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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Lou Reed: The King of New York

Lou Reed: The King of New York

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"The only Lou Reed bio you need to read." --The Washington Post

"There have been many biographies of Lou Reed, but Will Hermes has written the definitive life . . . He has brought to the assignment a sharp eye, a clear head, a lucid prose style, and a determination to let Lou be Lou, without judgment." --Lucy Sante, author of Low Life

The most complete and penetrating biography of the rock master, whose stature grows every year.

Since his death ten years ago, Lou Reed's living presence has only grown. The great rock-poet presided over the marriage of Brill Building pop and the European avant-garde, and left American culture transfigured. In Lou Reed: The King of New York, 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.

Author: Will Hermes
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: 10/03/2023
Pages: 560
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.74lbs
Size: 9.18h x 6.33w x 1.48d
ISBN: 9780374193393

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2023 pg. 25
Booklist 06/01/2023 pg. 20
Kirkus Reviews 07/01/2023

About the Author
Will Hermes is a contributing writer for 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 coeditor of SPIN: 20 Years of Alternative Music.

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