Lou Reed took rock ‘n’ roll into dark corners as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist. Reed was a rock pioneer who went from record label songwriter to a member of a short-lived, but innovative and influential band.
Lou Reed’s influence is one that there are really only a tiny handful of other figures who you can compare to him. He spoke incredibly frankly about the realities of being an artist, being a person who lived life on one’s own terms. He didn’t prettify things. He didn’t sugarcoat things. He showed life as it really is and that’s something that made him a true original, and one of our great all-time artists.
Rock mythology has it that even though they were around only for a few years, everyone who went to a Velvet Underground concert went out and started a band. I wish I had gotten a chance to see them. Maybe it would make my band better!