Today, Lou Reed would have turned 75. The Velvet Underground & Nico, Reed’s first great contribution to the world, celebrates its 50th anniversary next week. And today, the New York Public Library announces that it will display all of Lou Reed’s archives — paperwork, photos, writings, correspondence with people like Martin Scorsese and Vaclav Havel, and over 600 hours of recordings.
Talking to The New York Times, Reed’s widow Laurie Anderson, who made the decision to let the NYPL handle the archives, says, “I really didn’t want this to disappear into an archive for only people who have white gloves. I wanted people to see the whole picture… I just love that somebody who is so loud is in the New York Public Library.” Meanwhile, Jonathan Hiam, curator of the library’s American music and recorded sound collection, says that the archive is “a big statement that we think that this music, popular music, is as important as anything else we’re collecting.”
The archive has already revealed one big thing that I didn’t know: In 1993, Scorsese tried to make a Lou Reed biopic with Johnny Depp in the lead role. In that Times article, we see a letter from Scorsese to Reed, urging Reed to meet with Depp. That could’ve been an amazing movie.