A new book about iconic Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed portrays him as a man who used racist and anti-semitic slurs to describe his fellow musicians, including Bob Dylan - despite being of Jewish faith himself.
According to Howard Sounes' new book 'Notes from the Velvet Underground', the star - who died in 2013 aged 71 - was also abusive to the women in his life.
An excerpt from the book - via Uproxx - reads: "Reed was well-known for his outrageous public statements—he once told a journalist: “I don’t like n—-rs like Donna Summer.” In private he was just as offensive; one old friend told Sounes that he jealously described Bob Dylan as a “pretentious kike.”
Sounes also claims that several women - including Reed's first wife Bettye Kronstad - was abused by the star. That allegation is detailed in a quote by Sounes below:
"Bettye Kronstad, who married Reed in 1973, described life on tour with the tempestuous rock star. “He would, like, pin you up against a wall,” she said. “Tussle you. Hit you… shake you… And then one time he actually gave me a black eye."
"Allan Hyman, an old school friend, said Reed had even been happy to strike a girlfriend while having dinner with him and his wife. “She would say something. He’d get pissed off at what she said and smash her around the back of the head. [My wife said,] ‘Lou, if you continue to hit her, you have to leave.’ And then he smacks her in the back of the head. So she said, ‘Get out!’ ”
The author said that the claims all added up to Reed being an abusive misogynist. “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.”