Legendary guitarist Lou Reed, a punk poet whose lyrics have influenced more than four generations of rockers, passed away on Sunday. He was 71 years old.
His literary agent, Andrew Wylie, shared the news of his death, claiming the singer/songwriter's death is due to complications with a recent liver transplant, The New York Times says. Lou's survived by his wife, friends and a legion of fans.
The Brooklyn-based musician first gained recognition as principal singer in the Velvet Underground, a band whose cult following escalated its popularity in the 1960s. Thrashing guitar, poetic melodies revolutionized rock n' roll. Songs like "Sunday Morning" and "Sweet Jane" garnered an induction into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in '96.
Lou's collaboration with Andy Warhol produced one of the most influential albums of all times - The Velvet Underground & Nico. It ranked in the top 20 of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Times. "Heroin," "I'll Be Your Mirror" and "The Black Angel's Death Song" are just three of the 11 examples of Reed's musical genius.
Many of Warhol's associates influenced Lou's early music, but the singer/songwriter soon quit the band and found new direction under David Bowie's watchful eye. In 1972, he released "A Walk on the Wild Side," an ode to his time hanging with Warhol and the hustlers, misfits and transvestites who surrounded them.
He even played a few songs for Pope John Paul II.
In 2011, Lou collaborated with Metallica on Lulu, an album based on two plays by the German playwright Frank Wedekind. "It was like operatic in theory," Lou said in a recent interview with Interview Magazine. It is one of his final studio recordings.
Like many rock stars, Lou was a hard drinker and drug user for years, and recently underwent a liver transplant at the Cleveland Mayo Clinic. "I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry," he said in a public statement on his website after the surgery.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.