Lou Reed’s Discobiography


This week in The New Yorker, Nick Flynn writes a poem about Lou Reed. There have also been some other great articles about Lou Reed.

“Discobiography” might sound like the title of a cheesy 70s memoir, but according to Erich Kuersten it’s the perfect name for the genre in which Lou Reed’s Great American Novel resides.

Did you know that Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground helped to spark the revolution that brought down communism? Matt Welch explains the story that involves an outraged Velvet Underground fan who wrote an open letter to the Czech dictator that sparked a movement.

Reed’s last chapter won’t make it onto the discobiography, but Reed’s wife wrote an essay published by Rolling Stone in the days following his death:

I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou’s as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love.

Dawn Pier is a developmental editor who blogs at the Rumpus, the travelogue Baja.com, and Dawn Revealed, a personal blog about her adventures surfing and living in Baja. She is working on a memoir about moving to Mexico to learn to surf and save a coral reef. More from this author →