Lou Reed Dead at Age 71

In the Center of the Trifid Nebula
Image Credit: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope, Martin Pugh; Processing: Robert Gendler

Velvet Underground No Show

As a college student, I once went to a campus (Syracuse University) rock concert that featured the Velvet Underground along with Boz Scaggs and Nils Lofgren. The Velvet Underground was a no show, but each of the other two put on a knock out show that I have never forgotten. For the longest time I always held that no show against Lou Reed and his fellow musicians. However over the years I have come to realize that the VU failure to appear may not have been such a big mistake. Simply said, it was just the wrong venue for Lou and his fellow members, who were already carving their own path away from the mainstream of Rock’n Roll.

Candid photo of Lou Reed and Patti Smith, from Wikipedia

The Bard of  Long Island

Actually, Lou was the vanguard of a whole new genre of lyrical poetics that stretched far and wide. Even before his death the number of musicians who claim Reed as major inspiration is astounding. Reed’s influence embraced such diverse musicians as Tom Waits, Suzanne Vega, Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Robbie Robertson. His greatest track, Walk On the Wild Scene, is still popular today and is widely regarded as a successful blending of poetry and popular music.

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