While Lou Reed fans are celebrating the bard's birthday today, Epiphone Riviera fans should check out the new collection of unreleased poems, Do Angels Need Haircuts, which Reed composed in 1970 during the demise of the Velvet Underground. The collection features unreleased photography, an afterword by Reed's wife Laurie Anderson, and a foreword by poet Anne Waldman.  A 1971 poetry reading recorded in New York is also included. Also, check out the recent Lou Reed box set that covers the rocker/poet's work for RCA and Arista from 1972 to 1987 including his landmark albums Rock and Roll Animal, Coney Island Baby, and Transformer, which was produced by Reed's the late David Bowie and featured the smash hit, "Walk On the Wild Side." 

Reed's albums for Arista are among some of his best work including Growing Up in Public and The Blue Mask which were made with jazz guitarist Robert Quine. Reed's main guitar during the Transformer years was an Epiphone Riviera which Reed also used during the sessions for Metal Machine Music, one of the most infamous albums of his career--or for that matter-- rock 'n' roll. Look for more Lou Reed surprises next month for Record Store Day. And if you can find this rare bird, the Ltd. Ed. Elitist "1966" Riviera Outfit --which quickly sold out of its limited run in 2015, will get you closer to "1966" (the year Lou and John Cale formed the Velvet Underground) than a real-life time machine. Made in Japan with USA pickups and electronics, it features Gibson USA Mini-humbuckers, Gotoh® "Deluxe" Machine Heads and Tailpiece, finished in Nitrocellulose Lacquer, and comes ready to rock in a 60s style hard case.  Happy Birthday, Lou.