American rock singer, songwriter and guitar legend Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed passed away Sunday at the age of 71 at his home in South Hampton, NY on Long Island. The cause of death was not provided; however, Reed underwent a liver transplant in May 2013. On a personal note I was saddened to learn this news as I was a huge Reed fan. Having older sisters that introduced me to his music at a young age, I just loved his sound and song writing. From his days with the Velvet Underground to going solo, when music was music, what a tremendous talent … he will be missed. Thank you for your music and Rest in Peace.
And for one final time, let’s ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’
The condolences and well wishes are pouring in on Lou Reed’s Facebook.
Official Lou Reed website.
Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today on Long Island. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.
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.”
Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed was born in Brooklyn, in 1942. A fan of doo-wop and early rock & roll (he movingly inducted Dion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989), Reed also took formative inspiration during his studies at Syracuse University with the poet Delmore Schwartz. After college, he worked as a staff songwriter for the novelty label Pickwick Records (where he had a minor hit in 1964 with a dance-song parody called “The Ostrich”). In the mid-Sixties, Reed befriended Welsh musician John Cale, a classically trained violist who had performed with groundbreaking minimalist composer La Monte Young. Reed and Cale formed a band called the Primitives, then changed their name to the Warlocks. After meeting guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, they became the Velvet Underground.
Guest on Night Music w/ David Sanborn 1989 TV
The cause was liver disease, said Dr. Charles Miller of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where Mr. Reed had liver transplant surgery earlier this year and was being treated again until a few days ago.
“I’ve always believed that there’s an amazing number of things you can do through a rock ‘n’ roll song,” Mr. Reed once told the journalist Kristine McKenna, “and that you can do serious writing in a rock song if you can somehow do it without losing the beat. The things I’ve written about wouldn’t be considered a big deal if they appeared in a book or movie.”
Mr. Reed played the sport of alienating listeners, defending the right to contradict himself in hostile interviews, to contradict his transgressive image by idealizing sweet or old-fashioned values in word or sound, or to present intuition as blunt logic. But his early work assured him a permanent audience.