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Lou Reed (1942 - 2013)
October 27, 2013 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Rolling Stone is reporting that Lou Reed has died.
posted by alexoscar (477 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh fuck
posted by edgeways at 10:32 AM on October 27, 2013


shit
posted by ardgedee at 10:32 AM on October 27, 2013


Holy Crap!

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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:33 AM on October 27, 2013


Holy Shit.

Rolling Stone has had this obit prepared for some time it seems.
posted by Think_Long at 10:33 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by MasonDixon at 10:33 AM on October 27, 2013


The Man has finally arrived.

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posted by jaduncan at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


well... I guess I know what my radio show will be about this week
posted by edgeways at 10:35 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


It has nothing to do with his music, but this is what I'll always remember Lou Reed for.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 10:35 AM on October 27, 2013 [14 favorites]


This is one of those obituaries where I say "Oh No!" out loud when I see it.

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posted by bibliowench at 10:36 AM on October 27, 2013 [29 favorites]


his life was saved by rock and roll
posted by pyramid termite at 10:36 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


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posted by byanyothername at 10:36 AM on October 27, 2013


jesus

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posted by naju at 10:36 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by acb at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2013


Don't listen to "Perfect Day" on repeat like I'm doing right now because it's even more devastating than usual.
posted by naju at 10:37 AM on October 27, 2013 [22 favorites]


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posted by ambrosia at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2013


Wow, my 13 yr old son has had the song "Perfect Day" stuck in his head for the last couple of days. That's really crazy.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by aesop at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2013


I really want to believe this is a massive fuckup by the web staff at RS along the lines of those prepackaged obits on CNN some years back...but a 71yo who had a recent liver transplant is not a hale and hearty person. Fuck.

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posted by zombieflanders at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by YAMWAK at 10:40 AM on October 27, 2013


gutted

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posted by bashos_frog at 10:40 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by detachd at 10:40 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Wordshore at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by jim in austin at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2013


Well, I know what I'll be listening to today.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by DigDoug at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2013


Enjoy your walk on the wild side, Lou.
posted by chavenet at 10:44 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by susanbeeswax at 10:44 AM on October 27, 2013


I was getting up to go get out of my jammies and I read this headline, said, "Whooooa," and sat back down. Lou Reed has been on my mind a lot in the past six months. Weirdly, the Velvet Underground has served as my mental soundtrack for having a small baby in the house.

Here's to you, Lou Reed. You'll live forever as far as I'm concerned.
posted by town of cats at 10:44 AM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


So sad.

Wow, my 13 yr old son has had the song "Perfect Day" stuck in his head for the last couple of days. That's really crazy.

It's featured in a new PS4 advert, which makes sense why your 13-year old son would have it stuck in his head.
posted by gagglezoomer at 10:45 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Damn, and that stupid Metallic album has to be his last work?
posted by cropshy at 10:45 AM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


. Condolences to another hero of mine, Laurie Anderson.
posted by spacewrench at 10:45 AM on October 27, 2013 [32 favorites]


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posted by thivaia at 10:46 AM on October 27, 2013


.

"Say a word for Jimmy Brown..."
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't stand this news.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


*queues up CD playlist*

Thanks Lou, it is indeed alright.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2013


this news was announced in the bar which lead to a story about Lou Reed bumming cigarettes all night at Fat Tuesday's.
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dammit.

I stood next to Laurie Anderson at a salad bar on Monday. She became, like, a real person. This makes it hurt all the more.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


.

Shit.
posted by Kitteh at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2013


Considering so much, 71 is pretty impressive.
Also, The Velvet Underground was just the best thing ever.
posted by heyho at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Burgoo at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by tonycpsu at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2013


What kind of unjust universe takes Lou Reed and Marcia Wallace from us in the same weekend?

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posted by bakerina at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


What shitty news.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:51 AM on October 27, 2013


Riding in that Stutz Bearcat, Jim, those were different times.
posted by scratch at 10:51 AM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


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posted by Thorzdad at 10:51 AM on October 27, 2013


RIP rock and roll
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


.

I feel like I owe it to him to play Metal Machine Music in its entirety.

Also, condolences to Laurie Anderson.
posted by not_on_display at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


Considering so much, 71 is pretty impressive.

Exactly what I thought. Doesn't make this less sad, unfortunately.
posted by tigrefacile at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2013


71 is a pretty good run, considering the mileage.
posted by ColdChef at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


. Wow, this is a big loss. Hard to think of too many artists more influential than Lou.
posted by octothorpe at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2013


Goddammit. His solo on "I Heard Her Call My Name" made him one of the greatest guitarists ever, bridging feedback noise rock with free jazz.

"Life's good - but not fair at all."

Rest in peace, good ol' Lou.
posted by porn in the woods at 10:53 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sword Of Damocles
Pale Blue Eyes
European Son
Heroin
Romeo Had Juliette
Satellite of Love
Slip Away
Set The Twilight Reeling
Finish Line
Metal Machine Music (NSFSanity)

and on

and on

and on
posted by edgeways at 10:54 AM on October 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


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posted by El Brendano at 10:54 AM on October 27, 2013


.
The black angel did weep
posted by LionIndex at 10:54 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh hell.
posted by idest at 10:55 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Mngo at 10:56 AM on October 27, 2013


Christ, Metal Machine Music. So on top of everything else, he basically invented modern noise music. RIP
posted by naju at 10:56 AM on October 27, 2013


Condolences to Laurie Anderson, the love of his life.

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posted by dbiedny at 10:56 AM on October 27, 2013


I just woke up and I can't even begin to process this news. I am going to go back to sleep and hope I wake up in a world where its not true.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:56 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by fishmasta at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2013


Just taking a walk on the wild side!

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posted by bjgeiger at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Ber at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2013


We just as a group sang I'm sticking with you.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Forty years ago I never would have imagined that Lou would live to 71. And yet it still feels like a kick stomach to hear that he died.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:58 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


What's good

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posted by unknowncommand at 10:58 AM on October 27, 2013


Last played by Lou Reed: Lisa Says
posted by Gin and Comics at 11:00 AM on October 27, 2013


Maybe he's not dead yet

Meanwhile, enjoy this video, and see if you can spot him midway through.
posted by joetrip at 11:00 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by mayurasana at 11:00 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Mooseli at 11:00 AM on October 27, 2013


That sucks.
posted by sacrifix at 11:00 AM on October 27, 2013


Heroin done on cello (hint it's really good)
posted by edgeways at 11:01 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lou made rock and roll and being a music fan much more interesting. Many of my favorite conversations with friends as well as strangers I met at shows, bars, and record stores involved Lou.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:01 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Argh.
posted by glaucon at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by rosary at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by scody at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2013


good run he had of it! Good show, man!
posted by Greg Nog at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Linger on, Lou.

You made more music that mattered to me than anyone else, and at times I think maybe it saved my life.
posted by reynir at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


So far only Rolling Stone is reporting with all other news outlets citing RS as source. I'm holding on until other sources confirm it.

(I may be too cynical after seeing too many hoaxes and much trolling recently)
posted by kariebookish at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by cmdnc0 at 11:03 AM on October 27, 2013


What a giant void in our intellectual and muscial landscape.

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posted by helmutdog at 11:04 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Knappster at 11:04 AM on October 27, 2013


It's a sad day.
posted by capricorn at 11:04 AM on October 27, 2013


Oh no. We were just checking out the photos of his performance at the state dinner for Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel when we were at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library a couple days ago. And we listened to The Velvet Underground in the car on the way down there and back.

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posted by limeonaire at 11:04 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Was just listening to the gorgeous Street Hassle.

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posted by lalex at 11:04 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


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posted by RainyJay at 11:06 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by mosk at 11:06 AM on October 27, 2013


So much of my life defined by Lou, starting with discovering the times square soundtrack at 10 years old and hearing walk on the wild side for the first time.

My life was made brighter by his existence. My heart goes out to Laurie Anderson.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:06 AM on October 27, 2013


Maybe not?
posted by RakDaddy at 11:06 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by ChrisR at 11:07 AM on October 27, 2013


Even if his only accomplishment had been getting "Walk on the WIld Side" played on mainstream radio, I would still take off my hat to him. And the Honda scooter commercial did nothing to change my mind. Actually, as scooter commercials go, it's pretty great.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:07 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Guys, the site claiming it's a hoax is a satire site. They're trying to be clever by starting a hoax that his death is a hoax. In other news, fuck the internet.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:09 AM on October 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


Lou Reed over the end credits of Get Crazy (1983). I hope he's not actually dead, though.
posted by bubukaba at 11:09 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Candy says with Antony.
posted by Chutzler at 11:11 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


do not click if you are unready for humor at this time, but this tweet is definitely laugh-through-the-tears status imo
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posted by a birds at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2013 [31 favorites]


So sorry for Laurie Anderson.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


> It's featured in a new PS4 advert, which makes sense why your 13-year old son would have it stuck in his head.

It's also unfortunate that this will be his last living pop culture moment; advertisers and film soundtrackers, "Perfect Day," as great as it is, is not a happy or fun song and should not be used to connote happy funtimes.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mea culpa
posted by RakDaddy at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2013


Well, fuck.

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posted by shiny blue object at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2013


What's good ?
Life's good -
But not fair at all

.
posted by Cosine at 11:13 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


1. He helped invent the kind of music I've spent most of my life listening to.
2. "Beginning To See The Light," holy crap.
3. He took a writing workshop from Delmore Schwartz.
4. Like a lot of people too young to have been there, I learned about the existence of the Velvet Underground from R.E.M.'s many VU covers.
5. Sucks that I'm in a coffee shop full of college students who don't know who Lou Reed is. Was! Fuck!
6. "What Goes On," holy crap.
7. And yet instead of listening to one of the rockers that usually mean the most to me I think it might be "I'm Set Free" today.
8. And then if I feel blue after that it will be on to "Satellite of Love."
posted by escabeche at 11:13 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh goodness. My first thought was, like others here, of Laurie Anderson.

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posted by jokeefe at 11:13 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by Navelgazer at 11:15 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by cazoo at 11:15 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:15 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Null Pointer and the Exceptions at 11:15 AM on October 27, 2013


he was one of my first introductions to queerness, and to noise...
posted by PinkMoose at 11:16 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And the colored girls say...

> 5. Sucks that I'm in a coffee shop full of college students who don't know who Lou Reed is. Was! Fuck!

As a college student, I am disappointed that I don't know anyone who knows who Lou Reed. Shame
posted by tnecniv at 11:16 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by furtive at 11:16 AM on October 27, 2013


Nice tweet tribute.
posted by Wordshore at 11:16 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Ride Into the Sun,", a rare version with Lou on vocals.
posted by lisa g at 11:17 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


One of my favorites: Sad song.
posted by wobh at 11:17 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


My boyfriend and I saw this on one of our first hangouts. We both obsessed over it, and Lou Reed became this thread of great music throughout our relationship until this very day-- on every mix CD we ever made each other, first songs we would sing together when we first started singing around the house together, &c.

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posted by stoneandstar at 11:18 AM on October 27, 2013


She said sticking her tongue in my ear

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posted by Samuel Farrow at 11:19 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

I don't usually post in the obit threads (well, don't post in most threads, really), but the span of his career, and his discography have moved me to.
posted by kellyblah at 11:19 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Poor Laurie.

Lou Reed dying feels like rock'n'roll dying altogether. I was just reading a Piero Scaruffi piece which claimed that "Sister Ray" is the ultimate, definitive moment that rock detached from the blues and became its own thing altogether. Scaruffi is kind of zany, but still. It's hard to listen to that second album and not think, something is happening here.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:19 AM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


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posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:20 AM on October 27, 2013


Never not in rotation in my mind: Nobody But You.

Yeah, now a measurably less fun universe.

(And agreed, RakDaddy - "Times Square" s/t FTW.)
posted by jack_babylon at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2013


I [Salman Rushdie] recently [1999] asked Vaclav Havel about his admiration for the American rock star Lou Reed. He replied that it was impossible to overstate the importance of rock music for the Czech resistance during the years of darkness between the Prague Spring and the collapse of communism.

