The late Velvet Underground frontman also allegedly called Bob Dylan a “pretentious kike.”
Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed is a new biography from author Howard Sounes. The book details Lou Reed’s legendary musical career as well as his darker moments. In particular, the Notes from the Velvet Underground sheds light on Reed’s dark history of violence against women.
As reported by The Daily Beast, Sounes’ claims stem from over 140 interviews with various Reed associates, including one of his former wives, Bettye Kronstad. She described Reed as follows: “He would, like, pin you up against a wall. Tussle you. Hit you… shake you… And then one time he actually gave me a black eye.”
An old school-friend named Allan Hyman, meanwhile, recalls an incident in which Reed assaulted one of his girlfriends during dinner. “She would say something. He’d get pissed off at what she said and smash her around the back of the head.”
Sounes said there was a clear pattern of this sort of behaviour. “It’s quite clear that he was a misogynist and he did hit women. They weren’t all knocked about but he knocked his first wife about and he wrote repeatedly about violence towards women—he seemed absolutely obsessed with the subject.”
Following his own research for the book, Sounes came to a rather bleak conclusion regarding Reed’s character. “I loved his music, but you have to go where the story goes,” he told The Daily Beast. “The obituaries were a bit too kind, he was really a very unpleasant man. A monster really; I think truly the word monster is applicable.”
As well as the accusations of abuse, the book also details Reed’s turbulent relationship with David Bowie. Read the full feature over at The Daily Beast.