Lou Reed's Guide to New York City

reedsxswnikolai36560.jpg
Nikolai36 via WikiMedia Commons
Lou Reed, Your Most Honest Tour Guide for Almost 50 Years

If there's one common sentiment shared by all the Lou Reed tributes that have sprung up in the past few dats, it's how Reed's music felt like the sound of New York. Whether the subject matter, the ambiance or outright namedropping geography, his almost 50 years of output chronicled and reflected an ever-changing city that he loved, or that at least loved him back enough to inspire him. When I first moved to New York nine years ago, I used Reed's referencing of different locations to aid my own navigation around the city. It is with the cathartic chance to walk his streets once more that we proudly bring you Lou Reed's Guide to New York City.

See also: The Voice's 1989 Review of Lou Reed's New York

More »

Voice Columnist Richard Nusser Was There When Lou Reed Wrote "Sunday Morning"

vusunday560.jpg
The last time Richard Nusser saw Lou Reed was in 1996 at the 30th anniversary party for Max's Kansas City, the venue where Reed played his last shows with the Velvet Underground.

Reed didn't notice Nusser over in the corner when he walked in, surrounded by a throng of admirers, and started signing autographs. A couple of glasses of wine later, Nusser worked up the nerve to approach him.

See also: Magic and Loss: On the Death of Lou Reed

More »

Lou Reed's Best Non-Musical Moments

loureedmanalive560.jpg
Wikipedia commons
A lot's been said over the last couple of days about Lou Reed, his body of work, the city he embodied. What hasn't been written about all that much is the strange side streets Lou sometimes took during his career. Let's visit a few of those.

See also: The Voice's 1967 Review of Velvet Underground's Debut Album



More »

The Voice's 1989 Review of Lou Reed's New York

tom_carson_reed_new_york_review_1989.jpg
The Lou Reed on 1989's New York is a different animal than the one we'd previously come to know. He's kicked drugs. He's explicitly political. "The archetypal Lou Reed song makes you feel compassion for somebody you never understood and never expected to feel compassion for," Voice scribe Tom Carson wrote of the album in his review. But this time around, a curve ball: Reed's trying to make you feel compassion for people, Carson theorizes, he's not even met. It's a beautiful, complex album full of Reed relenting to the power of the riff, trying, perhaps, to be as big as the album's title implies. "If anybody can claim New York as a title, it's Lou," Carson writes.

"I like the record better every time I play it, and I play it all the time."

The review in full is after the jump.

See also: The Voice's 1967 Review of Velvet Underground's Debut Album

More »

The Time Lou Reed Bought Exile's "Kiss You All Over" at a Times Square Record Store

exile_kiss560.jpg
I had only one real encounter with Lou in my life. But it was a pip. In 1978, when I was but a lowly record store clerk in Times Square, one unremarkable morning, Lou Reed strolled in.

See also: The Voice's 1967 Review of Velvet Underground's Debut Album

More »

The Voice's 1970 Review of Velvet Underground's Last Performances

liveatmaxs.jpg
Village Voice
From our July 2, 1970 issue.
Lou Reed left the Velvet Underground in August 1970, but before he did the band played two shows a night for nine weeks at Max's Kansas City on Park Avenue.

Their stint there was memorialized with an album, Live at Max's Kansas City, which was put out by Cotillion Records two years later.

Richard Nusser was there, chronicling the scene in his Riffs column in the Voice. The review from our July 2, 1970 issue after the jump.

See also: The Voice's 1967 Review of Velvet Underground's Debut Album

More »

Magic and Loss: On the Death of Lou Reed

loureed560.jpg
Considering his college education, the time he spent studying with poet Delmore Schwarz, his impressive erudition, ironically, Lou Reed may be remembered for those three little rock and roll words, sha la la. Not shotgunned out like Van Morrison, who's been known to shout them, in order to limn release and liberation. But, in Lou's case, used ironically, sarcastically. Like when they're muttered by that stoned, well-meaning sleazebag in Lou's masterpiece, Street Hassle. No one in Rock history, had so many believably wrecked, ruined people populating their songs, saying so many sad, shameful, utterly misguided stuff as did Lou Reed, who died yesterday at age 71.

See also: The Voice's 1972 Review of Lou Reed's First Solo Performance

More »

The Voice's 1973 Review of Lou Reed's First Solo Performance

reed_tully_ad_full.jpg
Village Voice's full-page ad for Lou Reed's first-ever solo concert, at Alice Tully Hall, January 27, 1973, three months after the release of Transformer
From Richard Nusser's Riffs column comes this review of Lou Reed's first ever solo performance: "Saturday night Reed made his solo debut at Alice Tully Hall and reaffirmed the growing belief that he is a remarkable writer and one of the most gifted artists of our generation."

The review in full from our February 1, 1973, issue after the jump.

More »

The Voice's 1967 Review of Velvet Underground's Debut Album

vunicocover560.jpg
They were an "important group" capable of being "pretentious to the point of misery." "This album has some major work behind that erect banana on the cover." Sounds pretty spot on.

Richard Goldstein's review in full from our April 13, 1967, issue is after the jump.


See also: The Voice's 1972 Review of Lou Reed's First Solo Performance

More »

New Yorkers Remember Lou Reed

louflowers.jpg
Flowers for Lou outside the Chelsea Hotel yesterday
When news broke yesterday afternoon of Lou Reed's passing, the inevitable torrent of Tweets followed shortly thereafter. It's now a common part of the "famous person dead" cycle, folks far and wide remembering their first encounter with the recently deceased's work in 140 characters snippets. But this was different. Especially here in New York City, where he was king, we started noticing many of the tweets had a personal strain: people in NYC were telling tales of running into him here -- outside Veselka, at a bar playing pool, sitting next to him at a show. What's more, many were tweeting about Lou and Velvet Underground's music being the reason they decided to move here to begin with. They used his lyrics as a road map of sorts to navigate the big, bad city. In total, it's a moving tribute to a man and the city he embodied.

See also: Lou Reed's Last Great Album

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...