Transformer: The Complete Lou Reed Story

Transformer: The Complete Lou Reed Story

by Victor Bockris


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‘A triumph’ - Time Out

Transformer is the only complete and comprehensive telling of the Lou Reed story.

Legendary songwriter and guitarist Lou Reed passed away on the 27th October 2013, but his musical influence is assured. Now discover the true story of the Velvet Underground pioneer in this update of Bockris’s classic biography.

Transformer: The Complete Lou Reed Story follows the great songwriter and singer through the series of transformations that define each period of his fifty year career. It opens with the teenage electroshock treatments that dominated his memories of childhood and never stops revealing layer after layer of this complex and often anguished artist and man. Transformer is based on Lou’s collaborations with the hardest and most romantic artists of his times, from John Cale, Andy Warhol, and Nico, through David Bowie, Robert Wilson, Laurie Anderson and the ghost of Edgar Alan Poe. Rippling underneath everything he did are Lou’s relationships with his various muses, from his college sweetheart to his three wives (and one drag queen).

Leading Lou Reed biographer, Victor Bockris - who knew Lou throughout the Rachel Years, from Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal to the Bells - updates his original biography in the wake of Lou’s death. Through new interviews and photos, he reveals the many transformations of this larger-than-life character, including his final shift from Rock Monster to the Prince Charming he had always wanted to be in the twenty years he spent with the love of his life, Laurie Anderson . Except with Lou, you could never really know what might happen next…

Including previously unseen photographs and contributions from Lou’s innermost circle and collaborators that include similarly esteemed artists such as Andy Warhol and David Bowie, Transformer is as captivating and vivid a read as befits an American master.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780007581894
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Publication date: 10/23/2014
Pages: 560
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Victor Bockris has written a dozen books which form a mythology for the counterculture. His biographies of Andy Warhol, Keith Richards and Lou Reed made his name as the Poet Laureate of the New York Underground. His most recent books are: The Burroughs-Warhol Affair; and Burroughs Reloaded (photographs). The updated Transformer: The Lou Reed Story focuses on Reed’s relationship and marriage to the leading performance artist of our times Laurie Anderson. It celebrates the deep influence these two artists had on each others work during the last 20 years of Lou Reed’s life. Lou and Laurie both produced some of the greatest work they had ever done during this period

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Kill Your Son, 1959-60 1

2 Pushing the Edge, 1960-62 18

3 Shelley, If You Just Come Back, 1962-64 52

4 The Pickwick Period, 1964-65 72

5 The Formation of the Velvet Underground, 1965 77

6 Fun at the Factory, 1966 104

7 Exit Warhol, 1966-67 135

8 Exit Cale, 1967-68 153

9 The Deformation of the Velvet Underground, 1968-70 170

10 Fallen Knight, 1970-71 186

11 The Transformation from Freeport Lou to Frankenstein, 1971-73 201

12 No Surface, No Depth, 1973-74 229

13 The Nervous Years, 1974-76 257

14 The Master of Psychopathic Insolence, 1977-78 304

15 Mister Reed, 1978-79 321

16 Ladybug, 1978-83 334

17 The New, Positive Lou (The Blue Lou), 1981-84 354

18 The Commercial, Political Lou, 1984-86 382

19 Imitation of Andy, 1987-89 394

20 Death Makes Three, 1990-93 106

21 In Which Lou Reed Cannot Put On the Velvet Underwear, 1990-96 427

22 The Transformation of Lou and Laurie, 1994-2000 453

Fast Forward: Val Kilmer's Ranch, The Pecos, New Mexico, 2005 466

23 Ecstasy, 1999-2001 468

24 Lou Reed Rewrites Edgar Allan Poe, 2001-04 477

25 Lou Reed Classics, 2006-10 481

26 Lou Is Lulu, 2011-12 489

27 The Death of Lou Reed, 2013 502

Appendix A Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson's Inventories of Work 507

Appendix B Interviews with Lou Reed 511

Source Notes 521

Bibliography 525

Index 535

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