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Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed

By Howard Sounes

Lou Reed, who died in 2013, was once top identified to most of the people because the grumpy New Yorker in black who sang Walk at the Wild Side. To his devoted admirers, even if, he was once some of the most leading edge and clever American songwriters of recent occasions, a average outsider who lived a tumultuous and tortured life.

In this in-depth, meticulously researched and intensely interesting biography, revered biographer Howard Sounes examines the existence and paintings of this attention-grabbing guy, from beginning to demise, together with his time because the chief of The Velvet Underground - essentially the most very important bands in rock'n'roll.

Written with a deep wisdom and realizing of the song, Sounes additionally sheds completely new mild at the artist's inventive technique, his psychological illnesses, his bisexuality, his 3 marriages, and his addictions to medications and alcohol.

In the process his learn, Sounes has interviewed over a hundred and forty humans from everything of Lou Reed's existence - a few of whom haven't spoken publicly approximately him sooner than - together with song figures, band participants, fellow celebrities, relations, former other halves and lovers.

This ebook brings Lou Reed and his international alive.

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We used to visit the health club jointly in long island and determine, after which we’d come back to his position and he’d say, “OK, you tie me off [apply a tourniquet to his arm so he may possibly inject speed]. ” Oh Jesus! ’ They have been in the course of a gig on the Stadthalle in Offenbach, Germany, on 6 April 1979, enjoying to an viewers mostly composed of yank servicemen, while a heckler interrupted Lou’s focus. He stopped the express and ordered the lighting fixtures to be grew to become at the viewers to spot the perpetrator. ‘People begun yelling,’ says Marty Fogel, ‘and Lou fairly acquired agitated and commenced yelling again. ’ a girl climbed on level. while she got here in the direction of Lou, he sidestepped, she stumbled and he grabbed her. ‘Lou proceeds to tug her off the level via her hair, and pushes her off the degree. She fell fifteen ft – at least,’ says Chuck Hammer, ‘at which degree a full-blown revolt breaks out – chairs begin to fly – an enormous rebel ensues. ’ Lou was once cowering behind the scenes while the German police got here to arrest him. Lou passed Sylvia his leather-based bag – obviously, whatever beneficial was once in it – prior to they took him away. He spent the evening in custody, the place blood and urine samples have been taken for drug exams. the truth that he handed is maybe simply because he was once now essentially ingesting on journey. once Lou used to be published, all of them flew to Switzerland. ‘We needed to go away the country,’ says Chuck, who remembers additional German express was once cancelled. a number of days later, Lou arrived in London, the place he requested to satisfy Charles Levison, coping with Director of Arista united kingdom. Lou used to be more and more unsatisfied approximately his low list revenues, which he blamed on an absence of label advertising. Levison emerged shaken from their assembly, as Arista publicist Howard Harding recollects: ‘Charles, taking a look very agitated, stated to me, “You didn’t inform me he used to be going to drag a gun on me! ” “What? ” it seems that, Lou was once so incensed he truly took out a firearm and threatened Charles Levison with it. ’ Lou used to be lucky that Levison didn’t name the police. that very same week, Lou used to be on level on the Hammersmith Odeon while he appeared over and observed David Bowie sitting cross-legged on a flight case within the wings gazing the express. Lou was once so excited that he became to his band and yelled, ‘Play! Play! Play! Play! ’ He was once desirous to galvanize the Englishman, who had turn into one of many nice figures of rock ’n’ roll within the few years due to the fact they'd labored jointly on Transformer, freeing a chain of various, specified and finally vintage albums that arguably put him above Lou within the pantheon of rock. He was once additionally commercially way more winning. whilst he got here off level, Lou hugged and kissed Bowie, who followed Lou and his band to the Chelsea Rendezvous for a reunion meal. ‘Isn’t David nice? Don’t you simply love David? ’ Lou saved asserting. the celebrities sat jointly on the head of a desk. Dom Pérignon used to be served. After the meal, Lou switched to Irish espresso. He turned under the influence of alcohol and loud, whereas Bowie remained subdued. conscious of the luck they'd loved long ago, badly wanting one other hit and emboldened with alcohol, Lou requested David if he may produce him back.

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