We’ll Probably Never Hear These Lost Lou Reed Recordings Inspired by Andy Warhol

A lost batch of unreleased recordings that Lou Reed made in 1975 — a dozen tracks that were inspired by a book written by one-time Velvet Underground manager Andy Warhol — have been discovered in the pop artist’s personal archives.

The New York Times reports that Cornell University music professor Judith A. Peraino unearthed the cassette tape two years ago in the archives of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and, upon listening it, heard Reed workshopping songs based on Warhol’s writings in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again.

A similar tape — featuring snippets of Reed’s Warhol-inspired recordings dubbed over a copy of Eagles’ One of These Nights — was also included among the New York Public Library’s Reed archives, but the provenance of the music was unknown until the discovery of the Warhol tape.

“This tape is Lou Reed working out what he does best, which is figuring out the character of his song, telling the stories, being as brutally honest as he is in many of his writings,” Peraino, who penned an article about the tape for The Journal of Musicology, told the New York Times.

However, due to the conflicting rights involved in the recordings — the combination of Reed’s music and Warhol’s words, plus the Warhol archives’ possession of the lone physical copy, leave ownership of the work up for debate — it is unlikely the tape will ever see commercial release. Instead, the cassette will remain in the possession of the Andy Warhol Museum, which will only allow professional scholars to lay ears on Reed’s The Philosophy of Andy Warhol recordings.

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