Ask Lou
  • Lou Reed would like to give our wonderful visitors the chance to ask him questions directly so we've created this discussion to give you just that opportunity. Lou will answer select questions and post them here each week.
  • Do you still gain inspiration from New York City? Even after 13 years of Guiliani/Bloomberg?

    There are many things I'm inspired by in the city. This week we have seen Pinter, Shakespeare, a truly great French show at the Harvey Theater, a play at the Public- you get the idea. The opera the stage the music/performance clubs like Location One, The Stone. New York can't be beat. Not to mention the Galleries , museums...
  • I had a copy of some footage of yourself shot in Edinburgh was very happy to see my crudely edited version in your video section. Have you had chance to see it? Looking forward to your new songs!!

    No i haven't seen it nor do I know it's origins although probably You Tube. We've been trying to collate these a bit for you.

    RE: Lou Reeds Answer.

    Well so you know I made that film, I'm very proud and happy you put it on your website. I feel like I wasted my question to you and could have asked better ones. I always invite you to my thoretical tea party wth michel thomas leonard cohen and eddie izzard. I've always wanted to know the following. Do you really hate interviews? I'm always dissapointed to never hear from you on letterman. I'm Australian and have no way of hearing you on The Loft, it seems restricted to the USA. I'm sure you've heard this already but.... are you gonna work on another album? and finally what are your thoughts and how do you feel about fame and publicity?
  • hello Lou Reed, can you tell me about your early years playing guitar, witch composer/singer you liked, witch song your learned on guitar ? what was you're influences ?
    I would also like to know if you'd like to give "master classes" to young musicians ?

    Sorry for my probably not so good english..
    from Noel, Paris, France.
  • Hello Lou,

    A few years ago I saw a picture of you at the premiere of the movie 'The Hours'.
    It is one of my all time favorite movies, and I also love the score by Philip Glass the music gives an extra dimension to the movie, I think.

    I was wondering, did you like the movie?


    The movie was ok. I liked ed Harris. I liked the music more. as soundtracks go it was great.
  • Dear Lou,

    Thank you for posting the Laurie Anderson award on your website.

    Do you think art is a luxury?

    Mr. Infinity
  • Hey Lou,

    I was wondering if you would share some current thoughts on your late 70s/early 80s albums like The Bells, Street Hassle and Growing Up in Public as those albums tend to get overlooked most of all.


    I love The Bells- the track The Bells. I love Families from Growing Up. Streethassle is a great one. A good monologue for me to trip through. Personnel love- the guitar opening of "Shooting Star." this was another attempt at Binaural half of it was live and the other sung over it in the studio. If you have something that can throw the phase switch you will hear it closest to how I meant it...e never really got it right. Does the tech stuff turn you guys off?
  • Hey Lou,

    One time I met you and asked you to autograph my arm. I flew from Minneapolis to New York to try to get your signature tattooed on my arm but you said, "I don't sign flesh". Remember that? MAN, that was a bummer. I came home so friggin' broke. We stood in line at the Tower Records signing behind this super nice lady who had all kinds of vintage stuff. I remember you spoke to her for a few minutes while I stood there thinking, "Holy's Lou Reed. Weird!" I walked around NYC all day and went to the show at Town Hall that evening. Some rich lady in the seat next to me looked at my legs and said "Shorts in a theater? Well, I've never heard of that..." The show was awesome though.

    I came home with no money and no tattoo. And I wore shorts in a theatre which apparently is NOT COOL. My bad. It's cool though... You're still tough. Ecstasy is one of my favorite albums OF ALL TIME. Baton Rouge is the best. Your friend in shorts (with no tattoos),
    -matthew paul latterell

    No shorts in a theater- a rock show?!!! HHmmm. I don't like to sign arms tits dollar bills. I have my phobias too you know. Anyway we all have our little things.
  • Hello Lou,
    how are you?
    Is there a song you wish you hadn't wrote ?
    Or is there a song you wish you did write ?
    Bye !
    Kris, Holland

    I'd have loved to have written IDIOT WIND.
  • Hello Lou,

    will the "Berlin"-film directed by Julian Schnabel be screened during the "Berlinale 08" in Berlin? It would be so great.


    One would hope but as of now I don't know.
  • Dear mr Reed,

    What would you say is the best 'rock n roll' place to visit in New York City?

    Kind regards,

    Teun Vinken, The Netherlands.

