One of the greats is gone. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, and artist Lou Reed has died. Reed underwent a liver transplant in May. He was 71. Update: He died of liver disease, report the New York Times and other sources.
From Rolling Stone's obituary, the first report online:
With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. "One chord is fine," he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. "Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz."
Our friends at Dangerous Minds blog have some great posts about Reed's work over the years, including the story of Rachel, a trans woman who inspired much of the work on his album "Coney Island Baby."
Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.
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