sylvia Morales (14 February 1980 - 1990) (divorced)
Bettye Kronstadt (9 January 1973 - 1973) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Unabashed New Yorker's viewpoint
Sunglasses

Trivia (13)

"Sweet Jane," "Rock and Roll," "Femme Fatale," "Walk on the Wild Side," and "Satellite of Love" are among his best-known songs.
Spent some weeks in a mental hospital in his teens, at his parents' insistence; his treatment included electroshock therapy and medication. Reed reflected on the experience later in songs, "Kill Your Sons" being one of them.
His guitar in the early days of The Velvet Underground included a built-in electronic tremolo. Reed sometimes turned this up, and tuned all the strings to D; the resulting sound he called Ostrich guitar.
Produced the album Metal Machine Music in response to RCA Records' demands for a quick follow-up to his top-ten LP Sally Can't Dance. The hour-plus of electronic noise was almost buried as a classical release, but instead was promoted as a pop album. The resulting backlash nearly ruined the label and Reed's reputation; both later issued apologies, while the album remains a musical enigma.
Lived with Laurie Anderson beginning in 1995 prior to their marriage in 2008.
He was with the group The Velvet Underground until 1970; returned when they reformed in the 1990s.
Attended Syracuse University.
In 1958 a 14 year-old Reed was part of a doo-wop band called The Shades and recorded a single.
Winner of the 2005 Ivor Novello Special International Award.
Resides in New York City.
In early May 2013, Reed underwent liver transplant surgery.
Teamed up with The Killers to produce and provide guest vocals on the song "Tranquilize", which appeared on The Killers' 2007 album of B-sides, "Sawdust".
When he was age 11 his family moved to Freeport, NY.

Personal Quotes (11)

You can't beat two guitars, bass, and drums.
We had vast objections to the whole San Francisco scene. It's just tedious, a lie and untalented. They can't play and they certainly can't write . . . You know, people like Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead are just the most untalented bores that ever came up. Just look at them physically, I mean, can you take Grace Slick seriously? It's a joke! It's a joke! The kids are being hyped.
[on colleague John Cale] I only hope that one day John will be recognized as . . . the Beethoven or something of his day. He knows so much about music, he's such a great musician. He's completely mad--but that's because he's Welsh.
Meditation doesn't have to be complicated. What I do is about as simple as you can get. You could just count the beads, one, two, three, with your eyes closed or open, whatever makes you happy. And no matter what happens, keep counting. I personally like it when I can feel that I'm actually moving the beads when I'm counting. And once you make it to a minute, see if you can do a minute-and-a-half. Eventually you can do it without the beads.
[2007, on the release of his album "Hudson River Wind Meditations"] It's geared up to help to you to focus. I call it centering. I use the music all the time. I leave it on all day because living in the city it has an intriguing ability to absorb the outside sound and kind of weave that into itself somehow. So a car horn or a fire engine--all this background noise - just somehow filters into it in a nice way. I'm not sure that I know why, but I know that it does that.
If I don't do [t'ai chi] my body really hurts. It just starts aching and hurting. It's terrible. To me it's candy. It's my idea of fun. But it requires the tenacity of a lion. Otherwise it shows and you're in class and you're the one going in the wrong direction. But if you tag into it, it's beyond belief. It makes me feel great in every way. It gives you tons of energy. It makes you very strong, very balanced and very focused. It's good for everything.
People think that I work out but it's all t'ai chi.
The music is all. People should die for it. People are dying for everything else, so why not the music?
One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz.
I didn't get in it for the money, and I'm the same way now. I do it for me. Because I like doing it.
[April 1977, in "Melody Maker"] It's been a long time since I spoke to any journalists. They are a species of foul vermin. I wouldn't hire people like you to guard my sewer. Journalists are morons. Idiots. I don't perform to idiots. Journalists are ignorant and stupid.

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