One of the Inspirations for Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” Has Died

You’ve heard the first first of “Walk on the Wild Side” a thousand time.

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

What you may not have known is that Holly was a real person. On October 26, 1946,  a person named Haraldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl was born in Puerto Rico. She came out very early in life, taking the name “Holly” from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and “Woodlawn” from something she saw on an episode of I Love Lucy.

She ran away from home at 15, hitchhiked to New York and eventually hooked up with Andy Warhol’s crowd, where she ended up making the acquaintance of Lou Reed and the rest of the Velvet Underground. Over the years, Holly appeared in a number of movies, most associated with Warhol.

Not long ago, Holly was diagnosed with cancer and a crowfunding campaign was set up to help cover her medical bills. The situation deteriorated into hopelessness and she died in hospice care in LA on Sunday.

Read more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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