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Archive for October 27th, 2013

In Memoriam: Lou Reed (1942-2013)

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Lou Reed

Tough, uncompromising and honest – the music of singer, songwriter and guitarist Lou Reed might have been the very quintessence of New York rock and roll.  Since first making a splash with 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico, Reed, who has died unexpectedly at the age of 71, doggedly pursued his own personal muse.  Even as he synthesized numerous influences like doo-wop, jazz, R&B and Tin Pan Alley pop into his own ultimately influential rock style, he always stayed true to his roots as a bold, frank and uncompromisingly original artist.

During his creative odyssey, he could always be counted on to take a left turn – whether with the glam revelry of Transformer, the divisive noise of Metal Machine Music, the gothic theatre of The Raven or the harsh poetry of the Metallica collaboration Songs for Lulu.  From those heady days with his cohorts in The Velvet Underground right up to the present, Lou Reed always found art and soul in the darkness.  The last time I saw Mr. Reed perform live, in 2010, he was holding court in a dim New York room, adding his thunderous guitar to a singular, droning rendition of Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen’s “One for My Baby.”  Mercer’s lyrics are fitting way to remember this experimental, avant-garde and altogether earthy art-rock pioneer: “You’d never know it, but buddy, I’m a kind of poet/And I got a lot of things to say/And when I’m gloomy, you simply gotta listen to me/Until it’s talked away…”  Like the great songwriters and musicians before him, Lou Reed’s stark art will endure for the length of that long, long road.  Rest in peace, Mr. Reed.

Written by Joe Marchese

October 27, 2013 at 13:58

Posted in Lou Reed, News