Anthony DeCurtis' revealing account of the troubled Long Island teenager who became godfather of rock's underground. The Velvet Underground is formed.
Born in Brooklyn in 1942, Lou Reed moved with his middle-class Jewish family to Long Island when he was a young boy. A rebellious teenager, he discovered R&B and rock and roll and began playing in bands early on. He also began experimenting with drugs and sex, leading his parents to take a drastic decision that Lou never forgave them for. At Syracuse University, he came under the influence of the poet Delmore Schwartz, who encouraged him to take writing seriously and served as a role model for Lou's bohemian ambitions. When he moved to New York City, Lou took a song-writing job with the budget label Pickwick Records, and met avant-garde musician John Cale. With guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker they formed the Velvet Underground, whose first paid gig was a now legendary appearance at a high school dance where they played three songs and by all accounts caused half the audience to flee for the exit.
1/5 The Velvet Underground is formed.
Read by Read by Demetri Goritsas
Abridged and produced by Sara Davies.
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