Lou Reed had a liver transplant a few months ago. He’s doing OK apparently. [Not so, he died 27/10/13, I typed this on 26/10/13]
He got Hepatitis C in the 1960s probably from a shared needle. John Cale later developed Hepatitis C, most likely as a result of sharing the same needle with Lou. I presume that Lou’s liver failure was due to that past infection more than the years of booze that were to follow.
In his biography, Cale described a treatment he received in the 1970s which made him feel unwell and he became incredibly miserable and mean, twisted and unkind. I head that Lou later had the same treatment. I dread to think what Lou became like. Lou is not known for his happy go lucky charm.
I really love the Velvet Underground. So much that I forgive Lou Reed his chronic ego and miserablism. I really love his solo albums too. Mostly that is. Some are a bit shit. But Lou can do anything as far as I’m concerned. Some lucky fella is now dead but has kept Lou alive by donating his liver. Look, I’m not keen on car crashes myself, but if a 10 tonne truck crashes into us… to become a donor to an iconic musician makes the thought of it a bit nicer.
I didn’t used to carry a donor card but hey, now I’m in. For who knows, Iggy might need some bits of me. Failing that, what the hell, any of you lot can have them.
PS VoxBox George is looking for spare parts for his knee.
Other musical organ beneficiaries:
Billy Preston, (Funk musician and Beatle’s keyboardist) – Kidney transplant (ironically he had a 1970 album called Organ Transplant)
Jack Bruce, (Cream bassist) –Liver transplant
Freddy Fender (Rock and Roll musician) -Liver transplant
John Phillips (Mama’s and Papas) -Lung transplant
David Crosby (Byrds, CSNY) -Liver transplant. Paid for by Phil Collins!
Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead bassist) -Liver transplant
[Lou has been a fantastic inspiration to me over the years. My love of music owes a lot to hearing The Velvet Underground when I was 16 years old. I’ll try write a bit about that later. Right now, I’m popping out for a beer and then going upstairs to listen to some records]