    So many in Brooklyn...the Palace in Harlem...there will be a new one Midtown. the Bowery Ballroom; St Anns....
  • lou i have a friend that is a recovering drug addict / alcoholic with four months sober. he was named after you by
    his dad which is big fan of yours. i told my friend lou that i would find out weather or not
    you still did drugs and were you stand on the whole subject of addiction. since you seem
    to know a lot about it or at least it seem in your music. by the way I'm think about buying my first lou reed cd which one would you recommend.

    I haven't been near drugs for 30 years or so. Sobriety is a great gift. Better to be addicted to Martial Art or jogging.
    I would get The Raven or Ecstasy.
  • Dear Mr. Reed,
    Sometime in April of 2006 I attended the music festival, Coachella at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California. While there I walked passed a girl humming the melody to the song Sweet Jane to herself, as I passed I started to hum the melody too. I had heard this song before but I had no clue that it was by The Velvet Underground. Something about wandering around in the dark surrounded by sounds and people and then hearing this song stuck with me. I have since then researched The Velvet Underground every so often and learned how to play Sweet Jane. That story has nothing to do with this...

    What bands are you into now?
    Tristan Ramos

  • Hello,

    Is there comming a new album from the Berlin tour?? or a DVD? that would be.....marvellous!!
    Ow your Berlin concert in Belgium, was amazing!

    Have a nice day!

    So long!

    ANSWER: There is going to be a DVD of the Berlin show recorded at St Ann’s directed by Julian Schnabel with film projections by Lola Schnabel. It is amazingly good and perhaps the best rock/concert FILM ever made, No kidding. The sound is amazing and takes digital across the line into the land of the best that audio has to offer.
  • Well, I think I might have put my first question in the wrong spot..
    Since you seem to be answering them here.. I'll post a new, and less convoluted question in this thread..

    You have worked with many great and talented people. You are a hero to many, but presumably you too have heroes of your own.
    Have you ever met or worked with someone where you spent the whole time in your head saying "Oh crap! Im meeting/working with ____ !!" ?
    Also.. if I can be obtuse enough to slip in a second question.. do you ever peruse any of the fan run Lou Reed forums to hear what were all saying?
    ..and while were at it.. do you have any insight as to why Lou Reed fans are smarter, funnier, better looking and better in bed than other peoples fans?
    (bet you didnt know that tidbit!)
    p.s. eager for the Berlin DVD!!

    ANSWER: There are lots of things I don’t know but this knowledge makes me proud. I haven’t spied on a fan forum in years as sometimes they say some pretty mean things! For a fan no less.

    Well you get enough people together in any group and eventually you're going to get some sort of negativity. I think most of the commentary you will see from us fans is overwhelmingly positive and if it isnt I think it will tend to be critical as opposed to out-right mean. (although as iIsaid there are idiots in the world..) I suspect that we as a group are want to be fans with our eyes wide open and not slavering sycophants.. and I think that this is out of respect and not snobbery.
    Now, before I forget, I would like to say 'Thank You' for entering into this dialogue with us. It is VERY generous of you! Thank you for all of it!
  • Hello Lou, this is fantastic that you are taking questions from the seething masses! Did you really have a friend named George that you wrote "My Friend George" about? Was he a real guy, named George, and actually your friend? I gotta know!

    ANSWER: He was a real friend who is now dead and his name was not George. His father invented the clip on bow tie. George was for awhile the top Breaking and Entering felon in NYC .
  • Hi Lou, you've turned me on to many of my favorite writers like Selby, Schwartz, Chandler, i even read Nelson Algrens "walk on the wildside" (that was seriously going to be a musical?) and was wondering if there are any new authors/books you've found worth while?

    I love James Lee Burke. Black Cherry Blues. Let me think a bit.
  • Hi Lou, I was at the same showing you were of the recent Warhol documentary at Film Forum. I was wondering what you thought of it, if it did a good job of portraying the Andy that you knew so well. Also, I'm curious what Laurie and Salmon thought (I couldn't help noticing them, as you were sitting two rows behind me). I did notice that you left at the intermission half way through, right before they got to the part where you (and the VU) entered the story; was that because it would be a bit too uncomfortable to have a strange disembodied voice describing your own past to you? I can only imagine that I'd find such an experience pretty surreal...

    I just had to go do something. I thought Part 1 was really interesting. It’s interesting to have someone you know become an historical figure. More or less your satellite self.
  • Thank you for your answers Lou. It is cool to read!

