Rock’s dark prince and his iron fist in a Velvet glove

Biography; Notes From The Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed; By Howard Sounes; Doubleday, €19.95

1st November, 2015
Lou Reed on the cover of his album Street Hassle in 1978: ‘a pile of cocaine made flesh’

Lou Reed’s death from liver disease, two years ago this month, shocked many but surprised few. Reed had burned the candle at both ends for so long that his middle-age transition into a yoga-loving health nut came too late to save him from a premature death.

The demise of Reed was just one more chapter in the long, slow death of the Sixties. The music he made with the Velvet Underground in the...

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