I was just relishing the picture of the leaders of the Czech underground grooving to the sound of the Velvet Underground playing Waiting for the Man or All Tomorrow’s Parties when Havel spoke again. “Why,” he asked me, with a straight face, “do you think we called it the Velvet Revolution?”

posted by chavenet at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2013 [79 favorites]


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posted by Morsey at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by aspo at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Foosnark at 11:22 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Lyn Never at 11:22 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by worbel at 11:22 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by oceanjesse at 11:22 AM on October 27, 2013


Wow, I was listening to the first Velvet's album when I read this. Damn.

I'll never forget my first encounter with the Velvet's music, at a student party in '88 at Uni. I was sitting by a speaker while someone played "Lady Godiva's Operation" and, when Reed's voice comes in unexpectedly in the speaker I was next to, I was so surprised I dropped the communal joint in my beer.
posted by Pericles at 11:23 AM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


Now the coal black sea waits for me me me
The coal black sea waits forever
When I leave this joint
at some further point
The same coal black sea will it be waiting

posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:23 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


The most recent post on his official Facebook page, from 6:53am today: The Door
posted by zombieflanders at 11:26 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not possible. No. Damn...

RIP Lou.
posted by invitapriore at 11:26 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by IvoShandor at 11:27 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by kewb at 11:28 AM on October 27, 2013


And Chuck Berry is still alive. Strange world.
posted by argybarg at 11:28 AM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Guardian reports that Reed's agent confirmed it.
posted by Pericles at 11:28 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by nobody at 11:29 AM on October 27, 2013


Even though it's sad, I'd have to go with "given the kind of life he used to lead, it's pretty amazing that he made it this long." The one time I met him in person, he was in the mullet-perm phase, which is unfortunate, but others have done worse.

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posted by Halloween Jack at 11:29 AM on October 27, 2013



Sword Of Damocles yt
Pale Blue Eyes yt
European Son yt
Heroin yt
Romeo Had Juliette yt
Satellite of Love yt
Slip Away yt
Set The Twilight Reeling yt
Finish Line yt
Metal Machine Music (NSFSanity) yt


also, Sweet Jane ...

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posted by philip-random at 11:29 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:31 AM on October 27, 2013


I've listened to Cremation - Ashes to Ashes (from Magic & Loss) about ten times in a row since hearing the news. It's a fitting eulogy.

Will your ashes float like some foreign boat
or will they sink absorbed forever
Will the Atlantic Coast
have its final boast
Nothing else contained you ever

posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:32 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And with Lou Reed's agent confirming it, let me join:

.
posted by kariebookish at 11:32 AM on October 27, 2013


also, Sweet Jane ...

also, Sweet Jane...

(also, Sweet Jane...)
posted by anagrama at 11:32 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

I'm at the reference desk and can't play these to pick one, but here are some versions of Jonathan Richman's "Velvet Underground" tribute.

I once stole a copy of Transformer on LP from a place where I was housesitting. I think the people's son had left it behind. I still have it and still listen to it.
posted by newrambler at 11:32 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


...but it's truly, truly a sin.

Thanks, Lou.
posted by rocket88 at 11:33 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Leave Her Johnny
posted by edgeways at 11:34 AM on October 27, 2013


"How does it feel...to be loved? ... How does it feel...to be loved? ..."
posted by limeonaire at 11:35 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by smcdow at 11:35 AM on October 27, 2013


So gutted. Like all great artists, you made me forget myself. Enjoy the great jam in the sky.

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posted by billiebee at 11:36 AM on October 27, 2013


My sister gave me a copy of "Transformer" when I was far too young. That album, along with some Bowie and, later, Sonic Youth, set me on a path that made my teen years and my twenties so much more interesting.

I used to tell myself that Lou Reed had died -- "such a shame about in that plane crash," a friend said about him -- and that an impostor was putting out albums in his name. That was the only way to explain "My Red Joystick," among others. But then "New York" came out and blew that theory apart.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:36 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some Mefites might want to go revisit (or listen for the first time) to some of the Mefi Music (sure to become your favorite Metafilter subsite!) covers we did a few years back of songs from Nico and the Velvet Underground. Here's my rendition of I'm Waiting for the Man.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:36 AM on October 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


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posted by rainbaby at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2013


"You should have two radios. In case one gets broken." - Lou Reed (Aspen 3, The Pop Art Issue 1966 via UbuWeb)
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Now I feel old.

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posted by scblackman at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The one time I met him in person, he was in the mullet-perm phase, which is unfortunate, but others have done worse.

I didn't actually meet him, but I could've if I'd wanted to push it. Just stumbled into him one night in London while sneaking into a TV studio via an insecure crew entrance (just pick up some cable and look like you know what you're doing). Anyway, I turn a corner and there he is three feet away, smaller than expected (of course), and instantly nervous in that way that famous people get, I guess. So I just nodded a polite hello and kept on moving.

He was taping a live performance that night for a show called The White Room (I think). Did a version of Walk On The Wild Side with Dave Stewart's band. It kind of sucked, but whatever. The guy didn't owe the culture anything ... and hadn't since about 1968. Not that New York wasn't a gem ...
posted by philip-random at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just watched the American Masters show on him a few days ago after watching an interview Charlie Rose did with him.

The Velvet Underground and Transformer are consistently on my playlist and loved his collaboration with Damon Albarn.

Sad news.
posted by juiceCake at 11:40 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by ClanvidHorse at 11:40 AM on October 27, 2013


Truly, a legend has left us.

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posted by Meep! Eek! at 11:41 AM on October 27, 2013


Now he and Bangs can fistfight in heaven.
posted by klangklangston at 11:42 AM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


Sunday morning
brings the dawn in.
It's just a restless feeling
by my side...

Early dawning,
sunday morning.
It's all the wasted years
so close behind...

Watch out, the world's behind you.
There's always someone around you
who will call...
It's nothing at all...

posted by Rory Marinich at 11:42 AM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


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posted by R. Schlock at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2013


Ah shit, what awful news.
posted by essexjan at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2013


I just told a friend this, but regarding that quote about "[his] bullshit" from the obit, as much as I love Lou Reed, I have heard his bullshit and I must strenuously disagree with his characterization of same. None of that is to say that I don't regard his self-aggrandizing with affection, though.
posted by invitapriore at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by klausness at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2013


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Have you ever had rage in your heart?
posted by riverlife at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Iridic at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by tribalspice at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by sciatica at 11:46 AM on October 27, 2013


This Halloween is something to be sure
Especially to be here without you
posted by octothorpe at 11:46 AM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Satellite's gone, up to the sky.
posted by popcassady at 11:47 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


REM covers of Velvet Underground songs were among the first tunes I learned on guitar.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:49 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn.

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posted by saulgoodman at 11:49 AM on October 27, 2013


Had tickets to see him do the whole New York album live but he fell off the stage the night before in Ohio and broke his leg and they cancelled the rest of the tour.
posted by octothorpe at 11:49 AM on October 27, 2013


Thanks Lou. Your music shaped my life. You gave me the courage to try on enough masks until I found a face.

.

Two rented referees and two checkered rags
Out of the corner of my eye comes a
Dark horse with black wings
Headed for the finish line
I'm five years old the room is fuzzy
I think there's also a very young girl
It's hard to remember what happened exactly
As I'm staring at the finish line
First came fire then came light
Then came feeling then came sight

posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:51 AM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


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posted by R. Mutt at 11:51 AM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Obscure Reference at 11:52 AM on October 27, 2013


I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought that Lou would live forever.

I still love the hot sprawling mess of glory that is Street Hassle.

One of his bouts with Lester Bangs.
posted by maudlin at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Ironmouth at 11:56 AM on October 27, 2013


There is not enough . in the world.

And poor Laurie Anderson...
posted by SansPoint at 11:56 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Sphinx at 11:57 AM on October 27, 2013


The AP is confirming... :-(


The Associated Press @AP

BREAKING: Literary agent: Punk-poet, rock legend Lou Reed dies at age 71 of liver-related ailment.
posted by chavenet at 11:57 AM on October 27, 2013


Huh, more proof that we're from different planet, SO has no idea who Lou Reed is. Has never heard the name.
posted by The Whelk at 11:58 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

On Night Music, 1989.
posted by Lorin at 11:58 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by inertia at 11:58 AM on October 27, 2013


Thanks for getting me through highschool, Lou.

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posted by moons in june at 11:59 AM on October 27, 2013


My first, and Last, Great American Whale.

Hope to find you reading Sanskrit to Andy's pony someday.
posted by riverlife at 11:59 AM on October 27, 2013


I saw...
This one time....
My favourite....
Man, this one night.....
Every time I hear.....
Remember when........

This is what Lou Reed the Beastie Boys gifted to us.
posted by Fizz at 3:16 PM on May 4, 2012 [17 favorites +] [!]


When MCA died. Still works.

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posted by Fizz at 12:00 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by Elly Vortex at 12:00 PM on October 27, 2013


Listening to New York for the first time in a few years. I usually hate concept albums but that one is such a perfect encapsulation of the horror that was the eighties.
posted by octothorpe at 12:01 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]



And curtains laced with diamonds, dear for you
And all the Roman noblemen for you
And kingdom's Christian soldiers, dear for you
And melting ice cap mountains tops for you
Oh, oh, and knights in flaming silver robes for you
And bats that with a kiss turn prince for you


.
posted by gwint at 12:02 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Solsbury Hill
posted by edgeways at 12:04 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was listening to 'Velvet Underground and Nico' this morning for the first time in years.... I think Lou Reed got back into my head a couple weeks ago when I went to the Bowie exhibit at the OGA in Toronto; Bowie leads to Warhol leads to Lou Reed, apparently....

He made some good music, and had an incredible life.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:04 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by mondo dentro at 12:05 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by jwhite1979 at 12:05 PM on October 27, 2013


.
posted by readery at 12:07 PM on October 27, 2013


Goddamit. My first celebrity crush. Peace out.
posted by msali at 12:07 PM on October 27, 2013


The image of the poets in the breeze
Canadian geese are flying above the trees
A mist is hanging gently on the lake
My house is very beautiful at night

My friend and teacher occupies a spare room
He's dead, at peace at last the wandering Jew
Other friends had put stones on his grave
He was the first great man that I had ever met

Sylvia and I got out our Ouija board
To dial a spirit, across the room it soared
We were happy and amazed at what we saw
Blazing stood the proud and regal name...

... I miss all your funny ways
I miss your jokes and the brilliant things you said
My Daedalus to your Bloom was such a perfect fit
And to find you in my house makes things perfect

I've really got a lucky life
My writing, my motorcycle and my wife
And to top it all off, the spirit of pure poetry
Is living in this stone and wood house with me

The image of the poets in the breeze
Canadian geese are flying above the trees
A mist is hanging gently on the lake
Our house is very beautiful at night...
posted by koeselitz at 12:08 PM on October 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


.
posted by Monkeymoo at 12:08 PM on October 27, 2013


I'm a youngun. My first encounter with Lou Reed was an MTV promo where he performed Macbeth's dagger speech.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:09 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lou's post Velvets work was spotty and unreliable. But in his best moments, he hit big and seemed to be able to change the world. One of my favorite parts of being a Lou Reed fan is seeing the diversely different choices other fans make as to what his best songs and albums are. It seems like every Reed fan has at least a song or two from his catalog that they cherish that don't register with most other fans. Or a record they can't even listen to anymore is one that another fan would bring to a desert island. That's why it's always so much damn fun talking about Lou Reed with other music fans - I am always reevaluating his songs based on someone's passionate urging for me to go back and give something another chance.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:09 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


.
posted by MattWPBS at 12:09 PM on October 27, 2013


It's better that it's confirmed and we can move past the hoax claims. Other "articles" from Media Mass include claims that Lou Reed is the best-selling artist in the world and that Laurie Anderson is pregnant with his child, if that tells you what unfunny dicks they are.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had no idea he was 71, but I guess his generation is passing. Get ready for a few more years of bad news.
posted by swift at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by JakeEXTREME at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2013


My favourite of Lou's will always be his cover of "September Song", a song which thousands have done before him, and thousands will after. By seeming to do hardly anything at all, he gets you to notice what's really in that classic. It's no small feat for something so longstanding and exposed, and all done simply by getting you to slow down enough to actually listen. There are flourishes, of course, but it's all the vocals.