  • What kind of emotions do you feel when you think about how much of "New York" still applies some 20 years later? Personally, I go through an absolute maelstorm of emotions when I listen to that album and I just wonder how you feel having created it.

    It is interesting what does and doen’t apply to the city now. Crime has gone down. It is not what it was. But the poor have little place to go in the new NYC, Is time for NYC Part 2?
  • Hi, why dont you take everything that makes you laft and do songs about it?
    or maybe "mystical" but way further than human myths and shadows,
    it shouldn't be that hard if you can keep the rythm... not that I wanna tell you what to do, just a little suggestion.

    every time you get a crappy audience, remember that there may be someone recording and uploading, then I'll be able to hear it...

    PS - I'm kinda "going away", if you know what I mean, Is there anything you want me to find out for you? nothing too hard 'cause I'm too lazy :p

    PS2 - What's with the font of the forum?

    PS3 - I like chocolate milk.
  • what do you think about Fernando Saunders last album, "I will break your fall"? what is your mate´s favorite song?

    I love any album made by someone I know. My emotions color my judgement. He loved Baton Rouge.
  • I enjoy your musics quite a lot and have had the good fortune to see two of your live shows in Dublin when you were over this side of the pond. Over the years, I know you have collaborated with various other artists such as the recent song with the Killers, and other non-album songs have appeared on releases like the Hooky Wooky CD single. Do you have any plans to release a collection of "featuring Lou Reed" and B side material, or perhaps collate them in a download?
  • Ehy Lou, I'm Aldo from southern Italy. First at all, exscuse me for my bad English.
    I have seen you live in Rome, in Bari and in Lisboa. I have grown up with your songs. The pure and simple way both to play the guitar and sing are in my heart. Lyrics are direct and immediate and ..... I'm shy to say that .... but sometimes they make me cry as a child !
    I don't know why...... it is something of magic I suppose.
    When can i will become your drum player?

    Thank you
  • Hi Lou,
    I'm the singer from a Palermo-based band, The Second Grace.
    I know this autumn you were in my town along with my favourite director (W.Wenders) shooting.
    I was on tour then, so I missed the chance to see two of my favourite artists ever at work, there, in my place...
    I was so sorry about that, I wish I could shake hands with you and talk for a while.
    What did you think about Palermo? Did you have the time to figure it out?
    Nobody ever understands me when I say it's one of the most inspiring places on earth.
    I still believe it.

    Fabrizio Cammarata

    I have never been in Palermo long enough to move beyond the beauty of the crypt. ‘All of Italy is beautiful.
  • Lou - I've always wanted to tell you this. In the 70s and early 80s when I was shooting dope, your music inspired me - even in that state if drama and pain, it reached me - even in the abyss. Now after 24 years sober, I'm still moved. Street Hassle may be one of the most poignant pieces I've ever had the pleasure of hearing; describing that world in ways that transcends words. Just wanted to say THANK YOU sincerely for "being there" in the depths and later, at the heights.
  • Hi Lou, i´m sure that you don´t remember this beacause it was a long time ago but i met you the sole time you played in Montevideo, you signed me a cd then at the hotel.

    Thru the years a lot of bands covered your songs, i would like to ask you, from all those covers, which one is you favourite and also, from all the songs you´ve written which one is your favourite and why.

    Also i want to ask you if you plan to do another south american tour sometime, we miss you around here.

    Good bye and take care, Rony from Uruguay.

    I love playing south America. I am always happy about covers. I loved one that was made od a song callws HANGIN ‘ROUND But I forget by who.
  • How's it going Lou?,

    Where is the new album? "You won't be young forever!"

    Alan. Ireland

    Hudson River wind Meditations
  • Lou...

    I don't know where to start. The first time I heard your voice, and your songs, I knew right then that this was a voice that would change my life forever. I guess that's what makes music timeless... I'm now 27, probably somewhat younger than most of your fans, but an admirer nonetheless. I started listening when I was in an "experimental" phase in my life's journeys, but kept on listening, and will keep on listening till the day I die. I now have a one year old son, and I'm hoping your music will speak to him the same way it did to me... he's already enjoying listening to your Transformer record with dad... he's a smart kid. I had hoped to meet you one day just to say thanks for everything, but even if I don't... Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I wish you the very best.

    By the way, your photography is amazing...


