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Download or Read Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music o

Download or Read Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music o

Read online or Download Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Aidan Levy



Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781613731062
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/15/2015
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
209,826
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Overview

 

Lou Reed made it his mission to rub people the wrong way, whether it was with the noise rock he produced with the Velvet Underground in the late 1960s or his polarizing work with Metallica that would prove to be his swan song. On a personal level, too, he seemed to take pleasure in insulting everyone who crossed his path. How did this Jewish boy from Long Island, an adolescent doo-wop singer, rise to the status of Godfather of Punk? And how did he maintain that status for decades?

Dirty Blvd.—the first new biography of Reed since his death in 2013—digs deep to answer those questions. And along the way it shows us the tender side of his prickly personality.

Born in Brooklyn, Reed was the son of an accountant and a former beauty queen, but he took the road less traveled, trading literary promise for an entry-level job as a budget-label songwriter and founding the Velvet Underground under the aegis of Andy Warhol. The cult of personality surrounding his transformation from downtown agent provocateur to Phantom of Rock and finally to patron saint of the avant-garde was legendary, but there was more to his artistic evolution than his abrasive public persona. The lives of many American rock stars have had no second act, but Reed’s did.

Dirty Blvd. not only covers the highlights of Reed’s career but also explores lesser-known facets of his work, such as his first recordings with doo-wop group the Jades, his key literary influences and the impact of Judaism upon his work, and his engagement with the LGBT movement. Drawing from new interviews with many of his artistic collaborators, friends, and romantic partners, as well as from archival material, concert footage, and unreleased bootlegs of live performances, author Aidan Levy paints an intimate portrait of the notoriously uncompromising rock poet who wrote “Heroin,” “Sweet Jane,” “Walk on the Wild Side,” and “Street Hassle”—songs that transcended their genre and established Lou Reed as one of the most influential and enigmatic American artists of the past half-century.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
09/15/2015
In his biography of the protopunk icon Lou Reed (1942–2013), Levy (The Village Voice) does a splendid job debunking the myths surrounding the musician. He describes Reed's middle-class Jewish upbringing on Long Island as stifling and discusses how bouts of nonconformity, depression, and bi-curious sexual attractions drove his parents to subject him to electroconvulsive therapy. Levy covers Reed's years at Syracuse University, where he meets his first girlfriend, Shelly Albin, a muse for some of his notable early songs, and his troubled mentor, the writer Delmore Schwartz. Levy's history of the Velvet Underground, Reed's influential late 1960s band, covers familiar territory, as the author discusses his fractious relationships with Andy Warhol, Nico, and collaborator John Cale. Levy is at his most engaging describing Reed's first decade as a solo artist, shedding light on his attempts to self-sabotage his career, his then-shocking relationship with transwoman Rachel Humphreys, his playfully combative friendship with rock critic Lester Bangs, and his addictions to alcohol and amphetamine. The book's one weakness is that it offers far less detail about Reed's career after 1980 than about his work prior to that decade. VERDICT Though a little dry, this study is about as close to a must-read book on Reed as one can get.—Brian Flota, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA

Related Subjects

  • ">General & Miscellaneous Music Biography

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