Requesting Lou Reed’s FBI file

Lou Reed died today at 71. His music — especially the the four Velvet Underground records — have always been very important to me. (If you must know, not actually always, but starting from the time Liza at Camp Half Moon loaned me Loaded and I listened to it over and over on my Discman.)

When a person dies, the privacy exemptions to the FOIA [(b)(6) and (b)(7)(C)] no longer apply. That means a federal agency like the FBI can produce records that might not have previously been available. Using Muckrock, I’ve requested Lou Reed’s FBI file, which must be filled in 4 weeks but may actually come sooner. When Rich Jones requested Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s FBI file, that came in a week (and just days before Christmas, too).

UPDATE: on November 1 I got a response from the FBI saying there were no responsive documents. I find that hard to believe, but have no choice… unless I want to start rumors that they were withheld according to 5 USC §552(c) because he was an informant or involved in ongoing crimes or something. Barring that—case closed.