4. The first Farm Aid concert
Those who had an impression of Reed as aloof and detached were no doubt surprised to find him among the caring contributors of the first fundraiser for America's farmers. Reed performed four songs at the September 22, 1985, concert, and later returned to play bass behind Roy Orbison.
3. Songs for Drella
Following a 22-year estrangement, Reed reunited with former Velvets collaborator John Cale for a recorded memoriam to their late friend and adviser Andy Warhol following Warhol's death after routine surgery in 1987. ("Drella" was a nickname the band had given Warhol, a play on "Dracula" and "Cinderella.") Deeply moving and unapologetically sentimental, it also contained a searing indictment of the doctors who were unable to resuscitate Warhol and save his life.
2. The Velvet Underground: reformed
Following Reed and Cale's reconciliation, the Velvets briefly reunited in 1990 for a fundraiser in France. Three years later, the band reconvened for a European tour, although plans to extend the jaunt to the U.S. never materialized due to another falling-out between Reed and Cale. In 1996, the Velvets were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Patti Smith, and Reed, Cale, and drummer Maureen Tucker performed "Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend," a song written in tribute to their former bandmate Sterling Morrison, who had passed away the previous year. (Reed himself was nominated to the Hall of Fame twice as a solo artist but has yet to be tapped for the honor.)
Lulu is perhaps the most unexpected offering of Reed's entire canon, with the exception of Metal Machine Music. A collaboration with metal champs Metallica, Lulu was inspired by Reed's fascination with German expressionist Frank Wedekind. Reed had originally intended to turn the works into a theatrical production, but after performing with Metallica at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2009, the two created Lulu.