RIP, Lou Reed

Very sad day for Rock and Roll, New York and the world.

Obit at Rolling Stone.

23 Comments on “RIP, Lou Reed”

  1. Bill and Merre Davis – Our RV – Retired and living a full time RV lifestyle. We are Nomads, progressive in our politics, Bill is a vegan, Merre nearly so. Bill a secular humanist with Buddhist tendencies. Merre probably agnostic. We have been together for 48 years and planning to go forward together.
    uglicoyote

    Reblogged this on The Road.

  2. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    changterhune

    Devastating. While never a huge fan of his work I cannot dismiss his massive influence not only on rock music but that of all my musical idols, Joy Division specifically. My condolences go out to his family, especially Laurie Anderson, in this difficult time. A legend has left this earth and the band in heaven just got better. So it goes…

  3. I can’t believe it. I’m thinking I should play “Sister Ray” in his honor since VU is one of my favorite bands (past or present) and “Sister Ray” is one of my favorite songs. Maybe I should play “O Superman” as well. I wonder how she’s holding up at this sad time.

  4. Shawn – Ohio, USA – Early to bed, early or whirlybird or something. Bored now, bye. Don't step on any Lego's 'cause it _Hurts_!
    Shawn T

    Oh [censored].
    Dude, (raises glass) this one’s to you (drinks).

  5. A sad day indeed. Based on how often the music drifts back into my head one of my favourite works of his is Songs For Drella, an album he did with John Cale on Andy Warhol. In particular the song Work, bare and simple with biting, descriptive lyrics.

  6. I drove down to the drugstore about 19 AM. I needed my Motrin fix–I’m 58 and plantar fascitis sucks.

    On the way home, I found myself singing along to Walk on the Wild Side on the radio. After sitting in the driveway until the song ended, I went in the house. The wife asked what took me so long, and I said “just a Lou Reed song.”

    Then she said: “Then you heard Lou Reed died . . .”
    “Crap!”

    She then showed me the Rolling Stone obit.

    I don’t know why I’m always in denial–all these guys are supposed to be around forever, aren’t they?

    Then I spent some time spinning old vinyl . . .

    The Velvet Underground
    Transformer
    Berlin
    Sally Can’t Dance
    Metal Machine Music

  7. Wasn’t aware he was that ill. A friend likes to make the comment that the first Velvet Underground only sold four-figures worth of albums but that everyone who bought it went out and formed a band.

    We’ll just try and pretend that the collaboration with Metallica didn’t happen.

  8. For those of us who aren’t friends with Brian Eno, here’s some more info on that oft quoted comment:

    Myth: “The Velvet Underground’s first album only sold a few thousand copies, but everyone who bought one formed a band.”

    Reality: That’s a quote that (in various different wordings) has been attributed to Brian Eno countless times, though even the author of the most comprehensive Eno biography couldn’t track down the original source. Of more importance, The Velvet Underground & Nico, though not exactly a hit the first time around, sold a lot more than just a few thousand copies—and more, even, than the “30,000 copies in the first five years” that Lou Reed himself told Eno the LP sold. An MGM royalty statement shows sales of 58,476 copies through February 14, 1969 (about two years after its initial release)—not at all bad for a late-’60s LP, if far less than Andy Warhol and the Velvets hoped for.

    Oddly, in 1970, both Fusion and Circus reported the album had already sold nearly a quarter of a million copies, Sterling Morrison later claiming the LP eventually went “gold,” the industry term for a half a million units sold. While the likelihood that the banana album sold more than 200,000 copies by 1970 seems faint, the possibility that it broke the six-figure mark by then or not long afterward doesn’t seem unreasonable—and if all 100,000 of those people formed a band because of it, the Velvet Underground would certainly have been a lot more famous by the mid-1970s than they actually were.

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