One great artist acknowledging another, no ego, no competition. 'Listen to this,' he says, 'no, really listen.'
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


One of the great. :'-(
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:11 PM on October 27, 2013


.
posted by juv3nal at 12:12 PM on October 27, 2013


I guy I know knew a guy who worked with Lou on some technical stuff in the last few years. Video production type stuff. So his music meant a lot to me at a delicate time, but I also got to see pictures of him e.g. in giant novelty sunglasses, and read texts where he was asking for help getting clips off a Flip camera and onto his computer. The future is a weird place, I thought. But then Lou and about six of his friends kind of invented the future.
posted by penduluum at 12:14 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now that the story is actually confirmed: .

I'm not entirely surprised. Laurie Anderson had a show planned here in Austin on October 16, but she cancelled at the last minute. That kind of thing usually means a last-minute unexpected problem. I wondered at the time who was ill; I guess we know now.
posted by immlass at 12:15 PM on October 27, 2013


The only Perfect Day cover you need.

Damn.

I liked Walk on the Wild Side long before I understood the lyrics, Heroin was the only song that ever made me physically ill and Perfect Day is everything Goths aimed for but never perfected.

Damn.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:15 PM on October 27, 2013


I had no idea he was 71, but I guess his generation is passing. Get ready for a few more years of bad news.

I kind of feel like anyone who lived like him who made it past '85 will live to be 85.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:16 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Busload of Faith, live on Letterman with Buddy Guy and James Cotton
posted by mondo dentro at 12:16 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


He replied that it was impossible to overstate the importance of rock music for the Czech resistance during the years of darkness between the Prague Spring and the collapse of communism.

So much this.

.
posted by rtha at 12:18 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by TrialByMedia at 12:19 PM on October 27, 2013


> And Chuck Berry is still alive. Strange world.

"If there's another word for rock n' roll, it's Chuck Berry" - John Lennon. Rock 'n' roll will never die.


.

for Lou
posted by jfuller at 12:23 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by NedKoppel at 12:23 PM on October 27, 2013


Well, shit.

.
posted by goo at 12:24 PM on October 27, 2013


No Money Down is one of my favorite music videos. Simultaneously creepy, poignant, brilliant, laugh-out-loud hilarious. Stuff of genius. Reed's 80s were perhaps his strongest decade, creatively.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:24 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


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posted by ZipRibbons at 12:24 PM on October 27, 2013


I met him in person less than a year ago. A childhood hero of mine.

.
posted by spitbull at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by tommasz at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2013


No! That's a shock! The world is more grittily entertaining that Lou was born, darkly amusing, more salty. I'm sorry he didn't make it to being an old, old man. But, all things considered, he had a good run, surviving more than many who abused their bodies with addiction to hard drugs as he did. He outlived many of his peers.

Just after turning 13 years old, I was invited to the opening of Warhol's Factory by a man, a New York poet, who exchanged his amyl nitrates ( a popular NYC Downtown sex drug of the day) for my biological mother's Dexedrine (a popular form of NYC Uptown amphetamine in those days). He was a friend and lover of Warhol's. I don't remember if it was the opening of the original silver, aluminum foil lined Factory place or the next place near Union Square. It was very dark, lots of flashing lights. It was a loft space on the ground floor. The Velvet Underground with Nico and Lou Reed were the band, creating their particular cacophony, while hipsters and what seemed to me like lots of phonies milled around trying to talk over the decibels. The scene felt like it was people sadly wanting fame and imitating being different.

My main memory of that night was when a much older guy asked for my phone number and I gave him CI6-4200 (Circle 6-4200, in those days phone numbers often had a name in the beginning) for Dial-a-Prayer and felt quite smugly triumphant, until he said, "That's a business number, it ends with zero zero." The blood rushed to my face, being caught out in a lie and I mumbled something, totally embarrassed.

I left not getting it, not getting what Warhol and his, to me, sleazy scene was about. Turned off.

Six or so years later, 1973, Stanhope Gardens, London, sitting in one of those old cast iron bathtubs in a bathroom that required leaving the flat, walking up a flight of stairs to get to, so it felt like a hideaway place, with my boyfriend's pea green transistor radio on the ledge. On came that iconic bass riff, the opening bars of Walk On the Wild Side and Lou's urban, seductively testosterone laced with heroin drenched voice, so slyly knowing. I sat up in that tepid water, galvanized. Here was a song about my city, NYC, darkly intelligent. It had a sort of musical density, like a piece of black, pocked meteorite. It was as if he'd included me in on some juicy downtown gossip and in doing so, listening to the song I felt utterly cool. Dang, he sizzled as a hipster. The lyrics were an education. So that's what the Warhol scene was about. There was actual rebellion and pioneering going on. Sexual in a Midnight Cowboy kind of way, depressingly seedy but cutting edge at the time, a revelation in lyrics in a pop song on the radio. That moment chiseled itself into my memory.

My boyfriend then, an ex-junkie, felt differently. He'd listen to the Velvet Underground's brilliant Heroin and get nostalgic for the needle and rushes of yore.

A year and a half later, in Rome, January 1975, two broke friends arrived from London, needing work. We walked all over the city looking and failed. At the end of the day they tried to get dishwashing jobs in the kitchen of The Piper Club but the owner said he'd only hire them if I also came to work there as a hostess. Lou Reed was supposed to play that night, so I accepted. He never showed and the 'hostess' job meant getting felt up by drunk clientele with prostitution an expected job sideline, so I left, quite sad not to have seen Lou play.

Surprised over the decades how Lou lasted and lasted. Bet he was surprised too.

In case nobody's linked it already, his first hit, pre-Velvet Underground. Mischievous as ever, The Ostrich.

My condolences to his wife, Laurie Anderson, Holly Woodlawn, Joe Dallesandro, John Giorno, to all his friends.
posted by nickyskye at 12:28 PM on October 27, 2013 [80 favorites]


The only Perfect Day cover you need. Damn. I really wasn't ready to see Laurie Anderson in this.
posted by maudlin at 12:28 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


For all the toxic abuse he put himself through there seemed to be something eternal about him, so yeah, I find this quite shocking.

.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:32 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Slack-a-gogo: "Lou's post Velvets work was spotty and unreliable. But in his best moments, he hit big and seemed to be able to change the world. One of my favorite parts of being a Lou Reed fan is seeing the diversely different choices other fans make as to what his best songs and albums are. It seems like every Reed fan has at least a song or two from his catalog that they cherish that don't register with most other fans. Or a record they can't even listen to anymore is one that another fan would bring to a desert island. That's why it's always so much damn fun talking about Lou Reed with other music fans - I am always reevaluating his songs based on someone's passionate urging for me to go back and give something another chance."

When I read your first sentence here, something inside me cried "no!" But I do agree, on reflection; there was a lot of odd stuff in there, and he was always trying new things, sometimes with little success. So, in the spirit of your last sentence, I will repeat what Mark E Smith is so fond of pointing out: that Lou Reed's absolute best work of his life came during those solo years, variable though they may be. And while categories of what music is "best" might be somewhat relative, I will add on a personal note that, while all of his work, Velvets and otherwise, has shaped me, as something I wrestled with and learned from and sorted through, the only album of his that I can say really and truly changed me, changed my life and gave me something to cling to in a hard time, was his 1982 record The Blue Mask. Small, quiet songs of recovery and the rediscovery of well-being - so many musicians learn early what is successful and what listeners respond to and then stick with those three or four ideas for the rest of their creative lives. Only an artist like Lou Reed could turn back on himself and follow his soul inward far enough to come back years later and update the snide shiteating grin of "Heroin" with the trembling sheepishness of "The Heroine." That means so much to me, his ability to rise about his youthful bombast and become an adult, with everything else that meant, with the awkwardness and the acceptance of mistakes and the openness to intimacy and compromise.

That is what I'm most thankful for, of all the things. But of course offering a complete or thorough reckoning of all the things we've gained from a person's life is usually very difficult; with Lou Reed, it's certainly impossible.
posted by koeselitz at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2013 [15 favorites]


.
posted by Token Meme at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2013


christ

I just can't

.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2013


not fair

.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 12:34 PM on October 27, 2013


"There's a little bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." Great album. Thanks, sir. Go in peace.
posted by chicainthecity at 12:35 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


A less-than-perfect day. :(
posted by Ron Thanagar at 12:36 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lou was such a poet. This is one of my favorite songs of his, despite the fact that musically I think it's a bit meh. It's just so perfectly written, in terms of lyrics. And honest. So very honest.

.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:38 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


nickyskye, thanks for that wonderfully evocative comment.
posted by lalex at 12:38 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


christ no. I know 71 is a decent innings for Lou Reed, but still, fuck no.

.
posted by marienbad at 12:40 PM on October 27, 2013


When I was 17 my girlfriend's dad gave me a copy of The Velvet Underground and Nico, apropos of nothing other than he thought it was important for me to have. It was a very moving gesture at the time, and it still is. I don't really know what else to say.

.
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 12:40 PM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


What good is seeing-eye chocolate?
What good is a computerized nose?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:44 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


http://en.mediamass.net/people/lou-reed/deathhoax.html
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by cosmac at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2013


He's indirectly responsible for me dealing with the Liverpool police, paying for a rental car's back window.

Friends and I were driving slowly through the city and some cute girl's been out drinking, says as we roll by, "Take a walk on the wild side." So of course 23-year-old me says, "don't lose your head while you're...."

Some drunk guy thought i called him a dickhead, threw a little juice bottle through the window -- right in front of a couple cops.
posted by ambient2 at 12:48 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lou Reed, talking about 9/11:

"I believe good comes out of bad. Always. One way or the other. It may take a long time to see it. Everybody I know is depressed and found it hard to focus, but the only way out of that is working – doing positive things … I'm not leaving New York. And neither is anyone else. We're here. We are quintessential Americans – we're not only American but New York-American."
posted by Killick at 12:49 PM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


SO, I think it's been established that this is not a hoax, and I'd love it if we didn't give any more clicks to that vile website.
posted by lalex at 12:49 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


My favorite line of Lou's (obviously):

"There's a lotta problems in this time.
But WHOO none of them are mine."

So much in there.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


My first girlfriend introduced me to a number of things, among them Lou Reed. The first concert we went to together was his, on that tour where he had a wall of TVs behind him and the band. First concert I got well stoned at, and I remember the bass vibrating through my gut and bones. Later on, I got into his work with the Velvets and his other solo work (esp. Berlin), but my first and best memories are of listening to Transformer back then.

"Iconic" gets thrown around a lot, but Lou was the real deal. Thanks for the many hours of pleasure. And my deepest condolences to Laurie Anderson.

.
posted by the sobsister at 12:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Love has gone away
Took the rings right of my fingers
And there's nothing left to say
But, oh how, oh how I need you, baby
Come on, baby, I need you baby
Oh, please don't slip away
I need your loving so bad, babe
Please don't slip away

Slip away

,
posted by hap_hazard at 12:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by skoosh at 12:53 PM on October 27, 2013


And back at the Wilshire, Pedro sits there dreaming
he's found a book on magic in a garbage can
He looks at the pictures and stares at the cracked ceiling
"At the count of 3" he says, "I hope I can disappear"
And fly fly away, from this dirty boulevard
posted by Killick at 12:57 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh nonononono. Fuck no. No.

"My mother said she saw him last week in Chinatown.
But you can't always trust your mother."

.
posted by allthinky at 1:00 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


.


Thought that this line about his influence on "high-I.Q., low-virtuosity stratum of alternative and underground rock around the world" was a bit...off... in his NYT obit? (Or at any rate, that Rolling Stone described Reed's stripped-down style with more grace).
posted by TwoStride at 1:01 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Going To Maine at 1:03 PM on October 27, 2013


.

