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Lou Reed

Lou Reed

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Also Known As: Lewis Allan Reed Died:
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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the most influential figures in rock-n-roll, Lou Reed was the co-founder and primary songwriter for the Velvet Underground, whose uncompromising records in the late 1960s sold few copies but, as producer Brian Eno once said, influenced everyone who heard them to start their own band. His stark, highly poetic lyrics, rich with the drama and grit of the New York streets, placed him as a forerunner to the dark, desperate energy of punk, metal and avant-garde bands that followed in his wake, though the mercurial Reed would refuse allegiance to these movements. His eclectic inclinations were also reflected throughout his solo career, which encompassed the bleak beauty of Berlin (1973) to the political charge of New York (1990) and Metal Machine Music (1975), a polarizing LP of industrial sounds. Throughout his career, Reed bucked industry expectations in favor of his own artistic instincts, which resulted in numerous ups and downs. But Reed's music, steeped in the raw power of rock and the transformative nature of poetry, remained an artistic high point in popular music that set the bar for countless musicians in their own career, which in turn enshrined him as one of rock's most influential...

One of the most influential figures in rock-n-roll, Lou Reed was the co-founder and primary songwriter for the Velvet Underground, whose uncompromising records in the late 1960s sold few copies but, as producer Brian Eno once said, influenced everyone who heard them to start their own band. His stark, highly poetic lyrics, rich with the drama and grit of the New York streets, placed him as a forerunner to the dark, desperate energy of punk, metal and avant-garde bands that followed in his wake, though the mercurial Reed would refuse allegiance to these movements. His eclectic inclinations were also reflected throughout his solo career, which encompassed the bleak beauty of Berlin (1973) to the political charge of New York (1990) and Metal Machine Music (1975), a polarizing LP of industrial sounds. Throughout his career, Reed bucked industry expectations in favor of his own artistic instincts, which resulted in numerous ups and downs. But Reed's music, steeped in the raw power of rock and the transformative nature of poetry, remained an artistic high point in popular music that set the bar for countless musicians in their own career, which in turn enshrined him as one of rock's most influential figures. His October 2013 death occasioned heartfelt eulogies and fond remembrances that belied his flinty, tough guy persona.

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CAST: (feature film)

2.
3.
 Prozac Nation (2004) Himself
5.
 Nico Icon (1995) Himself
6.
 Blue In The Face (1995) Himself
7.
 Faraway, So Close (1993) Himself
8.
 Damned in the U.S.A. (1991) Himself
10.
 Ballhaus Barmbek (1988)
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Milestones close milestones

1958:
Made recording debut with "Leave It For Me/So Blue" as member of vocal group the Jades
1961:
Hosted late-night radio program on Syracuse, NY station WAER called "Excursions On A Wobbly Rail"
1964:
Moved to New York City; began working as in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records
1964:
Formed rock band The Velvet Underground with John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Angus MacLise
1965:
Band managed by Andy Warhol; German singer Nico added to lineup as featured member
1966:
The Velvet Underground toured with Warhol's multimedia show "Exploding Plastic Inevitable"; began recording debut album
1967:
Released debut album <i>The Velvet Underground & Nico</i>; cover art featured Warhol's yellow banana sticker with "Peel slowly and see"
1968:
Group parted ways with Warhold and Nico; released sophomore album <i>White Light/White Heat</i>, its last with founding member John Cale
1970:
Quit The Velvet Underground; worked at his father's tax accounting firm as a typist
1971:
Signed recording contract with RCA
1972:
Released self-titled solo debut; album consisted of re-recorded versions of unreleased Velvet Underground songs
1972:
Released second solo effort <i>Transformer</i>, co-produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson; featured singles "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Perfect Day"
1975:
Fifth album <i>Metal Machine Music</i> flopped
1980:
Made acting debut in "One Trick Pony," written by and starring Paul Simon
1985:
Performed at first Farm Aid concert in Champaign, IL
1990:
Collaborated with John Cale on biographical concept album <i>Songs for Drella</i>, Drella was Warhol's nickname
1990:
The Velvet Underground reunited at Fondation Cartier benefit in France
1996:
Group inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1998:
Featured in "American Masters" (PBS) documentary "Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart"
2001:
Played himself in "Prozac Nation," based on Elizabeth Wurtzel's book
2003:
Released double album <i>The Raven</i>, a collection of songs and spoken word; featured first recorded collaboration with David Bowie since 1972's <i>Transformer</i>
2003:
Published book of photographs titled <i>Emotions in Action</i>
2006:
Revived 1973 album <i>Berlin</i> as a live stage show at St. Ann¿s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY
2011:
Recorded cover of "Peggy Sue" (1957) for compilation tribute album "Rave On Buddy Holly"
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Education

Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York - 1960

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