"Wanted, Dead or Alive, for turning an entire generation of America's youth into faggot junkies."
Lewis Reed, Godfather of Punk, Born in March of 1942, in Brooklyn, NY, he released his first single at the age of 15, from which he made a whole $0.70. Now well on his way on the road to fame and stardom, he briefly attended NYU, and met Delmore Schwartz and Sterling Morrison when he dropped out to attend Syracuse a year later. After graduation, he worked for a while at Pickwick records as a song writer, but soon formed The Velvet Underground; really, his history until 1970 is inseparable from the group and Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable, and so is much better told there.
Unlike the rest of the Velvets, he almost immediately continued in a succesful solo career, and still tours today, still writing about depression, drugs, and whatever else pops into his head. A brief, very incomplete (a complete list would run for pages) solo discography includes:
- Lou Reed: 1972, his first solo album.
- Transformer: 1972, with Satellite of Love, Perfect Day, and Walk on the Wild Side
- Berlin: 1973, probably one of his best.
- Rock n' Roll Animal: 1974, with solo versions of White Light and Sweet Jane.
- Metal Machine Music: 1975, recordings of feedback and screeching, about as good as the title would suggest.
- The Blue Mask, 1982, with his tribute to his hero, Delmore Schwartz, Mr. House.
- New York, 1989
- Set the Twilight Reeling, 1996, with the infamous Sex with Your Parents.
There are, of course, countless other live and compilation albums.
Some of this (the discography) was compiled from his shamelessly self-aggrandizing website, www.loureed.com, with a smattering of liner notes and the booklet that came with the 1995 Velvet Underground boxed set.
Editor's note: Lou Reed died on October 27, 2013.