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Transformed Man

Transformed Man

Who: Lou Reed
Where: Civic Theatre
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Friday September 12, 2003

EVEN at 61 years of age, LOU REED remains a leading i luence in the world of alternative rock.

His music, both old and new, continue to inspire and in 2003 Reed has released two albums.

One is a theme album inspired by the work of EDGAR ALLAN POE titled THE RAVEN and offers a collection of songs and spoken word pieces.

The second is a retrospective that spans his days with the VELVET UNDERGROUND and his solo years, suitably titled NYC MAN THE ULTIMATE LOU REED COLLECTION.

``I thought it (the title) was representative.

That's what I do,'' Reed said.

``Somebody else can say they're the Los Angeles man or the London or Cairo or Amsterdam man but I lay my claim here.

``I've been doing this for a long time.

'' In fact, Reed has been been doing it for more than 30 years.

Born and bred in New York, Reed recorded his first track titled SO BLUE at the age of 14.

But his parents were unapproving of his love for rock'n'roll and were so upset that they persuaded him to have electric shock therapy.

Reed went on to study English literature at SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY and discovered a love of poetry before music took over his life.

He formed legendary band the Velvet Underground in the mid-1960s.

It was with the band that Reed established a new kind of experimental rock that glamorised drugs and spoke of the underside of society.

He wrote from his own life experiences, a life that has seen him battle heroin and alcohol and share a close relationship with ANDY WARHOL.

Following the Velvet Underground's split in 1970, Reed pursued a solo career and released the album TRANSFORMER in 1973.

Produced by DAVID BOWIE, the album is now considered a masterpiece of modern music and includes the hit WALK ON THE WILD SIDE.

The track, which discusses transsexuality, is one of 31 songs from Reed's solo career and his days with the Velvet Underground featured on NYC Man.

The album is a new collection that has been personally selected and sequenced by Reed who was approached to undertake the project by his record label.

``They got in touch with me and said, ``We would like to do this and we would like you to be a part of it''.

``I didn't want to be paid.

I just wanted to be in charge of the selections and the sound.

``I was interested in making them sound as good as I can because the original mixes really hold up because they are recorded on to tape.

'' The release coincides with Reed's world tour which will arrive in Australia next month and include his first show in Newcastle in 18 years.

The tour will be comparatively different to Reed's last Australian tour in 2000.

He will perform a stripped-down electric set and include tracks from The Raven as well as hits like SWEET JANE, DIRTY BOULEVARD, STREET HASSLE, SMALL TOWN, PERFECT DAY and more.

The show will also combine Reed's passion for tai chi with the addition of tai chi master REN GUANG-YI.

``Everybody does something, some people race cars, others collect stamps.

I find tai chi to be philosophically, aesthetically, physically and spiritually fascinating.

'' Reed will perform at CIVIC THEATRE NEWCASTLE on September 12.

Tickets are on sale on 4929-1977.

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