Lou Reed was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this weekend and the singer’s younger sister, Merrill Reed Weiner, set the record straight about the famous rocker and their family.
In an essay published in Medium magazine, Reed Weiner shared a plethora of family secrets with the hopes of providing “clarity and context” about her brother’s upbringing, which included allegations that her parents approved of him having electroshock therapy for purported psychological problems.
She told the magazine she “gave it to certain biographers and said, ‘Look, don’t misquote me now.’ I felt that depicting something as complicated as what actually happened in a cartoonish way, a sensationalized way, from lyrics and interpreting them as truth had reached a point with so many biographers circling around that I needed to make a statement. I was so enraged. There’s a book that came out by a guy named Jeremy Reed (Waiting For The Man: The Life and Career of Lou Reed) that says that my father beat my mother and a host of other things. It’s just so ludicrous, and for someone to be that facile in interpreting lyrics as truth is… I mean, do we take D.H. Lawrence and assume everything is authentic?”
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 19, 2015
Reed Wiener said her intentions for penning the essay about Lou Reed was to get the truth out.
“So I wrote it and then my son, the media savvy guy, said, ‘Mom, we can put it on the Internet.’ So I said, ‘Why not? Let’s set the record straight,’ and that’s what I endeavored to do and I feel like I did it. And I knew Lou always wanted me to do that.”
Weiner said the honor of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would have meant a great deal to brother Lou Reed.
“For him to be honored by his peers in this kind of way, I know how much it would have meant to him — not that he would have let you know it,” said Weiner. “He wouldn’t be smiling quite the way I am, for sure. I think he would be amused. I think he would be sardonic and I think he’d be secretly delighted, really, really delighted. [Music] meant the world to him, and I wish he were here to see it. It’s amazing for him to be recognized in this way.”
Patti Smith inducted Lou Reed into the Hall of Fame in a poignant speech.