Dirty Blvd.

Dirty Blvd.
Dirty Blvd.

Dirty Blvd.

The Life and Music of Lou Reed
By Aidan Levy


448 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $18.99 (US $18.99) (CA $25.99)

ISBN 9781613737361

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Oct 2016)


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A tremendously insightful biography of the man who helmed the Velvet Underground and single-handedly created alternative rock
This book covers not only the highlights of Reed’s career, but explores lesser-known facets of his work, such as his first recordings with doo-wop group the Jades, his key literary influences, the impact of Judaism upon his work, and his engagement with the LGBT movement. Drawing from original interviews with many of his artistic collaborators, friends, and romantic partners, as well as from archival material, concert footage, and unreleased bootlegs of live performances, Dirty Blvd. exposes the man behind the myth, the notoriously uncompromising rock poet who wrote songs that transcended their genre and established himself as one of the most influential and enigmatic American artists of the past half century.


"Reading Aidan Levy’s Dirty Blvd. is like rolling down lower Broadway after a tickertape parade, a nocturne for Lou Reed piled high with twinkling treasures, dark skeins of insight, and drifts of American excess. It’s a night of a thousand eyes, a book of deep focus, peering with the rapt intent of a biography and the empathy of a memoir. Born of Jewish parents who hoped to assimilate, Lou was a man who could not.  From shock treatment he lunged into shock-rock, singing and living like a rat poet caught in a trap. Levy finds it all on this boulevard, searching for Lou’s art with his own heart where it clearly still lives and breathes. And if, as Lou’s life-mate said with his parting, we die a final death the last time someone utters our name, then Levy has done his part to keep that name forever on our lips. A startling, beautiful and defiant literary debut. Rock this book!"  —Stephen Molton, author, screenwriter, producer and professor.  His books include the novel, Brave Talk, and Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, the Castros, and the Politics of Murder, co-written with Gus Russo.

"Lou Reed was much more than 'Walk on the Wild Side' and glam rock. He was the voice of the disaffected and the disenchanted, the scourge of comfort and convention, the enfant terrible of literary rock, and, very often, one of the great tender-hearted poets of New York City. Aidan Levy shines a light into unexamined corners of this singular life and enlarges our sense of his subject's spiky unforgettable character." —Peter Blauner, bestselling author of Slipping into Darkness and Slow Motion Riot

“A valuable study of Reed, further cementing his totemic influence as the high priest of art rock.” —Kirkus Reviews 

“this skillfully written and respectful biography takes us through Reed’s life and career. […] Levy has produced an informative and insightful look at a rock star and songwriter whose work always cut a little deeper than that of his peers.” —Booklist

 “Levy does a splendid job debunking the myths surrounding the musician…[…] this study is about as close to a must-read book on Reed as one can get.” —Library Journal

Author Biography

Aidan Levy has written for the the Daily Forward, JazzTimes, the New York Times, and the Village Voice, among others. He plays baritone saxophone and clarinet in a professional swing-era big band. He lives in New York City.