Lou Reed Undergoes Liver Transplant
Walk On The Wild Side singer Lou Reed has had a life-saving liver transplant, his wife has revealed.
The veteran American rock icon had the surgery in Cleveland, Ohio, early in April, Laurie Anderson, Reed's partner of 21 years, said in an interview.
Anderson said the 71-year-old, whose past drink and drug problems are well documented, "was dying" before the surgery.
Avante garde musician and performance artist Anderson told The Times that the surgery was "a new life" for her former Velvet Underground star husband.
The surgery explains Reed's decision to cancel five concert dates in April, including performances at the Coachella Festival in California.
The couple, who live in New York, chose Cleveland for the surgery because they had more faith in the clinic there than in the "dysfunctional" hospitals in their home city.
"The Cleveland clinic is massive: they have the best results for heart, liver and kidney transplants," she told The Times.
"Whenever I get discouraged about how stupid technology is and how greedy Americans are, I go to the Cleveland clinic because the people there are very kind and smart."
She said the liver began working immediately, adding: "Every week it gets better."
But, she said: "I don't think he will ever totally recover from this, but he will 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 co-founded the influential 1960s group The Velvet Underground, whose songs included Heroin and I'm Waiting For The Man.
His 1972 solo album Transformer, considered one of the greatest rock albums by many, spawned the much-covered hits Walk On The Wild Side and Perfect Day.
Anderson, who married Reed five years ago, is set to perform her latest work, Landfall, in London at the end of June with the string ensemble Kronos Quartet.
She is best known in the UK for her 1981 chart number two O Superman.