Lou Reed, 1942-2013: Baruch Dayan Emet

The Brooklyn-born punk star, writer, and poet altered the New York cultural landscape

By Alana Newhouse|October 27, 2013 2:54 PM


Legendary rock star Lou Reed is dead [1] at 71. Born Lewis Allen Reed to Toby Futterman and Sidney Joseph Reed, he was raised in Long Island and went to school at Syracuse before he moved to New York City and took it by storm. Over the years, we’ve written about Reed as a pioneer, provocateur, and inimitable New York figure.

Just last month, columnist Lee Smith regaled readers [2] with the touching, hilarious story about the time Lou Reed almost punched him at a party. (The poet Delmore Schwartz saved the day.)

Earlier this year, Liel Leibovitz wrote about how a Jew, a WASP, and a Catholic [3] found the perfect religious balance and made the Velvet Underground one of the greatest rock bands in history.

Back in 2011, Elizabeth Wurtzel wished Lou Reed a happy 69th birthday with this [5] brilliant essay.

The year before that, Lou Reed joined Sting and Rufus Wainwright for a concert [6] in celebration of David Lehman’s Nextbook Press book, A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs.

We still talk about it often.

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