    From the bottom of my heart thank you.
  • Happy Christmass to everyone!!!
  • Hello Lou !
    Thanks for your time to respond to all of these questions.
    I also have one question. It's about your record Metal Machine Music. I am a big fan of that record ( besides all works you done which I like as well ) and I think it influenced many noise musicians to make their own noise in future. Just like myself. I also liked your new record Hudson River Wind Meditations, which inspired me a lot.
    Question is: How often do you have the time and chance to experiment with music and does it work for you still? Is it interesting now for you to play with other musicians, possibly in experimental field or within other genres you usually are not associated with ( say like free jazz or electronic music ), do you have the time, will and patience for such things?

    Thanks Lou for everything!


    I love playing with other musicians whatever their background as long as we communicate. I love electronics and I still love the guitar, I’m a musician after all and these days I enjoy playing with electronics guys who are into processing.
  • Washington DC misses you...

    69 live was the first record I ever bought with my own money! i still have wife says its unplayable..but i disagree. it plays through--- as long as-- i put a penny on the head of the stabilize. i see it as an asset. the penny is fine.
    should i find a new needle? a new player? a new record?....or a new wife? i really do love my wife but this is your site so... its your call.
    Thanks .....and hit a winter show in my home town------ The District of Columbia!!!


    I would love to hear the vinyl on a serious set up with good needle and separate power for the turntable maybe through some Linn or Wilson Watts and Puppies.
  • God, where does one begin to ask questions from an icon? I probably have about a million and a half questions to ask you.Being somewhat of a rock historian (who isn't over the age of 40 these days?) I'd be really interested to hear your perspective on the writing of the song Andy's Chest, which is an awesome song, and any funny stories you can relate on Warhol (far too often we hear the bad stuff, surely there were supreme bits of comedy in those early days that are hilarious to look back on now but maybe weren't so funny at the time). Or any funny stories about Mick Ronson and Bowie during those sessions. I sense you actually have a very strong sense of humor that many aren't fully aware of.

    Andy’s chest is about the wounds in his chest from being shot. Funny stories are for another place I think.
  • Where can I buy the LIVE version of 'Video Violence' you performed in 1986 for the Amnesty International event at the Meadowlands in Jersey??

    thnx, and
    much love in 2008

    Check youtube
  • Hi Lou... it's Lukas From Poland Gdansk,I would like to ask You abaut the rumors abaut your performance in Poland Wroclaw last year, You were ivited to perform on our theatre festival, and finally Antony will You come to sing for us , we still wait for You!!!

    love and peace!
    Lukas slawinski

    I have a Tai Chi training brother in Poland. He does a jazz show on radio.
  • Dear Lou
    Do you think there's any chance of you coming to Leeds to brighten our northern lives a little in 2008?
    jane x
  • Dear Lou,

    Outside of New York, what do you think the present state and importance of "The Arts" are in America? Art-house theaters are closing, poetry doesn't hold the place of prominence it once did, musicians are struggling (as are most other artists i.e. writers strike) with new media. Intellectuals who once sat on talk shows seem to be in hiding. Etc.

    We seem to be at some sort of crossroads.

    Skip Shea

    There are still a gazillion new musicians here in nyc. The music never stops you just have to look for it.
  • Hullo there, Lou.

    I discovered rock music when I was four-- thanks to my dad for introducing me to Green Day and all their influences. I'm 18 now, and have been trying to get as many people as possible into great music like yours. I'm realising it's very difficult to do, yet there are still so many people around my age that are fans of your music and other musicians that you wouldn't expect our age group would get into.

    I wanted to know how you feel about the ignorace of some people towards music such as yours, and those people my age that do get into it.

    Thank yee,
    Shannon (:

    Can’t win ‘em all.
  • hi lou!
    1. Do you know John Frusciante and/or his music?
    if yes: what do you think about him?
    if not, i can only recommend his music! He is a big fan of you!

    2. What would you say is the most important thing about being a good songwriter?

    thank you and greetings from germany,

    He’s a terrific guitar player. Songwriter being honest is good.
  • Dear Lou,
    I read you would love to have written Idiot Wind. I have noticed that you don't seem to cover other people's songs. The only cover I heard that you have done is Little Queenie when you were in the Velvet Underground.
    What are your reasons for rarely(or never) covering other people's work?
    Thanks, Keith

    I do cover other peoples songs live in medleys.
  • Lou, can I have a cuddle please?

    Rachael xxx

    Ps. I saw you in Manchester last June. I was particularly down that day because of anxiety and seeing you perform Berlin left me with the feeling that the world is beautiful after all.

