Although it received largely glowing reviews, especially for its splendid visuals, Ridley Scott's auspicious debut has fallen into relative obscurity compared with his better-known later pictures. Variety actually delivered one of the film's less enthusiastic notices: "What the film seeks is a series of carefully posed tableaus of period action and repose in colorful military days ... (It) rarely transcends this for a more robust portrait of military life."
Though he boasted few chart hits, Reed's career-long compulsion to test rock's musical and formal boundaries opened up vast new avenues for later exploration by his many aspiring heirs. Reed is seen here on stage in 1970.
Equally influenced by Chuck Berry and Arthur Rimbaud, Reed's spiky, provocative lyrics tackled the experiences of drug addicts, transvestites, street hustlers and depressives with a directness and empathy heretofore unheard in American popular music. Reed is seen performing on stage in this image in 1973.
His catalog includes some of the most canonical and oft-covered songs in rock history – “Sweet Jane,” “Satellite of Love” and “Walk on the Wild Side” among them.
In this image Lou Reed performs at the Civic Center in Atlanta, GA in 1978
Amidst various interpersonal squabbles, the Velvets were recruited by Atlantic Records imprint Cotillion, and tasked with recording an LP “loaded with hits,” which lead the band to disdainfully title the subsequent record “Loaded.”
By the mid-'70s, British acts like Bowie, Roxy Music and Mott the Hoople had distilled the raggedly melodic aesthetic of the Velvet Underground into glam, while U.S. punk progenitors Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Tom Verlaine drew heavy inspiration from Reed's streetwise switchblade-poet persona.
1973's pitch-black concept album “Berlin” and 1974's flaccid “Sally Can't Dance” followed, with the latter reaching No. 10. The latter would be the chart peak of Reed's career, yet he was hardly shy about his dislike of the record, saying at the time: “This is fantastic. The worse I am, the more I sell. If I wasn't on the record at all next time around, it would probably go to No. 1.”
His songs have been covered by everyone from Bowie to U2, Duran Duran, the Runaways, Jane's Addiction, Susan Boyle, Beck, Nick Cave, R.E.M., Joy Division, Cowboy Junkies and Gang of Four, while hip-hop notables A Tribe Called Quest prominently sampled “Wild Side” for breakthrough single “Can I Kick It?”
Following the 1987 death of Warhol, Reed and former Velvet Underground bandmate Cale reconciled and collaborated for 1990's tribute album “Songs for Drella,” which eventually lead to a 1993 reunion of the original Velvet Underground lineup.
In this image Reed performs on stage in Indianapolis in 1990.
Aside from his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Reed's career was light on traditional awards, yet his influence on decades of descendants is impossible to miss.
Hal Needham wrote and directed his friend Burt Reynolds in 1977's "Smokey and the Bandit." The film was a huge hit, grossing $126M domestically.
Post-"Smokey," Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds teamed up again for "Hooper," a film based on Needham's stuntman roots.
Hal Needham's next film was "The Villain," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margret.
The 1980 sequel received mostly poor reviews, but was a modest box office success and spawned a third film with Burt Reynolds in a cameo role.
Hal Needham directed the comedy hit "The Cannonball Run" in 1981.
The action film was a flop at the box office, and nominated for three Razzies.
The 1983 comedy about a NASCAR driver starred Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson.
Although it featured an all-star cast, critics hated the movie, with Gene Siskel once saying it was his least favorite film.
Originally released in 1986, "Rad" became a rental hit for two years after its release.
Because of a legal dispute with the producers, Hal Needham's film "Body Slam" was never released theatrically, but found life on homevideo.
Hal Needham received a Governors Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences last year, where he was introduced by Tarantino, who said, “I have ripped off a lot of shots from you, and today I say, 'Thank you very much.'” At the tribute, Needham called himself “the luckiest man alive and lucky to be alive.”
Army Archerd wrote about Needham's wedding in 1981. Here's the text below:
GOOD MORNING: Showbiz before pleasure — new groom, director Hal Needham who wed Dani Janssen Sunday p.m. in a show-stopping ceremony on the western street at Universal, was on the phone at 8 ahem yesterday to recent (one-week old) groom, producer Al Ruddy. The reason: with the DGA strike averted, they wanted to meet pronto with Raymond Chow to put in motion either "The Texans" or "Megaforce." Raymond wants to start the latter super-epic in September to have it ready for release next summer with the same pattern as "Cannonball Run." And why not — the "Run" pattern's paying off handsomely at the boxoffice. They'd like "Magnum P.I." star Tom Selleck to lead "Megaforce" in a cast calling for top 10 roles. Selleck had been paged for "Cannonball," but details couldn't be worked out … Burt Reynolds, starring in "Cannonball," was Needham's best man. He horseback rode alongside Needham to the backlot western "church" where Dani Janssen arrived in open carriage with Sidney Korshak, who gave the bride away before 600 cheering pals. The wedding group included smiling Universal exec, as well as Needham and Burt. "Smokey I & II" brought in over $133,000,000 in rentals for Universal … It was true Hollywood success story for ex-stuntman Needham who noted, as he looked at the western building fronting the band floor, that he had jumped from the rooftop of that building more times than his back cares to remember … After Jackie Eastland performed the ceremony (few could hear her voice but it was taped for posterity) the wedding guests, who included top exec as well as stuntmen, set workers, lined up for a bangup bar-b-q by Chris Karamanos. Reynolds and Kris wedding-gifted the couple with booze (served in Mason jars) and vittles … Mel Tellis, Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker entertained — and continued on at Reynolds' house.