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Lou Reed

Today we will tell you 40 interesting facts about the man and the legend: The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lou Reed:

(Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders)

1. Lou Reed was born on March 2, 1942 at Beit El Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.

2. Reed was a Jew. His father Joseph, who was an accountant, changed his last name from Rabinovich to Reed.

3. Although he was a Jew Lou Reed declared that his true God is rock 'n' roll.

4. In his youth he underwent treatments in electric shocks because his parents thought that this would cure him of his bisexual tendencies. He wrote the song "Kill Your Sons" from 1974 about it.

5. In his youth, Reed was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered from manic depression. After his death his sister denied that the treatment in electric shocks was due to his bisexual tendencies and claimed that this was meant to treat his mental illness.

6. He learned to play the guitar from listening to the radio.

7. In 1963, Reed moved to New York and began working as a songwriter for the recording company Pickwick Records.

8. He coined the term "Ostrich Guitar" after the special guitar tuning in the song "The Ostrich", which he wrote even before "The Velvet Underground", as part of the band "The Primitives".

9. While playing with "The Primitives" he met a young Welshman who came to study music in the USA. His name was John Cale.

10. The two shared an apartment on Manhattan's East Side. They invited Reed's classmate Sterling Morrison to play guitar and Angus MacLise to play drummer, thus forming the first "Velvet Underground" lineup.

11. The band played in underground clubs in New York and attracted the attention of renowned artist Andy Warhol.

12. Warhol will be responsible for the band's connection with model and singer Nico and he will produce and paint the cover of the 1967 masterpiece album "The Velvet Underground & Nico".

(Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy)

13. After leaving the Velvet Underground he moved to work for his father's accounting firm.

14. Although he received credit for playing guitar and keyboards on his 1972 debut album, rumor has it that those who played were guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Rick Wakeman from "Yes".

15. The one who co-produced with him the 1972 breakthrough album "Transformer", was none other than David Bowie.

16. The song "Walk On The Wild Side" was dedicated by Reed to the Drug Queens who came to New York and engaged in prostitution.

17. The words "But she never lost her head / Even when she was giving head" were not censored at the time by the BBC, as the censor did not understand what "giving head" meant.

18. The album "Berlin" that Reed released in 1973 is a kind of dark and depressing concept album that tells the story of a Berlin couple addicted to heroin. The album deals with difficult issues such as domestic violence, drugs, prostitution and suicide.

19. Following the commercial success of "Transformer" and "Berlin", Reed responded with a deliberate commercial failure - the double album of loops and electronic feedbacks called "Metal Machine Music". This 1975 album was probably ahead of its time with techno and industrial music.

20. His 1976 album "Coney Island Baby" was dedicated to his partner that was a transvestite.

21. Reed used to perform with sunglasses. He claimed he could not stand the sight of the audience.

22. He appeared in an advertisement for Honda's Vespa motorcycles with the song "Walk On The Wild Side" in the background and convinced the audience not to compromise on walking.

23. In 1979 he punched David Bowie in a restaurant, after Bowie agreed to produce his next album only on the condition that he be cleansed of alcohol and drugs.

24. In 1980 he played the role of a music producer in Paul Simon's film "One-Trick Pony".

25. Reed returned to collaborate with John Cale in 1990, as part of the excellent album "Songs for Drella" in memory of Andy Warhol, a sort of a musical biography of Andy Warhol nicknamed "Darla".

26. In 1989 he was featured on the song "This Is Your Land" from the eighth album of "Simple Minds".

27. The album "Magic and Loss" from 1992 dealt with "death" and was affected by the deaths of two of his close friends from cancer.

28. The 18-minute epic piece "Like a Possum" from his 2000 album "Ecstasy" includes noisy distortions and words dealing with bizarre sex, drugs and Reed's wish to be an "Opossum".

29. In 2001 several American radio stations mistakenly announced Lou Reed's death, after receiving information from an impostor that made them think he was working for "Reuters".

30. His 2003 double album "The Raven" is based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. The album was also accompanied by a musical called POEtry.

31. In 2007 he was featured on the song "Tranquilize" from the album "Sawdust" by "The Killers".

32. Reed was influenced by jazz and loved jazz. In 2009 he became a member of the U.S. Jazz Association.

33. He contributed his voice to the "Gorillaz" in the song "Some Kind of Nature" from the album "Plastic Beach", their third album from 2010.

34. Reed appeared with "Metallica" in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the "Rock N 'Roll Hall Of Fame", this show spawned a collaboration on a double album by "Metallica" and Lou Reed called "Lulu", released in 2011.

35. He himself was inducted into the "Rock N 'Roll Hall Of Fame" twice, once as a solo artist and once again as a member of the "Velvet Underground".

36. In the late 90s he entered into a relationship with musician Lori Anderson and the two collaborated on songs appearing on both of their albums.

37. In 2013 Reed had already had a liver transplant but it failed and he eventually passed away on October 27th from severe liver failure.

38. In a performance of "Pearl Jam" in Baltimore on the day of his death, they dedicated the song "Man of the Hour" to him. They even performed the song "I'm Waiting for the Man" by the "Velvet Underground".

39. Reed practiced Tai Chi every day, even in his last days in the hospital, right up until the day he died. He even contributed his voice to an instructional film on the art of Chinese martial arts.

40. There is a spider named after him. It is called "Loureedia" because it is a velvety spider that lives underground. This spider has even been observed in Israel.

During his musical career, Reid has released 26 studio albums, as a solo artist and as part of the "Velvet Underground". He passed away on October 27, 2013. He was 71 years old at the time of his death.

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