Lou Reed and his band The Velvet Underground were managed by Andy Warhol during their beginning years. They kept fairly close ties with his New York underground scene even after they left for new management. The song Walk on the Wild Side is a fitting tribute to a few of the cast members associated with Warhol's Factory.
- Holly -- Holly Woodlawn -- a transvestite actor and singer from Miami, FL.
- Candy - Candy Darling -- a well liked transvestite actor from Long Island, apparently proficient in the art of fellatio.
- Little Joe - Joe Dallesandro -- a masculine actor famous for his portrayals of both gay and straight characters. The "never once gave it away line" line alludes to his penchant for street hustling.
- The Sugar Plum Fairy - Joe Campbell - a masculine but gay actor on the fringes of the Warhol crowd. He made one movie for Warhol. The "soul food" and "Apollo" reference seem to imply some sort of connection to black people, but I couldn't find any connection outside this song. Joe lived with 2 different white males through most of the 60s. (if anyone can decode this line please /msg me)
- Jackie - Jackie Curtis - a transvestite actor, playwrite, and singer who did for a short time sport a James Dean motif. The speeding away line refers to amphetamine abuse.
As a side note: Holly Woodlawn claims on her website that Lou Reed has agreed to write a few more verses of the song about her for a movie that is to be made about her life.