Lou Reed: The King of New York – the definitive narrative of his life and legacy
Lou Reed: The King of New York is the most complete biography of the music legend to date, whose stature continues to grow every year since his passing 10 years ago.
The great rock-poet presided over the marriage of Brill Building pop and the European avant-garde, and left American culture transfigured. In his new book, Will Hermes offers the definitive narrative of Reed’s life and legacy, dramatizing his long, brilliant, and contentious dialogue with fans, critics, fellow artists, and assorted habitués of the demimonde. We witness Reed’s complex partnerships with David Bowie, Andy Warhol, John Cale, and Laurie Anderson; track the deadpan wit, street-smart edge, and poetic flights that defined his craft as a singer and songwriter with the Velvet Underground and beyond; and explore the artistic ambition and gift for self-sabotage he took from his mentor Delmore Schwartz.
As Hermes follows Reed from Lower East Side cold-water flats to the landmark status he later achieved, he also tells the story of New York City as a cultural capital. The first biographer to draw on the New York Public Library’s much-publicized Reed archive, Hermes employs the library collections, the release of previously unheard recordings, and a wealth of recent interviews to give us a new Lou Reed—a pioneer in living and writing about nonbinary sexuality and gender identity, a committed artist who pursued beauty and noise with equal fervor, and a turbulent and sometimes truculent man whose emotional imprint endures.
Available from MacMillan Publishers
Check out this new release featuring some of his earliest raw recordings. As well, in recognition of the 10th anniversary of his passing, grab a listen to this podcast and watch this video curated by Laurie Anderson.
Will Hermes is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, a longtime contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and The New York Times, and the author of Love Goes to Buildings on Fire. He also writes for Pitchfork and other publications, and was co-editor of SPIN: 20 Years of Alternative Music.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.