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Publisher's Summary

The essential biography of one of music's most influential icons: Lou Reed

As lead singer and songwriter for the Velvet Underground and a renowned solo artist, Lou Reed invented alternative rock. His music, at once a source of transcendent beauty and coruscating noise, violated all definitions of genre while speaking to millions of fans and inspiring generations of musicians.

But while his iconic status may be fixed, the man himself was anything but. Lou Reed's life was a transformer's odyssey. Eternally restless and endlessly hungry for new experiences, Reed reinvented his persona, his sound, even his sexuality time and again. A man of contradictions and extremes, he was fiercely independent yet afraid of being alone, artistically fearless yet deeply paranoid, eager for commercial success yet disdainful of his own triumphs. Channeling his jagged energy and literary sensibility into classic songs - like "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Sweet Jane" - and radically experimental albums alike, Reed remained desperately true to his artistic vision, wherever it led him.

Now, just a few years after Reed's death, Rolling Stone writer Anthony DeCurtis, who knew Reed and interviewed him extensively, tells the provocative story of his complex and chameleonic life. With unparalleled access to dozens of Reed's friends, family, and collaborators, DeCurtis tracks Reed's five-decade career through the accounts of those who knew him and through Reed's most revealing testimony: his music. We travel deep into his defiantly subterranean world, enter the studio as the Velvet Underground record their groundbreaking work, and revel in Reed's relationships with such legendary figures as Andy Warhol, David Bowie, and Laurie Anderson. Gritty, intimate, and unflinching, Lou Reed is an illuminating tribute to one of the most incendiary artists of our time.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Anthony DeCurtis (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"I am personally familiar with the depth, seriousness, and sensitivity of Anthony DeCurtis's writing, and, of course, knew Lou Reed and felt the impact of his coruscating work. A brilliant artist has found a biographer with the insight to, as Lou said, 'pass through fire' and be a definitive interpreter of both his music andhis life." (Sting)
" Lou Reed is Lou Reed!" (Iggy Pop)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

VU & Lou Record Reviews. Waste of Time

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who isn't familiar with Lou Reed or VU

Has Lou Reed turned you off from other books in this genre?

Not at all. Just the author.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Lou Reed?

I would have given it a different title: Lou Reed and VU album reviews song by song.
Other than the DeCurtis record reviews everything else about Lou has been covered elsewhere. No new news anywhere.

Any additional comments?

Read Dirty Blvd. The Life and Music of Lou Reed, By Aidan Levy instead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I wish...

I wish the narrator didn't read this book like it was a 1967 instructional film strip. Another listen ruined by a voice that's about as dynamic as a social studies text book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Everything I hoped it would be.

I especially appreciated Mr. DeCurtis' attention to Lou's albums, which has opened up his discography to me in new and exciting ways. Great reading by Peter Coleman too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good primer on Lou Reed and his music

Never been a fan of Lou Reed (well before my time), but this book really made me explore his work.