Keith Richards Releases Velvet Underground Cover in Honor of the Late Lou Reed’s Birthday

Keith Richards is commemorating what would’ve been Lou Reed’s 82nd birthday this Saturday, March 2, by releasing his own new version of the Reed-penned 1967 Velvet Underground song “I’m Waiting for the Man.”

Videos by American Songwriter

Richards’ cover was released as a digital single Friday, March 1, along with a music video for the song that you can watch at the Rolling Stones guitarist’s YouTube channel. The track also will be featured on the upcoming album The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed. The star-studded homage will be issued on CD on April 19, and as a vinyl LP as part of the 2024 Record Store Day event on April 20.

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“To me, Lou stood out,” Richards said in a statement. “The real deal! Something important to American music and to ALL MUSIC! I miss him and his dog.”

About Richards’ “I’m Waiting for the Man” Video

The “I’m Waiting for the Man” video shows Richards recording the song in the studio with Rolling Stones touring drummer Steve Jordan and with keyboardist Ivan Neville. Jordan and Neville also are members of Richards’ solo band, the X-Pensive Winos.

More About “I’m Waiting for the Man”

“I’m Waiting for the Man” was featured on The Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Reed continued to perform the song regularly live throughout his long solo career, including at his final concert in August 2012. Reed died of liver disease on October 27, 2013, at age 71.

“I’m Waiting for the Man” is sung from the perspective of a heroin addict waiting for his dealer to show up and sell him some drugs.

[RELATED: Read Tom Waits’ Poem in Honor of Keith Richards’ 80th Birthday: “Burnt Toast to Keith”]

More Info About The Power of the Heart Tribute Album

Richards’ rendition of “I’m Waiting for the Man” is the lead track from The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed. The album also features Reed covers by Rufus Wainwright, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Bobby Rush, Rickie Lee Jones, The Afghan Whigs, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, and more.

Richards’ 2024 Tour Plans with The Rolling Stones

As previously reported, Richards will be hitting the road with The Rolling Stones soon on a major North American tour in support of his band’s 2023 album, Hackney Diamonds. The trek kicks off April 28 in Houston and is plotted out through a July 17in Santa Clara, California.

Tickets for the dates are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed Track List:

  1. Keith Richards – “I’m Waiting for the Man”
  2. Maxim Ludwig & Angel Olsen – “I Can’t Stand It”
  3. Rufus Wainwright – “Perfect Day”
  4. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – “I’m So Free”
  5. Bobby Rush – “Sally Can’t Dance”
  6. Rickie Lee Jones – “Walk on the Wild Side”
  7. The Afghan Whigs – “I Love You, Suzanne”
  8. Mary Gauthier – “Coney Island Baby”
  9. Lucinda Williams – “Legendary Hearts”
  10. Automatic – “New Sensations”
  11. Rosanne Cash – “Magician”
  12. Brogan Bentley – “The Power of the Heart” (bonus track, CD/digital only)
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for LOVE ROCKS NYC/God’s Love We Deliver; Courtesy of Light in the Attic Records

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