Lou will continue to "Walk on the Wild Side". RIP, and condolences to Laurie Anderson and all who knew and loved him.
posted by Vibrissae at 1:03 PM on October 27, 2013


.
posted by trip and a half at 1:04 PM on October 27, 2013


This isn't really a Lou Reed story but it's what I'm thinking of.

I made the window display at the record store when New York came out. The manager took a photo of the display I made and mailed it (a printed photo, in the mail, this was so long ago) to Lou Reed's rep at the record company. The rep liked it -- this was just a teeny record store in a small town in Washington State -- and sent me a book of Lou Reed's lyrics and a few CDs.

When Magic and Loss came out the rep remembered that Lou Reed had a fan at this small record store, and sent me tickets to see the tour at the Paramount in Seattle. When I handed my ticket over the usher said "You must know someone!"

I loved the show. So glad I got to see him.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:04 PM on October 27, 2013 [26 favorites]


The New Yorker has unlocked this article by Lou Reed from 96
posted by criticalbill at 1:04 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


His Name Is Mok, Thanks A Lot


Actually a pretty important part of my childhood.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:05 PM on October 27, 2013


.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2013


Can't say I was a fan of his music (other than "Walk on the Wild Side") but I respect his place in the rock pantheon.

.
posted by fuse theorem at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

'Rock and Roll Animal' saved *my* life. Thanks, Lou.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:09 PM on October 27, 2013


Fuck.

Fuck.

.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:10 PM on October 27, 2013


I think it's telling when you build Rock And Roll as a cultural wonder in Civilization 4, you get a Lou Reed song.

My favorite Reed song is from the underloved Songs For Drella album: Small Town.
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


I don't know why I'm so surprised by the news. I mean, he was 71, and had a liver transplant earlier this year... but he'd been the craggy old rocker for so long, I guess I thought he'd still be the craggy old rocker when he was in his 80s. I thought he'd be like Bill Burroughs, and just become more cranky and crinkly and outlive everybody.

If you've never checked out Songs for Drella, you must. The life of Warhol, as told by Reed and Cale. I've long had a fantasy that somebody would take that shit to Broadway. Small Town sounds so much like the Velvet Underground version of one of those "I Want" songs, like Part of Your World, except it's Andy Warhol singing about life in the big city and it's somehow awesome.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:11 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Seven years ago, I saw Lou Reed for the first (and last) time. I was at an industry conference called Web 2.0 in San Francisco. It was a secret that he was going to perform; once word got out I was thrilled.

The auditorium was locked while he rehearsed, but I lucked out. I walked upstairs to a Google-sponsored lounge which had been packed earlier, but was now empty. And it had a live feed of the stage. I was the only person there, and I watched his warmup. The screen showed a closeup shot of Lou wearing a Barnard College sweatshirt (I think it was Barnard. Some upstate New York college).

So, Lou's at the show because his kung-fu training partner, Jonathon Miller, an AOL honcho, has asked him to come. Lou gets on stage and he and the band start to play their setlist.

Two songs in he gets pissed because people are talking. He says, "you wanna talk? It's your twenty minutes. Or, I could turn it up - I could hurt you." Pause. Then, to the crowd "do you want me to hurt you?"

The crowd shouts in response, so he says to his sound guy, "Frank, turn it up." The sound goes up. Lou made the request again, and now the sound where I stood by the front speaker stack reminded me of my first concert, a Ramones show which left my ears ringing for three days.

PS, if you've wondered what Lou looks like when he's pissed, and you're standing by the front speakers taking a photo of him, it's this. And here's another description of the show.

I've read that art is about provoking a response. Lou did that to everyone. He could be sweet, he could be an incredible ass, but he was going to make you care.

Your music means a lot to me. RIP Mr Reed, and my condolences to your wife, whose music holds a similar place in my life.
posted by zippy at 1:11 PM on October 27, 2013 [37 favorites]


.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:12 PM on October 27, 2013


Joan Jett is going to live forever tho, right? Right?!?
posted by The Whelk at 1:14 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


My first Lou Reed album purchase was New Sensations. He has other, better songs, but this is the passage that is choking me up right now:
I took my GPZ out for a ride
the engine felt good between my thighs
The air felt cool, it's was forty degrees outside

I rode to Pennsylvania near the Delaware Gap
sometimes I got lost and had to check the map
I stopped at a roadside diner for a burger and a coke

There were some country folk and some hunters inside
somebody got themselves married and somebody died
I went to the juke box and played a hillbilly song

They was arguing about football as I waved and went outside
and I headed for the mountains feeling warm inside
I love that GPZ so much, you know that I could kiss her
In New York, he was Lou Reed. A motorcycle ride away and he's just a biker ordering a coke, loving life.

That's sort of how I have always thought of him, true or false though it may be,
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:14 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


.
posted by lalochezia at 1:16 PM on October 27, 2013


Damn.

.
posted by arcticseal at 1:16 PM on October 27, 2013


.
posted by we are the music makers at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2013


Every day I listen or play some Lou Reed. His music has been with me since I was 16, I'm 50. It's his music that gave me the knowledge that I was profoundly different to my peers.

I am so sorry to hear this news. I'm going to listen to Caroline Says.
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by motdiem2 at 1:19 PM on October 27, 2013


Life's like forever becoming
But life's forever dealing in hurt
Now life's like death without living
That's what life's like without you
.
posted by Toekneesan at 1:19 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Huh, more proof that we're from different planet, SO has no idea who Lou Reed is. Has never heard the name."

WHO DID YOU MARRY?
posted by klangklangston at 1:26 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


So I gotta limit my show playlist to an hour.... that is near impossible.

1. Felix Fan - Heroin
2. Cat Power - I Found A Reason
3. Nick Cave - All Tomorrow's Parties
4. Lou Reed - Solsbury Hill
5. Lou Reed - This Magic Moment
6. Lou Reed - Leave Her Johnny
7. Lou Reed - September Song
8. The Velvet Underground - Pale Blue Eyes [Alternate Closet Mix]
9. The Velvet Underground - Satellite of Love
10. The Velvet Underground - Run Run Run
11. Lou Reed - Sword of Damocles (edit)
12. Lou Reed - Finish Line
13. Lou Reed - Perfect Day


That is a stupid short list with so much left out, but I think it's what I'll go with
posted by edgeways at 1:26 PM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:27 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


You will be missed sweet Lou. He did so many different things and almost all of them were interesting in some way, some just about life changing. Such an incredible artist.
posted by caddis at 1:28 PM on October 27, 2013


Fuck. Just - fuck.

.
posted by daisyk at 1:30 PM on October 27, 2013


.
posted by missmerrymack at 1:31 PM on October 27, 2013


this news was announced in the bar which lead to a story about Lou Reed bumming cigarettes all night at Fat Tuesday's.

"I remember where I was that day
I was upstate in a bar
A team from the university was playing football on TV
Then the screen went dead and the announcer said
There's been a tragedy
There's unconfirmed reports the President's been shot
And he may be dead or dying" - The Day John Kennedy Died - Lou Reed (obviously)

She said sticking her tongue in my ear

Heh, that was my Facebook status response (along with a quote from Richman's tribute)
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:35 PM on October 27, 2013


Don't think that this has been posted: interview trainwreck: Lou Reed in Australia, 1974
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:41 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


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posted by vibrotronica at 1:45 PM on October 27, 2013


1968: Little Timmy Sullivan screaming "I'm searching for my mainline, you know I couldn't hit it sideways" as we wandered through the exciting and depressing West Bank night. Lou's gone and Timmy probably too. It's a sad wonderful life we lead. Thanks for adding to the wonderful part Lou.
posted by Xurando at 1:48 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Been listening to his stuff since hearing the news this morning. I'm much more familiar with his old stuff but am listening to "Sad Song" right now and although it's different, it's good and beautiful. Thanks for the music, Lou.

.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:57 PM on October 27, 2013


FUCK
posted by the_bone at 1:57 PM on October 27, 2013


Neil Gaiman tweeted his interview with Reed from around the time of Magic and Loss.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:59 PM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


.
posted by Artw at 1:59 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by adamvasco at 2:01 PM on October 27, 2013


.

My thoughts are with Laurie.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 2:02 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by sunusku at 2:02 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Tacodog at 2:02 PM on October 27, 2013


I swear...it was the Playstation ad, that killed him...just like the Jaguar ad that killed Joe Strummer...
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 2:03 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


All my idols and heroes will be dead soon, it seems.
posted by Curious Artificer at 2:08 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
posted by jquinby at 2:12 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by monkey closet at 2:13 PM on October 27, 2013


.
I was introduced to the VU through Bowie's version of White Light, White Heat on the Ziggy concert album.

I went to hear him read and be interviewed. When The interviewer claimed there were no VU love songs, Reed shot back with " I'll be your Mirror".
He made it clear that he wouldn't answer personal ?s. I had wondered why Lewis EW but Lou OU, but thought that might cross the boundary.
posted by brujita at 2:16 PM on October 27, 2013


It's not a perfect life but I'm glad I spent some of it listening to you.

.
posted by cmfletcher at 2:16 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah this news sucks. Thanks for all the music Lou, you dark crazy genius. I am not enjoying watching the musical heroes of my generation slipping the surly bonds. Not enjoying it one bit. Fu-u-u-uck.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:24 PM on October 27, 2013


Hey fellow boomers! Raise your hand if Transformer changed your life as much as it did mine!
posted by squalor at 2:28 PM on October 27, 2013



posted by Smart Dalek at 2:30 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Mercher at 2:31 PM on October 27, 2013




I read somewhere that hardly anyone bought the first Velvet Underground album, but they all went out and formed bands. The Velvets certainly made me want to play rock and roll, despite my mediocre skills on bass.

And as if Lou Reed weren't cool enough, he married Laurie Anderson. Wow.
posted by Gelatin at 2:33 PM on October 27, 2013


I discovered the Velvet Underground in the mid 80s when the albums were reissued here in the States. At the time I was listening to a lot of WXDU, the college station from Duke University, which I could hear through the static because of an antenna on our roof. I heard the Velvets quite often and it didn't seem odd to me at all that this old band from the 60s was getting played alongside REM, The Replacements, Black Flag, The Cramps, dB's, etc. because it just fit.

So long, Lou.
posted by cropshy at 2:37 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by gonzo_ID at 2:37 PM on October 27, 2013


.
Lou Reed in New York
posted by mumimor at 2:38 PM on October 27, 2013


RIP man. I'll imagine you fondly as walkin' on the wild side of heaven for ever more.
posted by Lynsey at 2:45 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by smidgen at 2:49 PM on October 27, 2013


. He's a huge loss.
posted by sfred at 2:49 PM on October 27, 2013


On receiving electroshock:
They put the thing down your throat so you don't swallow your tongue, and they put electrodes on your head. That's what was recommended in Rockland County to discourage homosexual feelings. The effect is that you lose your memory and become a vegetable. You can't read a book because you get to page 17 and have to go right back to page one again."
posted by edgeways at 2:52 PM on October 27, 2013


swift: "I had no idea he was 71, but I guess his generation is passing. Get ready for a few more years of bad news."

I remember a bunch of articles written in the early eighties about whether rock'n'roll can survive middle age. Now all those then forty something rockers are all moving into their seventies and most of them didn't really take very good care of themselves. There's going to be a lot of these threads.
posted by octothorpe at 2:53 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always loved the song 'Ocean' both the Velvet Underground and Reed's solo version. Say what you will but the man did touch greatness on several occasions in his day.
posted by metagnathous at 2:55 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not even sure what to say. Motherfucker was one of the hidden pillars of my universe.

wow it's going to be hard when Bowie dies
posted by COBRA! at 2:55 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sweet Jane,... Oh, sweet sweet Jane...

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posted by quazichimp at 3:00 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by scruss at 3:00 PM on October 27, 2013


The Dangerous Minds collection of articles about Lou is great stuff.

