Lou Reed dead at 71


Obituary by Rick Ossian

Velvet Underground mainman and rock visionary Lou Reed has passed today at the age of 71.

According to Rolling Stone, “the cause of death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May“.  I believe it would be safe to say then, that one possibility of the cause of death may be complications following surgery.  But to speculate would only add insult to injury, so to speak.

Reed was a legendary statesman of the rock landscape, and can be arguably held to be the herald of many genres, from emo to shoegaze to punk to new wave to you name it, he did it.  I will always marvel at how, following a rousing rendition of The Velvet Underground’s classic “Sweet Jane” with Metallica at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s 25th Anniversary show, he asked Lars if they would fancy doing an album together.  Of course we all know of the album (Lulu) of which I speak, and the controversy it created.

It is that very controversy that Reed was known for.  He is survived by his wife Laurie Anderson.

I have been listening to this man’s music ever since I was a kid.  I know he is known for mainly one song, “Walk On the Wild Side“.  That’s not really the stuff of legend that I recall, but it is close.  There is a live version of that particular tune on Lou Reed Live, the companion piece to the REAL deal, Rock and Roll Animal.  I wore out a couple of copies of vinyl with that one, not to mention a couple of CD‘s as well.  I also fondly recall the New Sensations and New York excursions.  One thing Lou did NOT lack, and that was albums.  There were many.  Some, admittedly, not as good as others, and, as Lou himself would tell you, some were pure crap.  “My bullshit is worth more than other people’s diamonds”, he once imparted to the edgy journalist Lester Bangs. To those of you who do not know Lou, there is much to learn.  There is also much listening you must do.  To those of you who already know, there is much work to do.  We have to initiate the ones who do not.

It is our duty.

RIP Lou.

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