Rest In Peace Lou Reed
“My God is Rock & Roll” - Lou Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013)
Rock artist and legend Lou Reed passed away earlier today at the age of 71. Though the cause of death is still unknown, Reed had a liver transplant in May. Reed was the singer for the highly influential rock band Velvet Underground. He started his music career in 1964 and continued to make music all the way up until his death.
In 1964 Lou Reed moved to New York to work as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records. He penned the minor hit “The Ostrich.” His employers saw potential success with his song and put together a band to promote the single. They called the band “The Primitives” and one member, John Cale, would continue making music with Lou Reed in the near future. They began writing music together and invited some of Reed’s college acquaintances Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker to join them. Together they formed a group and called themselves Velvet Underground. They began playing shows and eventually caught the attention of legendary artist Andy Warhol. Warhol was impressed with the group and began to manage them, making them the house band for his studio The Factory.
It was Andy Warhol’s idea to add a female singer (which the band had disagreed with but eventually obliged.) They added Nico, a former European model, to become the female singer for the group. Though still dissatisfied with the new arrangement, they released their album titled “Velvet Underground & Nico.” They wanted to make it clear that Nico was not an official member of the group. Despite this, Reed wrote many songs for Nico to sing and she became a lasting member in the band.
Their album reached No. 171 on the charts but today is considered one of the most influential rock albums ever. It has influenced artists everywhere from Brian Eno to Metallica. Rolling Stone placed the album as the 13th most influential album of all time.
Lou Reed left the band in 1970 and began a solo career, writing his hit song “Walk On The Wild Side.” He continued to make music, collaborating with bands such as Metallica (for their full length album “Lulu”) and Metric on their 2012 album “Synthetica.” Susan Boyle did a cover of his song “Perfect Day” and asked Lou Reed to direct her video rendition, which he did. Velvet Underground also reunited and began playing live shows once again and in 1996 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Though Lou Reed never achieved commercial fame, his poetic lyrics, monotone singing, and artistic flair made a lasting impression on musicians old and new. Velvet Underground is regarded as one of the most influential bands in history, without ever achieving fame. Lou Reed is both widely known, and unknown but his influence can be heard in music everywhere.
He will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace Lou Reed.
“I don’t know just where I’m going But I’m going to try for the kingdom if I can Cause it makes me feel like I’m a man….”
Posted on 10/27/2013, in News, Uncategorized and tagged Andy Warhol, Brian Eno, experimental rock, folk rock, John Cale, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker, Nico, RIP, Sterling Morrison, Velvet Underground. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.