Sad: Rachel

First smile about Lou since the news broke: Not joking: Lou Reed is at this Starbucks
posted by maudlin at 3:03 PM on October 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


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posted by localroger at 3:03 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Krazor at 3:07 PM on October 27, 2013


I had wondered why Lewis EW but Lou OU

I think this is often the case when nicknames/short forms have common spellings which are well-known (but different from the spelling of their full name). I know several people named "Gerald" who go by "Jerry," for example.

Also, I think "Lou" is urban while "Lew" is more urbane. I can't imagine Lew Reed singing most of Lou Reed's lyrics.
posted by dhens at 3:09 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fuckity fuck.

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Chin up, Ms. Anderson.
posted by Samizdata at 3:10 PM on October 27, 2013


I'm crushed by the news of his passing, but so glad for all the work he left for us. Good night, Lou and thank you. You are loved in so many ways. I can't even begin to count the many. I can't even--

.
posted by but no cigar at 3:11 PM on October 27, 2013


First smile about Lou since the news broke: Not joking: Lou Reed is at this Starbucks

"It was a robot, asshole."
posted by zippy at 3:13 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by Kinbote at 3:13 PM on October 27, 2013


Amongst the many terrific songs he wrote, he wrote one of my favourite songs about cancer, if you can have such a thing. So, Lou, thanks for that and much else besides.
posted by Decani at 3:15 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


He was my very first concert. Saw him at the Houston Music Hall when he was on the Rock & Roll Animal tour when I was 10 or 11. My parents sometimes did not have good judgement, and that time it worked out in my favor. That album & that show made a difference in my life, & for that I thank him.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:22 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by aoxomoxoa at 3:23 PM on October 27, 2013


wow it's going to be hard when Bowie dies

Bowie, hell, when Waits goes I'm taking a week off work to spend at the bottom of a bottle.
posted by edgeways at 3:24 PM on October 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


I love the man's work.

Pretty much my favorite story of Lou Reed is that one where this girl meets him and he's her idol and she's desperate to connect with him and the first thing he asks her is if he can shit on her face. She is stunned and hurt and of course says no so he comes back with "What if I put a plate on your face first?"

Ah, the 70s.
posted by dobbs at 3:24 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


In 2002, I had tickets to see Bowie at the Beacon in NYC, but didn't get off work until the start time of the show. I tore ass uptown and got there 30 minutes late, and found that the show was only just that minute starting. The lobby was nearly empty, but for an older couple who had also just arrived. Then it hit me it was Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. I was over the freaking moon (Lou Reed sighting and Bowie show in the same night!). I saw him perform for the first time just two years at a Shel Silverstein tribute... it was Silverstein's work of course, but it was cool to see him do his thing.

Such an icon. Such a FIGURE in my teenage years in my young adulthood. Why the fuck are we all getting so old?
posted by kimdog at 3:24 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dibs on his spinal fluid.
posted by loquacious at 3:26 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Point of order, Bowie is an immortal alien God. "Dying" is just a cover for " returned to home planet."
posted by The Whelk at 3:26 PM on October 27, 2013 [17 favorites]


Ah, shit.
posted by OmieWise at 3:37 PM on October 27, 2013


A few years ago I worked in a call center with a woman in her late 60s who grew up on Long Island. She claimed to have gone out on a date to see Peyton Place with Lou Reed when they were in their teens, and that he was "very quiet".

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posted by pxe2000 at 3:44 PM on October 27, 2013


Goddamnit. Fuck. I expected Lou to be stomping around New York into his hundreds. All good thoughts for peace to Laurie Anderson, another of my heroes, and everyone else who loved him.

Reed for Wim Wenders' The Soul of a Man

See that my grave is kept clean


posted by vers at 3:49 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by quiet earth at 3:52 PM on October 27, 2013


Not exactly the boy next door.

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posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:53 PM on October 27, 2013


My favorite story about Lou Reed comes from Andy Warhol's memoir of the 60s. Warhol describes the Velvets as punk before there was punk, and says these kids were so dirty, you wouldn't believe. They had a game they would play where they would run around the Factory shoving their hands down their pants, shitting in them, and then flinging the poop at each other. Warhol said he couldn't believe it until he saw it himself.

My love for Lou Reed grew even stronger when I read that.

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posted by malapropist at 3:54 PM on October 27, 2013


So sad when I heard this this morning.

Blasting VU right now, while making North Indian-Spiced Pumpkin Soup.

.
posted by chococat at 4:00 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lou was at the top of my list of artists whom I idolized but who I would Not want to meet in real life. This is because I was introduced to him through those raucous Lester Bangs interviews, and some of the first albums of his that I owned were "White Light White Heat", "Berlin" and "MMM".

These albums would give me the impression that Lou was unrelentingly vicious and transgressive. It took a long while (and the VU 3rd "Grey" album) to realize that the master of pre-punk aggression was also a genius at crafting lovely melodies and interpreting traditional doo-wop styles...

Oh I do believe
You are what you perceive...

posted by ovvl at 4:00 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favorite Reed song is from the underloved Songs For Drella album
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 PM on October 27 [9 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Not underloved by me. One of my favourite albums, period.
posted by Decani at 4:02 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thank you for the music, and thank you for your life. Rest in peace, and your music will continue to affect us.
posted by qivip at 4:06 PM on October 27, 2013


chococat: "So sad when I heard this this morning.

Blasting VU right now, while making North Indian-Spiced Pumpkin Soup.

.
"

Sheesh. Can I come over to your house for a commiseratory dinner?
posted by Samizdata at 4:13 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure! Bring beer.
Great version of Sweet Jane, live in Sidney, with Sharon Jones.
posted by chococat at 4:24 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just chiming in to second koeselitz' recommendation above of Reed's 1982 "comeback" album The Blue Mask (I never got the "comeback" thing; Coney Island Baby and Street Hassle came out in 1976 and 1978 and are often-brilliant 70s rock records). But The Blue Mask really is something special, partly because of former Richard Hell & the Voidoids guitarist Robert Quine, but not just that. The Rolling Stone obit links this appreciation of "Lou Reed's solo masterpiece" 30 years later, and here's the Allmusic review:

In 1982, 12 years after he left the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed released The Blue Mask, the first album where he lived up to the potential he displayed in the most groundbreaking of all American rock bands. The Blue Mask was Reed's first album after he overcame a long-standing addiction to alcohol and drugs, and it reveals a renewed focus and dedication to craft -- for the first time in years, Reed had written an entire album's worth of moving, compelling songs, and was performing them with keen skill and genuine emotional commitment. Reed was also playing electric guitar again, and with the edgy genius he summoned up on White Light/White Heat.

Just as importantly, he brought Robert Quine on board as his second guitarist, giving Reed a worthy foil who at once brought great musical ideas to the table, and encouraged the bandleader to make the most of his own guitar work. (Reed also got superb support from his rhythm section, bassist extraordinaire Fernando Saunders and ace drummer Doane Perry). As Reed stripped his band back to a muscular two-guitars/bass/drums format, he also shed the faux-decadent "Rock N Roll Animal" persona that had dominated his solo work and wrote clearly and fearlessly of his life, his thoughts, and his fears, performing the songs with supreme authority whether he was playing with quiet subtlety (such as the lovely "My House" or the unnerving "The Gun") or cranked-to-ten fury (the paranoid "Waves of Fear" and the emotionally devastating title cut). Intelligent, passionate, literate, mature, and thoroughly heartfelt, The Blue Mask was everything Reed's fans had been looking for in his work for years, and it's vivid proof that for some rockers, life can begin on the far side of 35.


1983's Legendary Hearts also has Quine and is almost as good - "more than good enough to confirm that the brilliance of The Blue Mask was no fluke, and that Reed had reestablished himself as one of the most important artists in American rock." And then came 1984's New Sensations, which was a shockingly accessible, smart and mostly upbeat collection that rightfully became an 80s college radio standard. That's an amazing run right there, and we're nowhere near his seminal VU stuff. If there's any one of those three records you don't know you're in for a real treat.

"Fly Into the Sun" has some of my favorite lyrics about death:

I would not run from the blazing light
I would not run from its rain
I'd see it as an end to misery
as an end to worldly pain

An end to worldly pain
an end to worldly pain
I'd shine by the light of the unknown moment
to end this worldly pain

And fly into the sun
fly into the sun
I'd shine by the light of the unknown moment
and fly into the sun...

To end this mystery
answer my mystery
I'd look at this as a wondrous moment
to end this mystery

Fly into the sun
fly into the sun
I'd break up into a million pieces
and fly into the sun

.
.
.

posted by mediareport at 4:28 PM on October 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


My favorite Lou Reed story.

I was with my friend HW at an opening many years ago and she said, "Isn't that Lou Reed?" I'd noticed at the time this guy going to quite a few openings that I'd been going to and I'd sort of thought of him as "the guy who looks like Lou Reed" but hadn't really paid attention. So I looked at him again and thought, "Hmm, she's right!"

He'd been walking to the door, but he had clearly heard us talking about him, and he stopped right at the door, turned to face us, and stood there with his arms crossed. The message was very clear, "I'm leaving now, so if you want to talk to me, this is your chance."

HW walked over to him and said, "I just want to shake your hand!", and he thrust his hand out, said, "Put it there," gave her a vigorous handshake, then strode away.

It was very civilized and I've always thought highly of him as a human beingas a result.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:34 PM on October 27, 2013 [15 favorites]


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posted by p3t3 at 4:38 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by 0 at 4:42 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Wizzle at 4:44 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by lapolla at 4:44 PM on October 27, 2013


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also - after returning home with my parents from taking my older brother to college, i found, on his turntable, a record cued up with a note attached to it saying "listen to this". pushing play, my somewhat melancholy 13-year-old ears were treated to their first listen of "walk on the wild side." GREAT way to hear that song for the first time, and to be introduced to lou's music.

also - i was psyched to be seated next to him at my fave e. vill. sushi joint about 2 years ago. i didn't say "hello", didn't want to intrude, but we left at around the same time and, totally by accident, we walked in the same direction for a few blocks. cool to see him walk down ave a, people stopping him to say hello, him being gracious.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Here's hoping death is just a beginning of a great adventure.

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posted by waraw at 4:53 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by languagehat at 5:07 PM on October 27, 2013


I've had a love hate relationship with his music since I first heard"Walk on The Wild Side" in 6th grade. I loved that song.
Then as a young punk all of my friends were listening to VU and I had never so I said sure, let's listen. Unfortunately, the chosen track was "The Gift" from "White Light/White Heat" My reaction at the time was "What a load of pompous bullshit!". Of course all during that time some of my favorite bands were covering both VU and Lou Reed, so regardless of what I said it was part of my musical diet.
Funny, I find myself fairly emotional about his death.
I will miss you Mr. Reed. Thank you.
posted by evilDoug at 5:07 PM on October 27, 2013


I think I knew Walk on the Wildside and that's about it (maybe Satellite of Love?) when New York came out, but my god, did that record hammer itself right into my brain.
My wife has been trying to throw out my old Lou Reed T-shirt for nearly 20 years, it is horribly faded and has a few holes, but I have it hidden down the back of a draw.
I went and put it on. It must have shrunk a little (there can be no other explanation!), but it still feels good. Thanks Lou.
posted by bystander at 5:09 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And of course, I'm just the kind of asshole who loves Metal Machine Music. In fact I closed the library tonight with it.
posted by evilDoug at 5:10 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Weirdly—or perhaps not considering my age—my introduction to Reed was his appearance in the movie Get Crazy. I'm going to miss him.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:12 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by Dr-Baa at 5:12 PM on October 27, 2013


"Coney Island Baby" is a wonderful piece of American songwriting.

His later years were incredible, too, particularly Ecstasy and Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse. Don't miss the Julian Schnabel concert film.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:19 PM on October 27, 2013


When the Czech leader Vaclav Havel met Lou Reed in 1990 he told him, "Did you know that I am president because of you?" The Velvet Underground's first record had become so popular in Prague it had given the rebellion its name: "the Velvet Revolution."

