Legendary rock star Lou Reed is dead 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 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 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 brilliant essay.
The year before that, Lou Reed joined Sting and Rufus Wainwright for a concert in celebration of David Lehman’s Nextbook Press book, A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs.
We still talk about it often.
Alana Newhouse is the editor-in-chief of Tablet Magazine.