Lou Reed’s liver transplant has gone well, according to his wife, musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson.
The 71-year-old rock guitarist, vocalist, and former Velvet Underground frontman recently received a liver transplant at a Cleveland hospital.
Reed, the “Walk on the Wild Side” soloist, was in a very bad way before the surgery according to Anderson but is in recovery. “It’s as serious as it gets. He was dying. You don’t get it for fun.” Reed cancelled several concert dates, including Coachella, in April without a specific explanation at the time other than a vague reference to unavoidable complications.
Added Anderson: “I don’t think he’ll ever totally recover from this, but he’ll certainly be back to doing [things] in a few months. He’s already working and doing tai chi. I’m very happy. It’s a new life for him.”
Reed has acknowledged his issues with alcohol and drugs in the past and even wrote a song for The Velvent Underground called “Heroin.” He also once said that “I take drugs just because, in the 20th century, in a technological age living in the city, there are certain drugs you have to take just to keep yourself normal like a caveman, just to bring yourself up or down. But to attain equilibrium you need to take certain drugs. They don’t get you high even, they just get you normal.”
Anderson and Reed live in New York, but the surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic instead because of the “dysfunctional” condition of medical care facilities in the Empire State, Anderson explained, noting that have the Cleveland Clinic has “the best results for heart, liver and kidney transplants.”
Among his many musical collaborations, Reed teamed up with Metallica for a 2011 album.
On his website, Lou Reed posted a message that said in part “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics, and chemistry … I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future.”
[Image credit: Danny Norton]