Tack för musiken Lou!
US composer Laurie Anderson with Lou Reed, her husband, in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain, in July 2009 during a European tour of their show The Yellow Pony and other Songs and Stories
Photograph: Robin Towsend/EPA
R.I.P. LOU REED, rock & roll auteur/provocateur, founder of the Velvet Underground, sonic and conceptual adventurer, world-class misanthrope and notorious ball-buster, died this morning at the age of 71, five months after receiving a liver transplant. Where other late-’60s rock bands swaggered, the Velvet Underground slithered—creatures of the night lurking in dark alleys of Manhattan’s warehouse district. Endorsed by Andy Warhol, the Velvets specialized in eerie, thrash-y songs like “White Light/White Heat,” a sentimental ode to the joys of shooting speed, the band members barely keeping time with one another as they stumbled toward a cacophonous climax that sounded like a car engine seizing up. In the midst of this artlessly artful noise, chillingly casual, Reed described the amphetamine jolt like a waiter listing today’s specials—introducing an entirely new breed of badass to rock. If the punks joked that everyone who bought a VU album went on to start a band, it’s because the primitive intensity of tracks like this one gave the impression that absolutely anyone could do this—and have a blast while they were at it. After the Velvets broke up in the early ’70s, Reed began a long and wildly varied solo career whose landmarks included the David Bowie-produced Transformer (containing the provocative radio hit “Walk on the Wild Side”), the monumental live opus Rock N’ Roll Animal, the relentlessly unlistenable Metal Machine Music, the verbally pugilistic Take No Prisoners, the muscular The Blue Mask and the sprawling New York, a tribute to his beloved hometown. We leave you with these immortal lines from Lou’s late-period Velvets classic “Rock ’n’ roll”: "Despite all the amputation/You could dance to a rock 'n' roll station/And it was all right.” —Bud Scoppa