Comic Book Legends Revealed #445
COMIC LEGEND: John Cale and Lou Reed used to dress up as Batman and Robin for kid’s birthday parties before the Velvet Underground hit it big(ger).
STATUS: Appears to be False
Sadly, we lost one of the great rock and roll singer/songwriters recently when Lou Reed passed away (the artists of the Line it is Drawn did a fine tribute to him last week). An interesting thing about Lou Reed’s amazing first rock band, the Velvet Underground, was that they were not particularly successful at first, at least not commercially. There is a very famous quote by Brian Eno about the Velvet Underground that barely anyone bought their albums, but whoever did formed their own bands. That’s how influential they were to a whole generation of rock and roll bands.
But even THAT level of success (actually having an album professionally released) did not come about until Andy Warhol became fascinated with the group and became their manager in 1965 (their first album was recorded in 1966 but did not come out until 1967). In the early days of the group, when Reed formed the band with John Cale in 1964, they were not exactly a professional outfit. In fact, when they got their first paying gig ($75 for the group), their original drummer quit because he felt that taking money to play music was “selling out.”
So the group had to find other ways of making money until they hit it big(ger, at least).
One story is that Cale and Reed and dressed up as Batman and Robin at kid’s birthday parties!
The photo, sadly, appears to be a hoax. Here is the original use of the photo, from someone just sharing a photo of themselves from the 1980s. Thanks to reader Rodrigo for the head’s up!
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed related to rock and roll!
Is Ben Orr of the Cars related to famed letterer Tom Orzechowski?
On the next page, what was the secret countdown during the Death of Superman?