- MUSIC & POLITICS by Sam Smith
posted by Twang at 5:21 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

ugh
posted by easy, lucky, free at 5:21 PM on October 27, 2013


Fuck.
I don't have any stories about meeting him or anything but if my life was ever saved by rock and roll then I owe him that.

Woke up this morning, about an hour after I fell asleep, my heart hurting, and for some damned reason I had "Our House" running through my head, despite that Ive listened to it probably once in the last 20 years. In particular the lines about how they get out the Ouija board, and it spells out Delmore, so Lou knows his spirit is there in the house with 'em...

The entire song is corny as hell obviously, but since it was on an album w/ Waves of Fear and The Blue Mask some slack must be cut. But still... but it's still a lovely sentiment. From a song I never ever think about.

So I go back to sleep and wake up again and... this. If I was the kinda guy who believed in that sort of thing, I'd probably think that this was definitely one of those things. Good night Uncle Lou.

But that's not what I want to say. What I want to say is, yeah, he was a "rock and roll poet" if you will. And he was undeniably a hell of a lyricist, not to mention a ferocious guitarist. And yet, if I had to pick a favorite song of his it'd have to be one that was (probably) named after a doo-wop song, which has sung lyrics that consist mostly of a quote from another doo-wop song, and which appears on what's more-or-less a comedy album.

I've waxed rhapsodic about that album on here before- my friends and I had it just about memorized, sorta formed our personas around it I guess... "I have no attitude without a cigarette. (lights cigarette) ...enough attitude to kill every person in Jersey! Ask 'em in here..."

But so yeah he was doing standup, basically, on some unholy combination, I always figured, of speed and booze, but perfectly on, and a little bit loose... fucking with the audience (crowd member - "Patti Smith!" Lou - "What about her? Fuck Radio Ethiopia, man, I'm Radio Brooklyn") and the critics ("what does Robert Christgau do in bed. Is he a toe-fucker?") and the band ("Come on, you know the riff... eight measures of it!" and "Don't you show any passion! You show an emotion, I fire you!") and then he turns Coney Island Baby into the greatest lovesong of all time. You should listen to it right now, especially if you don't know this song/version, I know I am!

It's everything- Michael Fonfara beating the hell out of that 'fucking Yamaha piano', Chrissy Faith (is she really the only backup singer?) but mostly it's just Lou belting it out, all about

The glory of love will see you through,
Baby don't you know it will happen to you

which maybe he could only get there by quoting the Dells, I don't know, he's written and performed straight lovesongs certainly but this, to me, is the one that got me through High School and I don't know how many endless nights since, because people will rip you right off, and they'll break your heart, and they will goddamned certainly die on you, but Coney Island Baby will never let you down.

tl;dr: Thank you, Lou.
posted by hap_hazard at 5:30 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Reminds me that New York was the first CD I owned

.
posted by fatbaq at 5:31 PM on October 27, 2013


Aw, man. First heard him like a lot of people my age, from "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" on the radio of the parental unit's car. Got into VU in high school, when the 60s were being revived for popular consumption, and by then he was shilling Honda mopeds on TV, which made me angry. "It's his song, though," my friend and fellow 60s music fan Sarah said, "and if he wants to sell it to Honda, he can. It's none of your business." I mean, she was right and everything, but still.

8 years later I was walking down 6th Avenue near where Downing Street becomes Bleecker. I'd been in NYC for 9 months. Not 10 feet in front of me, I see this small, slender middle-aged man and a woman with spiky hair come out of a old-school looking Italian restaurant. They took each other's hands, and he said, "I'll see you later, honey." They kissed, let go, and then as she walked down 6th in the opposite direction, he crossed the street clutching his man bag over his shoulder. It took me maybe about 10 seconds to register that they were Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, and all I could think was

"OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGLEGENDSKISSEDINFRONTOFMEOMGOMG!"

I had had no idea they were even together and it blew my mind and seemed very right. All judgment of his huckstering passed away.

Weirdly enough I was down that way this past July and wondered where he might be; I saw him enough times down in the Village that he was almost just, "Oh, yeah, there's Lou," like you'd see the neighbor guy across the street and feel like everything was normal. Aw, man, poor Laurie.

Say "Hey!" to Andy for us, Lou.

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posted by droplet at 5:32 PM on October 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


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1969: The Velvet Underground Live is still one of my favorite albums, and it's on youtube part 1 and 2.
posted by peeedro at 5:41 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by treepour at 5:49 PM on October 27, 2013


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Seconding 1969 - I've worn that album out a dozen times: the versions of beginning to see the light and the ocean kill me.
posted by grubby at 5:51 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by lordrunningclam at 5:54 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by motty at 5:55 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by leslies at 5:56 PM on October 27, 2013


@dhens: Lew and Lou sound slightly different to me. The first has the eh-oo diphthong( the way Scots and Canadians say about), the second the straight oo sound.

There's a last minute memorial at 10 tonight at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC. I plan to go, but somewhat late.
posted by brujita at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2013



posted by theartandsound at 6:11 PM on October 27, 2013


Around 2002, I was on Bainbridge Island, waiting in the queue for the ferry into Seattle. The traffic was gridlocked. I was with my girlfriend at the time. She wasn't a smoker, so I got out of the car to have a cigarette. As I lit the smoke, I noticed a guy doing the same in the opposite queue. We were about five feet apart, separated by a chain link fence. It was Lou Reed, standing there in the mist, resplendent in a black leather trench coat. He noticed me noticing him, and gave me look that said "Don't say a word, son". I clocked his mood, gave him a little nod, and we shared a silent smoke in the fog. Such a Perfect Day.
posted by Optamystic at 6:14 PM on October 27, 2013 [14 favorites]


.

This is my jam has put together a page of all the various Lou Reed jams that people are putting up today.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:17 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Until a friend showed me, I had no idea that Beck's Beautiful Way (sorry, this video is the only one on YT containing the song that I could find) was a blatant rip off of The Velvet Underground's The Countess from Hong Kong. It really tarnished my opinion of Beck--one of my favorite artists--that he could have done that and not credited VU. And what a gorgeous, exotic song by VU, especially considering when it was written/released.

RIP Lou.
posted by Devils Slide at 6:34 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by dancestoblue at 6:39 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 6:43 PM on October 27, 2013


In memory, an acoustic version of Metal Machine Music.
posted by idiopath at 6:48 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lewis Reed: Tall, dark-haired Lou likes basketball, music, and naturally, girls.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:03 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay after having binged on Lou Reed songs it has become strikingly obvious that he has the exact same accent as my Mom's long time boyfriend, who is a NYC-Queens native union man.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Sys Rq at 7:17 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by silentbicycle at 7:20 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by raysmj at 7:31 PM on October 27, 2013


He was even amazing before the VU days when he was writing Merseybeat pastiches for a budget record label.

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posted by jonp72 at 7:32 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


So vicious.

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posted by sfts2 at 7:35 PM on October 27, 2013


This afternoon I was at a potluck lunch with a bunch of longtime New Yorkers. One of them just passed me his phone with the NY Times headline. Then the word went around. We sat around, squinting in the afternoon sun warming Forest Hills, traded our stories about seeing him around town, and looked sad.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:58 PM on October 27, 2013


Three years ago, I fled from my parents' house in NJ to Philadelphia just after Thanksgiving, trying to escape a spell of dysfunction. My friend Rob and his girlfriend picked me up in the city, took me to a succession of South Philly dive bars. I have vivid memories of listening to 'Walk on the Wild Side' in the car that night, Rob singing along extra emphatically to the part about giving head. Listening to a song about other people fleeing to a city seemed oddly fitting.

Rob's been gone for over a year now, his girlfriend for more than two. Now Lou Reed as well. I hope they're all rocking out together.

.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:00 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 8:02 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by ogooglebar at 8:08 PM on October 27, 2013


It really tarnished my opinion of Beck--one of my favorite artists--that he could have done that and not credited VU.

Well, he did cover the entire first VU album for his Record Club - and hey it's pretty good- so maybe he just thought you knew?

I dunno, I think anybody who writes songs, who doesn't accidentally independently reinvent Sweet Jane a few times, isn't trying hard enough. That shit is primal, somehow.
posted by hap_hazard at 8:41 PM on October 27, 2013


One of my all-time favorite bootleg recordings is of Lou Reed and Nico rehearsing in April 1971 at the apartment of Lisa and Richard Robinson in NYC. Running through a bunch of Velvets and Chelsea Girl-era tracks in preparation for a duo show, Nico seems to have forgotten the words to everything. The tape is about two hours long and is one of the most magical items in my entire collection. Here's my favorite take (from about a dozen) of "All Tomorrow's Parties", and a very nice "I'll Be Your Mirror".
posted by mykescipark at 8:42 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by shoepal at 8:43 PM on October 27, 2013


I've been planning to leave New York for 35 years.

You made it. Godspeed.
posted by bukvich at 9:05 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pre-VU Lou, 1964: The Ostrich
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:43 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by khregs at 9:59 PM on October 27, 2013


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posted by prufrock at 10:00 PM on October 27, 2013


I listened to Iron & Wine with Calexico's live version of "All Tomorrow's Parties", from their KEXP concert, in honour of Lou Reed
posted by dotgirl at 10:09 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by mwhybark at 10:31 PM on October 27, 2013


KEXP was a treasure today, playing deep cuts from Reed, mixed with worthy covers all day, continuing through their hip hop show which played track sampling Reed. Can't wait to hear what John in the AM and Kevin Cole play tomorrow.
posted by Random Person at 10:43 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Waves of Fear.

Lou Reed was always a sort of private addiction to me, as all my friends hated him. I would seek out his albums at stores that offered "cut out" records for 99 cents, then record them to cassette tapes and listen in the car. So many late late nights, listening to the Blue Mask or Transformer or Coney Island Baby as I came home from work or back from a party.

RIP Lou.
posted by LarryC at 10:50 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


And Later
When it gets dark
We go home


.
posted by Elmore at 10:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Primitives Sneaky Pete

Lou being mic checked outside of Lincoln Center during Occupy Wall Street.
posted by brujita at 10:56 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I missed the memorial :-(
posted by brujita at 10:58 PM on October 27, 2013


The first piece of music I ever purchased (I was 12) was a 45 of Walk on the Wild Side. It was backed with Vicious and when I heard that track, I knew I needed to know more about this cat. It's still one of my favorites.

I somehow convinced my dad to drive me to the city to go see him shortly thereafter, my first ever concert.

I've spent the rest of my day today going through my iTunes library trying to list all the bands that wouldn't exist without Lou Reed and it's *all*of them. He was our Lennon, our Elvis, our Dylan, all in one.

I remember playing a gig in San Francisco, must have been --'93. I had just broken up with the love of my life, the woman who taught me to love, this woman, And she was in the club with her new husband. The band took a break and I played a solo true-to-the-original version of Pale Blue Eyes. It was good what we did yesterday...and I'd do it once again...the fact that you are married...only proves you're my best friend...but it's truly, truly a sin. It was easily the saddest moment of my life.

My band recently broke up, and I'm at an age and station in life where I'll probably never have another band. As a teenager, my first band recorded our demo the day Roy Orbison died. Today the guys from my latest band came over to my house to pick up all their gear. Our practice space which held so many memories, so many late nights finding god through 2 chords and a lot of distortion, now sits empty except my lonely guitar rig. Lou Reed is dead and I am just so so sad.
posted by Random Person at 11:26 PM on October 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


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posted by mr_roboto at 11:30 PM on October 27, 2013


When I was 13 or 14 I pulled a cassette issue of Street Hassle out of a bargain bin in a Mall on a family trip to Willmar, MN (pop. significantly less than 20,000 in the mid-80s), what passed for a big town where I grew up, in that they had a mall. It was the first album I ever bought for myself, which makes me sound significantly cooler than I was (or am for that matter): I was under the influence of his Honda Scooter commercial. No internet, no way to easily look up much of anything about Lou Reed.

