This book examines the work of the first decade-and-a-half of Lou Reed as a solo artist. It would be easy to paint these years with a broad brush; with the ghost of The Velvet Underground in its aftermath slowly yet gradually gaining cultural influence, this slow-burning legacy would both tether and liberate its key participant. Between the years of 1972 and 1986, Lou Reed would seek, achieve, reject, lament, and once again pine for professional success while the excesses and extremities of a life lived in public wielded their own unruly impact.
While this book seeks to maintain its focus on the music first and foremost, with an artist like Lou Reed, it seems impossible for the personal to stay divorced from the product. We will see a tentative, crestfallen Lou begin to emerge from his parental Long Island, NY cocoon to test the waters for a solo career. There is worldwide stardom and success, then banishment, followed by the embracement and rejection of various commercial enterprises, to midlife revision and rejuvenation.
Multiple partners of influence, both professional and personal, would be accumulated and jettisoned, all leaving lasting traces. Lou did a lot in fourteen years, and it's only half of the story.