Photograph of Lou Reed by Andy Warhol.
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."
Video: "Black Angel's Death Song," Velvet Underground.
Video: "Walk On The Wild Side," live, 1973.
Video: Lou Reed and John Cale, "Berlin," at Bataclan in Paris, 1972.
Video: "Heroin," at Bataclan in Paris, 1972.
Lou Reed with his wife, performing artist Laurie Anderson.
Video: Probably not his favorite interview ever.
Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart.
Video: The 1988 documentary
Video: "Sweet Jane," live in Paris, 1974.
Video: The Velvet Underground on "The South Bank Show," 1986.
Video: The Velvet Underground, "Rock and Roll." From the seminal proto-punk album,
A cameo-filled page from John Wilcock, New York Years. With Ed Sanders’ Arts Magazine, Edie Sedgwick arriving in NYC, and Nico fainting on stage.
“As I mourned by the sea, two images came to mind, watermarking the paper- colored sky. The first was the face of his wife, Laurie. She was his mirror; in her eyes you can see his kindness, sincerity, and empathy. The second was the ‘great big clipper ship’ that he longed to board, from the […]
Artist and musician Laurie Anderson wrote a memorial for The East Hampton Star on Long Island. It’s the local paper for the area where she and her late husband, Lou Reed, spent much happy time together. Here is her remembrance, in full:
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