So I told myself I'd look for "Lou Reed" the next time I got into a "real" record store and ended up with... Street Hassle. I imagine I listened to it on some kind of knock-off walkman. I was an instant convert. I had no idea music could be like that: a fair window on my context at the time was that an aunt had given me an LP of Make it Big by Wham! for Christmas. Street Hassle was dirty, profane, frankly incorrect - the music was loose, driving, often verging on sloppy, absolutely nothing like the tight new wave pop mostly showing up on Friday Night Videos, the only other consistent access to new music I had besides the top 40.

The next thing I managed to get my hands on was the 1980 Compilation Rock and Roll Diary, a cheap cassette reissue that I played to death: Reed's presence in my mind expanded even bigger. A few years later I sang "Rock and Roll" on stage with a goofy college band and when I sang "her life was saved by rock and roll" I meant every word. Lou Reed was one of my lifelines growing up a nerd in a tiny rural town in the 1980s and while I haven't picked up anything new since Set the Twilight Reeling, he remains one of the special ones to me, the music I think of as defining my taste. I'm glad he seemed to be finding fulfillment in is later life, in his marriage and serious practice of Tai Chi. As far as I'm concerned he could have lived to be a thousand, but we all gotta go sometime.

I would not run from the holocaust
I would not run from the bomb
I'd welcome the chance to meet my maker
And fly into the sun

posted by nanojath at 11:52 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, he did cover the entire first VU album for his Record Club - and hey it's pretty good- so maybe he just thought you knew?

Oh, Beck's tune/version is absolutely beautiful and is much more polished and intricate than the VU original in its arrangement and instrumentation, not to mention the great, heartfelt lyrics that made it the only "serious"/heartfelt song on his Midnite Vultures album. I was singing its praises to a friend when he burst my bubble and introduced me to the VU song, which quite honestly made me feel hoodwinked by Beck. It's such a carbon copy of TCFH that if weren't for the different lyrics, it would be considered a faithful cover (albeit more slick than the original, as I said earlier).

I just would have appreciated a little footnote in the liner notes giving credit where credit is due. I mean, that shit wouldn't fly in the field of journalism and would be considered outright plagiarism. Just ask Fareed Zakaria who was reprimanded by his employers and whose reputation suffered greatly as a result of plagiarizing a single sentence from another journalist.

Oh, and I doubt that Beck just assumed that every (or most) listener(s) would instantly recognize it for what it was, therefore not bothering to mention the song's roots. I mean, most folks these days aren't familiar with the complete VU discography and song library, especially one of their more obscure tunes.
posted by Devils Slide at 12:58 AM on October 28, 2013


I was 15 and I got my learner's permit as fast I could. Some guys I barely knew from mock trial suggest we go out to the city. It was the first time I'd ever been to San Francisco without my family. "We should listen to this" and the first few bars of 'I'm Waiting for the Man' hits just as we get on the span of the bay bridge. We were going to find City Lights bookstore. The first of many great adventures...

I'm 20 and it's February and all the dorm is underwater and I'm depressed and stressed and sleepless from the Ritalin. Outside the world is gray water. Inside the blankets are piled high above me. The song Heroin plays through, and I press repeat. The song Heroin plays through, and I press repeat.

I'm 31 and driving back to California, taking back roads through Napa. I have a bootleg of Lou Reed live at the Birmingham Odeon 1973....the sun is setting and the wind is laughing and there's no one to see me hit a 100 miles an hour as 'Vicious' plays. I've graduated law school. My band is going to make an album. I'm going to write a book.

I'm 34 and the cold wind is blowing in from the sea as I wander the fields. "The Sword of Damocles" from "Magic and Loss" keeps going around my head. I'm broke and living with my parents. My book was an unmitigated failure. My band is gone, and I don't think I can start a band, living as I do in the middle of nowhere. Lou Reed is dead and it feels like Rock has died with him.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 1:05 AM on October 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


I wish to share a fitting tribute to Lou Reed, and in the spirit of Metal Machine Music I give you Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch taking a walk on the wildside.
posted by Mezentian at 1:25 AM on October 28, 2013


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posted by rongorongo at 2:27 AM on October 28, 2013


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posted by Cocodrillo at 3:59 AM on October 28, 2013


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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:22 AM on October 28, 2013


I went to see Mark Kozelek at the Union Chapel in London last night. He opened and closed with Lou Reed songs. Both from Berlin. It was pretty special.

Penn wrote that he was great because he made rock and roll music that was just for adults.

He was an unforgivable dick to so many people and his output was pretty mixed... But those velvets records and Berlin are still some of the greatest.
posted by K.P. at 4:43 AM on October 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 5:44 AM on October 28, 2013


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posted by jpziller at 6:01 AM on October 28, 2013


From his review of Kanye's newest album:

"Still, I have never thought of music as a challenge — you always figure, the audience is at least as smart as you are. You do this because you like it, you think what you're making is beautiful. And if you think it's beautiful, maybe they'll think it's beautiful. When I did Metal Machine Music, New York Times critic John Rockwell said, "This is really challenging." I never thought of it like that. I thought of it like, "Wow, if you like guitars, this is pure guitar, from beginning to end, in all its variations. And you're not stuck to one beat." That's what I thought. Not, "I'm going to challenge you to listen to something I made." I don't think West means that for a second, either. You make stuff because it's what you do and you love it."

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posted by Paper rabies at 6:17 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by theora55 at 6:31 AM on October 28, 2013


One of the classes required for graduation at my high school was called "Managing Your Future," and it was intended to prepare kids for things like college interviews, the job market, etc. No student enjoyed this class, which was taught by a guidance counselor.

One day, in my junior year, I found that Managing Your Future had been slotted into my semester's schedule. Crap.

On the first day of this class, the teacher had us fill out some sort of survey, which had questions like "What are your career aspirations?" and "What are your most marketable skills?," things like that. One of the questions asked us to name someone we admired, and why. I wrote, "Lou Reed, because he's really really cool." I took (and take) this to be self-evident.

A couple days later, the teacher pulled me aside and told me that, based on my irreverent answers on that survey, I was clearly not mature enough to take her valuable class, and that I'd just have to find room for it some other semester before I graduated. Remember, this class is a requirement! I was only too happy not to waste my time in this class, so I gladly dropped it.

When it came time to do so, I applied to and was accepted at my first-choice college. Despite my innate irreverence, I had apparently begun to Manage My Future just fine.

But even though the main purpose of this class was to prepare students for college interviews, etc., and I was now accepted into college, I still had to take Managing Your Future before graduating. So I enrolled in it during my last semester, and, every time there was some "workshop" about college applications or college interviews, the teacher, with a grimace, allowed me to leave the classroom, in a reluctant admission of the pointlessness of my being present.

So thank you, Lou Reed, for granting me a little extra down-time during my senior year of high school, and for getting me out of an idiotic class. You are forever really, really cool.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:39 AM on October 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Godspeed Lou Reed!
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:51 AM on October 28, 2013


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posted by brevator at 6:54 AM on October 28, 2013


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posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:58 AM on October 28, 2013


Lou Reed. Damn.

I'm a fan. A friend (much cooler than me) turned me on to Lou, and the Velvets, when I was 15, and we'd stay up all night smoking Camel straights listening to Transformer, or Berlin, or Rock and Roll Animal, or the first VU record. New York came out later that year and we went to see him at the Orpheum in Boston where he played New York in its entirety, and then a whole set of other stuff. Between each song of that second set we kept yelling, "LOU! PLAY SATELLITE OF LOVE! PLEASE! LOU!" Satellite of Love was our jam and, since there was no internet or radio we didn't really understand then that it wasn't just some album track that we dug - it's a pretty universally beloved classic. But yeah, inevitably Lou closed the set with Satellite of Love, and if I suspect it was the closer on the set list all along, the 16 year old me in the balcony still chooses to believe that he played it for us, man.

That show was was, interestingly, the first night of a two night stand, the second night immortalized in Rolling Stone's cover story about Lou where he tore up a bonehead who was heckling him to play some rock and roll with "This is rock & roll. It's my rock & roll," Reed snaps with acidic relish. "If you don't like my rock & roll, why don't ya just split? Get a refund, motherfucker."

My highschool yearbook quote was, "Between thought and expression there lies a lifetime". Cringingly earnest, but I believed it then and I guess I still do.

Recently, maybe 6 months ago, some friends of mine and I did brackets on the top 100 records of all time: nominating candidates, then head to head elimination based on votes. It took forever and was so frustrating - I remember Exile on Main Street got eliminated in the very first round because it happened to come up against Abbey Road. Anyway, point is, what our ridiculous exercise determined was the best record of all time was Transformer. Really, I think the question of ABSOLUTE number one best record of all time is impossible, but it is easily on the list of CONTENDERS for best record of all time, and I feel like it validated our process.

I love so much Lou so much, but I'll limit myself to just a few links: posted by dirtdirt at 8:15 AM on October 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


aw fuck!
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posted by dougzilla at 8:53 AM on October 28, 2013


Sad news. Poor Lou. Poor US!

I suggest everyone listen to the unhinged live record TAKE NO PRISONERS.
Such a great record. He balances the line between Rock legend and Stand-up-Comic.

FACE NORTH JACK!
posted by JBennett at 9:21 AM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Posted to Facebook just now:

"I loved Lou. I admired Lou very much. He was a very genuine person. He was always decent to me. His talent was so wonderful in my life and it gave me great pleasure and guidance. I am sure that his was a worthwhile life, and one he would have enjoyed had it continued longer. He and his wife Laurie were such a good couple.

Iggy"

posted by Capt. Renault at 10:01 AM on October 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


damn. damn. damn.
That was unexpected.

damn.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:02 AM on October 28, 2013


Flashback: Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico Reunite In 1972
posted by nickyskye at 10:03 AM on October 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I, too, was suspicious when I first heard the news and remembered and remember the Lester Bangs interview/review/rant by Lester Bangs from Creem magazine in 1976 that began with a full page picture picture of Lou, in Sally Can't Dance bleached blonde curls, headlined below with

WANTED: LOU REED DEAD OR ALIVE -- WHAT"S THE DIFFERENCE ?

Which was totally hilarious at the time. And, now, it's not... I am numb and bereft.

Well, if there is one thing I have learned -- or not learned, what's the difference ? -- about death is that, almost always, there is nothing you can say, there are no words that can step up to the occasion.

For Laurie Anderson, my condolences and a cover: One for my Baby, (One More for the Road)
posted by y2karl at 10:10 AM on October 28, 2013


In Our Sleep
posted by edgeways at 10:12 AM on October 28, 2013


.

Somehow missed this news until I was looking over the newspaper headlines this morning at work. Everybody's head turned when I yelled "Whoa!"
posted by Rykey at 10:22 AM on October 28, 2013


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posted by PippinJack at 12:41 PM on October 28, 2013


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posted by jabo at 1:41 PM on October 28, 2013


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posted by lipsum at 2:40 PM on October 28, 2013


Cale's statement:
The news I feared the most, pales in comparison to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach. Two kids have a chance meeting and 47 years later we fight and love the same way -- losing either one is incomprehensible. No replacement value, no digital or virtual fill...broken now, for all time. Unlike so many with similar stories - we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. The laughs we shared just a few weeks ago, will forever remind me of all that was good between us.
posted by mykescipark at 3:15 PM on October 28, 2013 [13 favorites]


Very cool: The Story Behind Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” Bass Line
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:38 PM on October 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Lou Reed’s paradoxical Jewishness

In which we learn that he has a spider (Loureedia annulipes) named after him.

