Victor Bockris Transformer

ISBN 13: 9780306807527

Transformer

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9780306807527: Transformer

As cofounder of the Velvet Underground -- regarded as one of the most significant groups of the 1960s -- and solo artist, Lou Reed has influenced a wide range of rock musicians, from David Bowie to the Sex Pistols, from Patti Smith to U2. His innovative skill as a singer and songwriter of over 250 songs, including "Heroin" and "Walk on the Wild Side", and his multiple musical transformations during a twenty-year career have thrust Reed into the forefront of alternative rock, from garage to glitter, punk, disco, and rap.Based on exclusive interviews with Reed and his friends, family, and associates, and including incisive portraits of John Cale, Andy Warhol, Nico, David Bowie, and others, Transformer offers an uncompromising and compelling view of a true rock 'n' roll chameleon.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Bockris, biographer of William S. Burroughs and Andy Warhol, presents a detailed portrait of former Velvet Underground frontman Reed. Born in 1942, the only son and eldest child of a Jewish middle-class family from Long Island, Reed still harbors resentment toward his parents for having raised him in a suburban lifestyle, according to Bockris. An "outsider" fueled by a desire to belong and to control, the singer developed, then destroyed, relationships with his mentor Warhol, former bandmate John Cale and glam-rock superstar David Bowie. A bisexual and former speed addict, Reed is accredited to be the godfather of punk. Though the author relies on too many cliched phrases, he provides insight into the private life that led Reed to create many of rock's memorable songs, including "Heroin" and "Walk on the Wild Side." As a bonus, Bockris concludes with a 1979 episode in New York City when he introduced Reed to Burroughs, an amusing anecdote in which the writer assured the rocker that "it is not very often that a writer will have to actually make it with his publisher in order to get published."
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Although a scant commercial success, the Velvet Underground was, except for the Beatles, probably the most influential 1960s rock band. Unlike the individual Beatles, Velvets leader Lou Reed has remained artistically credible ever since the band broke up, and his recent albums are among his strongest. Chronicling Reed, Bockris evokes the Velvets' downtown-NYC milieu, detailing the pansexual and pharmaceutical hijinks that characterized their music and their lives. Indeed, even covering the period after Reed straightened out and adopted a rigorous work ethic, Bockris digs up intriguing gossip, such as Reed's current affair with performance artist Laurie Anderson. Although it fails to do justice to Reed's dark, compelling music, Bockris' occasionally wretched prose somehow suits Reed's prurience-arousing private life ("Lou had succeeded in bringing [singer Nico] to her once-proud knees" ). Fans will find plenty here to inform their view of the many faces Reed has presented the public during the past 30 years. Gordon Flagg

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