No official reason was given when Lou Reed canceled his performances at Coachella and three other California concerts this spring, but now we know why: Reed recently underwent a liver transplant that was necessary to save his life, his wife Laurie Anderson tells The Times of London in a story published Saturday (via Consequence of Sound).
Anderson tells the newspaper:
“I’ve been spending a lot of time in Cleveland (Ohio) these past few weeks… My husband had a big surgery, which went very well. … A liver transplant. It’s as serious as it gets. He was dying. You don’t get it for fun. … 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 t’ai chi. I’m very happy. It’s a new life for him.”
Reed, 71, made a public appearance March 4, surprising fans at an event celebrating his 1972 album Transformer in New York. Then, on March 26, he canceled his Coachella performances and the Califonria concerts that had been scheduled around his appearances at the April festival.
UPDATE 6/1/13: Lou Reed this morning released a statement via his Facebook page:
A MESSAGE FROM LOU REED
I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger and stronger than stronger than ever. My Chen Taiji and health regimen has served me well all of these years, thanks to Master Ren Guang-yi. 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.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- ‘120 Minutes’ Rewind: Lou Reed hosts early episode, interviews Suzanne Vega — 1986
- Lou Reed records album with Metallica: ‘Berlin’ meets ‘Master of Puppets’
- Lou Reed reissues ‘Metal Machine Music,’ plots ‘A Night of Deep Noise’ European tour