Twice inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame, a driving force behind The Velvet Underground and a legendary solo artist in his own right, Lewis Allan Reed helped to shape the course of rock and roll for nearly 50 years, in his own turbulent way.

Born in Brooklyn in 1942, Reed’s music career began 16 years later – with a very young Lou on backing vocals for a doo-wop band named The Jades. In 1965, he co-founded the Velvet Underground with John Cale. The band found modest success, many years later going to generate a fanatical cult following and well deserved critical acclaim.  In 1972, Lou went solo, releasing his debut solo album and beginning the next portion of his career.

A 1990 Velvet Underground reunion didn’t last long, the result of more quarrelling between Reed and Cale. Lou did many things in his 71 years – three marriages, two books of photographs, 22 studio albums, Tai Chi – even punching David Bowie in the face at a party that got a little out of hand. A true Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal, Lou was a living legend in his time, and even more so now that he’s left us.

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