The author behind a new Lou Reed biography has defended himself after making allegations that Reed was abusive towards his ex-wife.
The book, titled Notes From The Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed, explores the late Velvet Underground frontman’s alleged history of domestic abuse.
Author Howard Sounes, who has previously penned books on Bob Dylan and Amy Winehouse, describes Reed as a “monster” based on interviews with 140 of the musician’s friends, peers and associates about his life.
Sounes has now told Classic Rock magazine: “I think, when he died, the obituaries were too kind because he was a person that people held dear. We can see that, at times, he was a very nasty man.”
“People are complicated, Lou Reed was complicated – more than most. People say he was a ‘prick,’ an ‘alcoholic,’ a ‘wifebeater.’ He made racist remarks, as a lot of people did at the time. You can list his faults, but he was also a very great artist.”
“You have to bear in mind that he had a history of mental illness and that he was very mixed up about his sexuality. When he became famous he created this character that dressed in black and wore sunglasses, but that’s not who he was.”
“He said, ‘I’m Lou Reed – fuck you.’ That’s how he tried to defend himself.”
Sounes added: “If you read the whole book, you will find a nuanced portrait of the man. That’s the purpose of the book and it came about after two years of hard work.”