Who in the 1970s would have ever thought Lou Reed would ever get to 70? Today Lewis Allan Reed of Brooklyn, New York turns 70 years old.
In the 70’s Lou Reed was constantly at the top of the “next celebrity to die” list for his over indulgent lifestyle of drugs and alcohol along with Keith Richards.
But Lou made it to 70 and Davy Jones of the Monkees didn’t. Go figure! I’m glad I didn’t place a bet on that one. I would have done my dough.
Lou Reed began his music career as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records in New York in 1964. It was here he was matched up with John Cale and from that the Velvet Underground was born when Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker joined the band.
The group was noticed by Andy Warhol who became Lou’s mentor.
Reed left the Velvet Underground in 1970 and signed with RCA Records. He recorded his first album ‘Lou Reed’ in London with Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman of Yes.
For his next record, he met David Bowie. Bowie produced his ‘Transformer’ album. It featured his classic ‘Walk On The Wildside’. Years later at SXSW, Reed was asked why he never wrote another ‘Walk On The Wildside’. “Do you think I would if I could?” he responded. “I could have bought me an island”.
Somehow after the drug-fucked Lou Reed of the 70s, the Lou Reed of the 21st Century got to perform for Pope John Paul II in Rome in 2000. In 2001 he performed ‘Perfect Day’ with Pavarotti.
Hell froze over again in 2010 when Susan Boyle also covered his song ‘Perfect Day’.
Our last musical experience with Lou was the ‘Lulu’ collaboration with Metallica last year. It stiffed.
Happy birthday to rock’s grumpy old man, Lou Reed at 70.