Lou Reed (1942-2013)

It is extremely saddening to learn of the death of Lou Reed. Reed, 71, was a New York songwriter/guitarist/vocalist who put together a punk act called the Velvet Underground and from there, helped pioneer art rock and create a launchpad for artists like David Bowie to take shape and for genres like punk, glam, and alternative to grow and expand.

His time with the Velvet Underground was short, but his innovations through them will live on forever. His collaborations with Nico and Andy Warhol during this time period are also noteworthy as since some of his best music came out of this. He even went on to have a fairly successful solo career with songs like “Walk on the Wild Side” on the album Transformer and “How do you think it feels” off Berlin.

Lou Reed was always a controversial figure in rock. With very dark lyrics and writing about things that were taboo, he alienated himself from many of his contemporaries at the time and has since created a cult following for himself. He was also one of the few people to first experiment with guitar feedback on record and brought in avant-garde elements to rock music.

Over the course of five decades, Reed has experimented with different music and different people, which has helped shape him as a musician and also allowed him to subsequently shape music as the years went by. One of his more recent works was a collaborative effort with heavy metal band, Metallica to create Lulu. He also created an album inspired by works of Edgar Allen Poe. He was never afraid to do whatever he wanted to and whatever he put his name on, you knew it was going to be bizarre, yet brilliant.

We have lost a truly pivotal figure in music and he will be sorely missed. Thank you for all that you have given us.

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