Rock Musician. Founding member and lead vocalist of the seminal rock band The Velvet Underground. As a solo artist, Reed will be best remembered for his 1972 hit "A Walk on the Wild Side." Born Lewis Allen Reed, into a Jewish family, he was raised in Freeport, Long Island. Influenced by doo-wop music during his youth, he participated in a number of bands (playing guitar) while in high school. During this period, he underwent electric shock treatment therapy in an attempt to rid him of his bisexuality. He attended Syracuse University where he studied Poetry and Journalism and after graduation, he landed a job penning songs with Pickwick Records. In 1964 after a brief period as a solo performer, he formed a friendship with fellow musician John Cale and after recruiting Sterling Morrison and Angus MacLise later replaced by Maureen Tucker, the Velvet Underground (originally called The Primitives) was initiated. An association with pop artist Andy Warhol yielded the highly-regarded album "The Velvet Underground and Nico" (1967) which featured their classic compositions "Femme Fatale," "Venus in Furs" and "Heroin." Many believe this record along with the band's other contributions were the precursor to the "Punk Rock" genre. Other hits include "Sunday Morning" and "Sweet Jane." He went onto record several solo albums and remained an active performer later in life. Reed, as a member of the Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. During the year of his death, Reed suffered from declining health and was the recipient of a liver transplant in May of 2013.
Bio by: C.S.