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Lou Reed

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Brooklyn, New York, USA (1964 – 2013)

Lou Reed (March 2, 1942 - October 27, 2013) was an American artist originally from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Especially while a member of the The Velvet Underground in the 1960s, Reed broke new ground for the genre in several important dimensions, introducing more mature and intellectual themes to what was then considered a largely simplistic genre of music.

In 1964 Reed moved to New York City and began working as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records. In 1964 he scored a minor hit with the single “The Ostrich”, a parody of popular dance songs of the time, which included lines such as “put your head on the floor and have somebody step on it.”

Reed first found prominence as the guitarist and principal singer-songwriter of The Velvet Underground. The band, which lasted from 1965 until 1973 (with Reed departing in late 1970 after the Loaded sessions), gained relatively little notice during its life but is often considered the seed from which most alternative and underground traditions of rock music sprang. As the Velvet’s songwriter, Reed wrote about such taboo subjects as S&M (Venus in Furs), transvestites and transsexuals (Sister Ray, and Lady Godiva’s Operation), prostitution (There She Goes Again), and drug addiction (I’m Waiting for the Man, White Light/White Heat, Heroin).

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