March 3, 2017

Lou Reed’s archive is like you: it wants to hang out at the New York Public Library


Very good news came yesterday to all who love awesomeness, noble public institutions, and rock-and-roll-animalism in its many furious forms: Sarah Larson reports for the New Yorker that a huge archive of materials owned by Velvet Undergound frontman, gentle ruffian, and Last Interview series participant Lou Reed will be making its way to the New York Public Library.

Larson’s piece is highly recommended. Here’s some basic info on the collection and upcoming events for NYC Louophiles:

The collection is vast and wonderful — around three hundred linear feet of paper records, electronic records, and photographs; some thirty-six hundred audio recordings; and some thirteen hundred video recordings. The first group, papers and artifacts, is currently being catalogued at the Library Services Center, in Long Island City; recordings and video will follow. The materials span from Reed’s high-school band to the Velvet Underground to his final performances, in 2013. Today, at every hour on the hour, Reed recordings will play in the library’s café; for the next two weeks, collection highlights will be on display; on March 13th, there will be a performance of “The Raven” and Reed’s poetry, and on March 15th, there will be a performance of Drones — glorious feedback made with Reed’s amps and guitars.

Please note, though, that the piece ran yesterday (which would’ve been Lou’s seventy-fifth birthday) so those hourly café recordings may sound great, but—sorry, Charlie—you missed ’em. But right now it’s a perfect day to catch the collection highlights.


Today and Monday, MobyLives is on semi-hiatus — we’ll be posting some good stuff, but our regular writers have the days off. Don’t worry, though — we still love you, and will resume our usual activities on Tuesday.