Lou Reed underwent liver transplant surgery last month in Cleveland, his wife, Laurie Anderson, has revealed. It was apparently a life-saving operation, and it might explain why the legendary Velvet Underground frontman cancelled his planned appearance at Coachella earlier this year.

"It’s as serious as it gets,” Anderson said of the surgery in an interview with the London Times. “He was dying. You don’t get it for fun.”

Reed is evidently doing better these days, and in a Facebook post that reveals why he made our Iron Men of Rock list, the singer has updated fans on his condition.

"I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry," Reed writes. "I am bigger and stronger than stronger than ever. My Chen Taiji and health regimen has served me well all of these years, thanks to Master Ren Guang-yi. I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future."

Anderson, who married Reed in 2008, confirmed that he'll soon be back in action, though she doubts "he’ll ever totally recover from this."