Bettye Kronstad | Regulator Bookshop | Page: Readings & Signings | Indy Week
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Bettye Kronstad 

When: Thu., Feb. 2, 7 p.m. 2017

Not many relationships that were meant to last begin with an unprovoked catcall and a firm slap on the rump, but Lou Reed operated under his own laws, and the relationship in question, with then-Columbia University student Bettye Kronstad, actually lasted for five years and even included marriage. Their time together aligned with a crucial period in Reed's life, straddling the fin de siècle Velvet Underground years; the period just after, when Reed flirted with giving up music and devoting himself to writing; and the couple's end after Transformer made Reed a star. It's Kronstad's proximity to Reed during that middle period, relegated to the margins in many grand biographies, that provides the freshest insight. Kronstad, a public school teacher and writer, doesn't flinch in giving us the dark side of the man who wrote one of his most touching ballads, "Perfect Day," about her, but her account is tempered by an intimate knowledge. In this remembrance, she confirms both the genius and the well-chronicled contradictions of her subject. —David Klein

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