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‘Definitive’ Lou Reed Biography to Focus on His Love of New York

lou reed, will hermes, biography

In the months since Lou Reed’s death, many words have been written about the late icon. Robert Christgau bid farewell, Dave Hickey lamented the loss of “the master of the mundane and the malicious,” and Laurie Anderson wrote two separate heartbreaking tributes, just to name a few. Soon, though, there will be a full-fledged biography of the Velvet Underground co-founder, authored by music journalist Will Hermes.

The New York Times reports that the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux has signed a deal with Hermes to write the book Lou: A New York Life. In an email interview, Hermes said he plans to write “a full, definitive biography.” Regarding the project’s still-tentative subtitle, the writer explained that NYC would “figure prominently” in the book, “because, how could it not? Reed loved the city deeply, based his adult life here, rooted much of his work here and was a huge figure in our cultural life. I think we have yet to fully measure the loss. He was one of the greatest artists of our generation.”

Farrar, Straus and Giroux published Hermes’ previous book, 2011’s Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York City That Changed Music Forever, an in-depth examination of New York’s mid-’70s music scene, including punk, hip-hop, disco, and salsa. Hermes has also written for SPIN in the past.

For a detailed look at Lou Reed’s legacy, check out SPIN’s coverage on the fallen legend:

Goodbye, Lou Reed: New Yorkers Lovingly Celebrate His Life and Music
Lou Reed, R.I.P.: Hear His Legacy in 15 Tracks
Lou Reed: A Critical Discography
The SPIN Interview: Lou Reed
Lou Reed’s New York City: The Velvets’ Stomping Grounds, Today
Five Great Rap Songs That Sample Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground
Toesucker Blues: Robert Christgau’s Farewell Salute to Lou Reed
Dave Hickey on Lou Reed: ‘We Have Lost the Master of the Mundane and the Malicious’
The Little Giant: John Cameron Mitchell Remembers His Neighbor, Lou Reed
The Top 100 Alternative Albums of the 1960s