This past weekend we saw our Dolphins take yet another loss but for some of us Sunday was the day that we learned of another huge loss in our worlds. The news came out that the great, groundbreaking musician and songwriter, Lou Reed, had passed away at the age of 71. Despite a liver transplant this past spring Reed sadly succumbed to liver disease two days ago.
Lou of course is most notably known for his solo work and hits like "Walk on the Wild Side" but first received notoriety with the band The Velvet Underground. Reed joined with his friend John Cale, who he had previously been in the band The Primitives with, to form the band in 1964, naming it after Michael Leigh's pulp paperback of the same name.
By the end of 1970 Reed had left the band and started on his own solo career but only after making a huge impact on the music world and with many musicians that would follow. From the Andy Warhol influenced "The Velvet Underground & Nico" released in 1967 to 70's "Loaded", The Velvet underground managed to make some of the most influential music of all time despite never being a commercial success during that period. This led to the famous quote from Brian Eno in reference to the fact that Velvet Undergrounds debut album only sold 30,000 copies, "Everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.".
Reed will always be most remembered best for his 1972 release "Transformer". Transformer of course spawned the hit that everyone knows by heart, "Walk on the Wild Side". Many of his albums are full of amazing songs. One that besides Transformer that has always been one of my favorites is 1992's "Magic and Loss". If you are one of the long time Reed fans like myself you are feeling this loss of this amazing artist.
For those of you that are less familiar with Lou Reed's music please do yourself a huge favor and check out some of his work, be it part of the early VU catalog or any one of his 26 solo efforts. There is obviously a lot more to this man's amazing story and musical journey then I can write here without losing everyone. Feel free to look him up online as with his passing there are many articles on his life as well as tributes being written. I would love to list all of the big names that he has influenced but that would take a whole other post in itself. RIP Lou!
Just a few of the many tributes and comments following Lou Reeds passing-
All these amazing turns in life- the knowledge that Lou Reed has just passed. Years before I was a musician- when I was a run away, my older roommate would play his music. I was drawn to Lou's life and his sound. His off key delivery made me happy. It was as if he was saying "it feels amazing to be an oddity". I took his music and his life in, and made my own world out of it. His records would propel us through the weekends and wee hours. He is a luminary in my eyes- and I will always look up to him.-Perry Farrell
RIP to a great friend a fellow musician. From Maxes to the Masses you made the world sing. I love you Lou!-Steven Tyler
RIP Lou Reed. A musician, artist and trailblazer who played by his own rules.-Paul Stanley
Lou, Rest in peace on the wild side.-Lenny Kravitz
(Posted on David Bowie's Facebook page) "R.I.P. LOU REED", "It is with great sadness that we report the death of Lou Reed who died today aged 71. (March 3, 1942-October 27, 2013)", David Bowie said of his old friend: "He was a master."
"So sorry to hear of Lou Reed's passing this is a huge shock!"-Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth)
"RIP Lou Reed. Irreplaceable."-Lee Randaldo (Sonic Youth)
R.I.P. Lou Reed. Walk on the peacful side.-The Who from their twitter feed
R.I.P. LOU REED....A LEGEND- Pixies from their twitter feed
The news I feared the most, pales in comparison to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach. Two kids have a chance meeting and 47 years later we fight and love the same way-losing either one is incomprehensible. No replacement value, no digital or virtual fill ... broken now, for all time. Unlike so man with similar stories - we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. The laughs we shared just a few weeks ago will forever remind me of all that was good between us.-John Cale