    I’m glad Berlin lifted you.
  • Hi Lou.
    I'm not ashamed to admit I am a big fan and you're one of the famous people I say I would like to have dinner with, yet I am having a hard time thinking of a question worthy of you. I have a daughter named Teresa who is 18 months old. Someday I will share my love of your work with her and I'm sure she'll ask me why I like your music. Why do I like your music, Lou? Why do the words you sing and the notes you string together draw me in and make me think about doing something with my life? And I have done things with my life, I have. I'm a musician, like you, just not as accomplished yet. I've done many other things as well, like be a parent and husband, a teacher and advocate for children, women, and men. Since you are you and I am me, what you would you like to ask me?

    Give Teresa a kiss
  • Lou,

    For you, is the musical journey the ultimate search for beauty, or is that part left up to the listeners?


    Music is the transcendent highway
  • Dear Mr Reed.

    I have been listening to your pieces of art for quite some time now, well, not as long as most of the 50-year-old rockers here, I suppose, but I listened to it for 1/5 of my life, since I am 15 now. I was a fan at 12 and at 13, you were my favorite artist, Berlin was my favorite album. I can asure you that this has changed me. Friends of my parents, also fans, were convinced that I didn't understand your lyrics, but I certainly did.
    Now here comes my question: do you realise that your songs have a great influence on many lifes? And do you really care? Do you somehow feel responsible for that? And is that the main reason why you make music, to move people, and to make a change?

    Thank you, A.

    I make music because I enjoy it- I like doing it. I have always wanted to lyrically raise the level of the rock song.
  • The only question I need answered in life is this:

    "What's the mark of a great dancer?"

    I'll die happily knowing just that.


    Just look at bill t. jones
  • Dear Looouuuu,
    Can you help me:
    I´d like to know the name of intrumental song which is played in DVD "Rock an roll Heart" in chapter 3 when you and James Atlas talk about Delmore Schwartz and reappers in chapter 30 when you speech about Robert Wilson (St. Mark´s poetry project).

    I would appreciate an answer.

    Sorry for my english

    Marcos David from Sao Paulo

    Chooser and the Chosen One
  • Is there any chance that we will see the Berlin album re-released in its original uncut form for the upcoming 35th anniversary of its release?

    There will be a dvd and cd of the St Ann’s show that was filmed released in the spring.
  • Dear Lou--

    I'm working on a recap for film site The Agony Booth. The premise of The Agony Booth is that the reviewer selects a particularly terrible or cheesy film and then deconstructs it humorously. I'm contributing a recap (freelance), and for my film I've chosen "Factory Girl."

    I realize that this is a bit of a long shot, but, particularly as you were one of the first people to out the film as exploitative rot, I wondered if you'd like to contribute any kind of quotation that could be incorporated into the recap. Anything at all would be great; I'll be happy to write around it.

    On a side note, "Sunday Morning" and "Venus In Furs" are two truly, truly wonderful songs. Thanks for helping commit them to tape. I really enjoy them.

    Zac Smith.

    Factory Girl is disgusting
  • Hello Lou,

    My family and I very much enjoy your marvelously soulful singing on "What a Wonderful World" on Dan Zanes' Night Time CD. As some might think a "family music" CD is an unexpected place to find Lou Reed, I'm curious about what led you to participate in this project, and were you happy with the result?

    I like Dan Zane and his project a lot.
  • Dear Mr. Lou Reed

    For years, your works have been among my most intimately cherished sources of beauty. I'm 28 and live in Timisoara, Romania.
    I am writing to you concerning a book that I've written two years ago. 'Lou Reed: New York 5 a.m.' consists in selected lyrics (33) of your songs along with their poetic translations in Romanian. These poetries are preceded by a 7 page presentation of your persona and an unpretentious glimpse at your aesthetics in writing. I would like to know if you would /could support me in obtaining the rights to publish this book on which I have assiduously worked, never losing confidence in its purpose.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mihai Negrutiu

    You should contact my office sisraynyc@sisterray .com
  • First off, Lou, I want to thank you for your music. Been a rabid Velvets fan for many years and found myself spinning your Coney Island Baby record just this morning. Not sure if you remember me, but about a year ago after you sat in on Laurie's Joe's Pub set I caught you backstage and said something to this effect: "It's been 40 years, Lou, but no one--NO ONE--has topped White Light/White Heat."

    My question is this:

    When do you intend to retreat to Wyoming to raise your watermelons?

    When the give me a ranch

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!