Because it is a velvet, underground, spider.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:37 PM on October 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


hey man that's just a lie
it's a lie she tells her friends
the real song, the one she
won't even admit to herself,
beatin in her heart-
it's a song lotsa people know
with a little sad truth,
in a life full of sad songs
and a painful wish
but wishin' won't make it so, Joe-
no pretty kiss,
when her pretty face
can't have its way
y'know tramps like us, babe,
we were born to pay
posted by hap_hazard at 4:15 AM on October 29, 2013


Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s 71-year-old culture minister, paid his own tribute on Monday to the late rocker Lou Reed, tweeting one of his best-known songs before clarifying he was not condoning any reference to drugs some have seen in the song.

posted by chavenet at 11:27 AM on October 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rather than traveling like Christians from paradise through knowledge to sin, Lou leads us like Jews from sin to knowledge to acceptance of our inevitable state of bereavement. Lou understood that we are utterly forsaken. But in making-do, in getting by, a kind of love emerges; a love for ourselves, for each other, and for the redemption of extracting a little shudder of jouissance from the fissure between living and dying, between dreams and responsibilities, between thought and expression.
posted by scody at 12:50 PM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Neal Pollack's tribute outdoes the rest: I loved Lou Reed more than you.
"I saw the Velvets 350 times. No one influenced my art and poetry more. A special tribute from his biggest fan"
posted by larrybob at 3:04 PM on October 29, 2013


hey man that's just a lie...
How did he come to recite those lines on "Street Hassle"?
Because if I'd done them, they'd have come out funny. And when he did it, it sounded real. He was at the same studio, the Record Plant. It wasn't making it with me doing it So the engineer said, "Why don't you ask Bruce to do it? He could really do that" So we asked Bruce to do it, and he rewrote it a little.

The ending of his passage is a clever take-off on "Born to Run" – "There are tramps like us/Who were born to pay." Was that his contribution?
No, that was mine. It had been written with him in mind, but he wasn't there. I was just playing off the title.
posted by y2karl at 5:22 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


When the Velvet Underground played at my high school
posted by maggieb at 8:32 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by homunculus at 10:13 PM on October 29, 2013


>When the Velvet Underground played at my high school
'They played “Pale Blue Eyes” and “I Can’t Stand It.” During lunch hour they played “Heroin” and “Sister Ray".Steve Wasserman was disciplined for getting up and dancing'

This really deserves to be dramatized!
posted by rongorongo at 3:24 AM on October 30, 2013


Mickey Kaus has finally contributed something worthwhile to the world. He was well overdue.

Here's the (ahem) REST OF THE STORY. (Oh, man, I can't believe I'm linking to Reason -- the good part is at the end, duplicated here for your convenience):
I went to Beverly Hills High School, something I can never mention on the campaign trail. It’s like death. Beverly Hills High School is just like Scarsdale west. It has a few movie stars, but it’s basically a very good rich Jewish high school. At least it was when I went there.

This was the early days of pot in 1968, I guess, or ’67. I went to the Shrine Auditorium and saw this group, the Velvet Underground. What Jonathan Richman says about them is true: They’re four people dressed in black standing there very formally making these incredible sounds. They’re like this infernal machine of sound. How the hell did they make that much sound? And they were very charismatic. The songs were truthful and I thought Lou Reed was charismatic and I just loved them.

I was student body president at the time, and I decided: Why not try to get these guys to come to the high school? They were in town so I called up the Whiskey A-Go-Go. They transferred me to the motel where they were staying. I called them at the motel. This was the day after they recorded their third album. Their manager, who was a totally crazy man, swore to the school’s vice principal that there were no drug references in any of their songs. “I’m Waiting for My Man” is just about a homosexual pick-up, nothing to do with drugs. And she bought this, and I later got to distract her while they were singing “Heroin” on the stage.

So they showed up. You remember, they were a failed band, right? So they were desperate to have an audience.

They’d just finished the album the night before. I don’t think they’d gone to sleep. Maybe some drugs were involved, I don’t know. They played very well. Then we had a panel discussion with the Velvet Underground, the school psychiatrist, me, and the leader of the school marching band. I wish I had a film of this. Lou Reed and the psychiatrist got into this incredible pissing match. The psychiatrist said, “I did like your music but it’s too loud. It hurts lab rats.” And Lou Reed said, “If I was a lab rat, maybe I’d care,” or something. They just hated each other and they were all jerks, Lou Reed and everybody else. It was considered a disaster because they weren’t getting along; we were supposed to have sweetness and light and there was contention. But in retrospect, it was a neat thing.
posted by maudlin at 7:24 AM on October 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Repeated to point out the one and only time I have agreed with Mickey Kaus: "Then we had a panel discussion with the Velvet Underground, the school psychiatrist, me, and the leader of the school marching band. I wish I had a film of this."
posted by maudlin at 7:25 AM on October 30, 2013


What my crazy teatard of an uncle had to say on Facebook about the passing of Lou Reed:

"Lou Reed died. Never heard of him. Looked him up on Wiki. Oh, my. "Rest In Peace" was made for him. Apparently, he consumed himself in a dedication to cynical, hopelessness. I often wonder what force in music drives some to self destruction while others use music to ascend to the heights."

Respoonding to that seemed more or less on the order of trying to convince a turd to stop smeiliing like shit, so I didn't bother.
posted by e1c at 7:57 AM on October 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Apparently, he consumed himself in a dedication to cynical, hopelessness.

The thing is, it's not hard to see how someone would say that. It's sorta true, right? Lou was a pretty bleak dude, even if in a sort of existentialist, heroic way. It's not his bleakness that attracted me, it was the heroism in the face of it. And that's what people like your uncle can't get.

I've noticed in talking to my brother and other "traditional values" type people that they don't get irony at all. So you can forget about them comprehending a guy like Reed (or, similarly, Patti Smith), who embraced abjection as a sort of lived, socially critical performance art.

I once had my brother tell me, after we had just listened to REM's "It's the End of the World" on the car radio: "Gosh, that's such a bleak worldview. How can those people go on living if they believe that?" I guess it makes sense that people prone to embrace biblical (and ideological) literalism would be... well, literal.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:25 AM on October 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


My favourite of Lou's will always be his cover of "September Song"

One of my all-time favorite songs, by one of my all-time favorite composers, and when I first saw that he had covered it I was all, "What?!? No! That can't possibly work!" Then I listened to it, and the flashbulb went off. I *got* it. It's pared back to the bone and laid bare, inviting you to come in and see. There's a maple currently aflame on my morning walk, and I hear the song every time I pass under it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:39 AM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The guy co-produced Laurie Anderson's concert for dogs, (The BBC gave him primary credit) (video). And his interview for Blue in the Face comes off with quirky black humor worthy of standup. So it wasn't all gloom and doom.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:05 AM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another example of Lou Reed humor: The Impossible Mode from unreleased Penn & Teller video game Smoke and Mirrors. (Previously)
posted by larrybob at 10:34 AM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Via Steve Shelley's Facebook: "16 year old Jonathan Richman, published this diagram with an article about the Velvet Underground in a Boston scene paper called Vibrations in 1968."
posted by larrybob at 12:03 PM on October 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, glad I'm not the only one who can't let all this go yet. At least not with all these tabs open in my browser... if I ever wondered what everyone in my RSS feeds had in common, I guess I know now...

Not going to blurb them but pretty much everything here is worth looking at, either for a picture (Lou w/ a dachshund! Lou 40 years later, looking like a dachshund!) or a video or some heartfelt reminiscence or an anecdote in the comments about Lou falling asleep at the movies... Anyways, for posterity or whatever, here ya go-


Heartful of Napalm podcast

vulture

Second Sight, also

doom and gloom from the tomb

arthur magazine

dangerous minds- marc campbell (that one), and plus a mixtape

if charlie parker was a gunslinger, also

Caryn Rose

Bob Lefsetz

Roy Edroso

Fred Clark

thisisnotporn

mindhacks

Glenn Kenny

Tristan Eldritch

Will Sheff, at gawker

various celebrity-musician tweets at spin

if you need a copy of Metal Machine Music, for some reason,Captain Willard has you covered. And if you need pretty much anything else Lou, his readers are on the case (scroll way way down)

And, not sure where I saw this linked- hell, maybe this thread but oh well- a nice collection of quotes from Lou and David Bowie about each other, aw.
posted by hap_hazard at 1:55 PM on October 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Lou Reed making a Dylan song his own
posted by maggieb at 3:09 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apparently, he consumed himself in a dedication to cynical, hopelessness.

It wasn't just your crazy uncle. Within hours or his death Tom Leonard from The Daily Mail considered him a fair target to write this. Being an icon of so much counter-culture it possible to forget he had some equally passionate enemies in net curtain land.
posted by rongorongo at 3:23 PM on October 30, 2013


What I love about that hateful Daily Mail article (is there any other kind?) is that the comments are mostly people defending him, including "That article was exactly why he hated journalists." and "How dare Mr Leonard lambast such a genius of a man!" The Daily Mail comments section sticking up for Lou Reed - excellent.
posted by billiebee at 3:34 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Rock & Roll" is decidedly non-bleak, as non-bleak as any pop or rock song ever recorded. So if you're into the non-bleak or not-at-all-downbeat, there's that to be found in Reed's oeuvre, even with the Velvets material. (Just don't ask me what is going on in "The Murder Mystery," thanks.)
posted by raysmj at 8:22 PM on October 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I mentioned it upthread, but if you want upbeat and life affirming Lou Reed, look no further than the title track to New Sensations. There was a lot more to Reed than his critics recognize. Of course, that's what makes them critics.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:08 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Laurie Anderson writes in the East Hampton Star:
To our neighbors:

What a beautiful fall! Everything shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water surrounding us.

Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in the past few years, and even though we’re city people this is our spiritual home.

Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!

Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.

Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

— Laurie Anderson
his loving wife and eternal friend
In case you're interested, a little more about Springs.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:16 PM on October 31, 2013 [29 favorites]


It wasn't just your crazy uncle. Within hours or his death Tom Leonard from The Daily Mail considered him a fair target to write this. Being an icon of so much counter-culture it possible to forget he had some equally passionate enemies in net curtain land.

Stephen Fry on his 'Hated by the Daily Mail' badge: "I suppose the proudest thing I own is this badge, one of a very limited collection, given to me by the warm and wonderful Phill Jupitus. Anyone who can wear it can think of themselves of flying a flag of freedom, of having been awarded a medal struck for decency, fairness, honesty and what is right and morally good."
posted by jaduncan at 6:06 AM on November 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson interview with Charlie Rose
posted by edgeways at 10:19 AM on November 1, 2013


Being an icon of so much counter-culture it possible to forget he had some equally passionate enemies in net curtain land.

Ehh... It's hidden in between some very thick slices of Badmouthing A Random Celebrity bread, but the translucently thin slice of Things The Daily Mail Is Always Banging On About meat of that hate sandwich is, "THE BBC DID A THING YOU SHOULDN'T LIKE [BECAUSE/THEREFORE] THE BBC IS EVIL!"
posted by Sys Rq at 6:59 PM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tony Visconti remembers Lou Reed
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:40 AM on November 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Patti Smith
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:57 AM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


More complete Patti Smith in The New Yorker.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:57 PM on November 4, 2013


Tribute to the single greatest second of recorded music in rock and roll history
posted by porn in the woods at 6:18 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Laurie Andrerson in Rolling Stone.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:20 PM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Tribute to the single greatest second of recorded music in rock and roll history

Didn't even have to RTFA to know which second the author was talking about.
posted by mykescipark at 7:42 PM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


That article by Laurie Anderson in RS is astonishingly lovely:
I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou's as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn't afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love.
posted by scody at 7:57 PM on November 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


Tribute to the single greatest second of recorded music in rock and roll history

Didn't even have to RTFA to know which second the author was talking about.


yeah, that whole 2+ minutes of music following the last vocals is fanfuckingtastic rock and roll.


I didn't realize I could love Laurie any more until I read that RS article. I don't think I've ever bought a new copy of RS, but this may well make me do so.
posted by edgeways at 8:10 AM on November 7, 2013


I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love.

I think reading this actually changed my life. What an inspiration. What beauty.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:05 AM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


... and inspired by an alleged misanthrope.
posted by philip-random at 11:14 AM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


That article by Laurie Anderson in RS is astonishingly lovely:

I may be a sentimental old fool, but that choked me up pretty good. If we don't have one another, then what do we have? No se puede vivir sin amar.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:41 AM on November 7, 2013


I was a radio kid before the triangulation and consolidation of the 80s and 90s made radio suck. I think I owned a dozen albums before iTunes (half of them from garage and library sales). Spinning connections between contemporary chart-toppers and their ancestors was what DJs did. "Rock and Roll" and "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" were always part of my musical language as a result.

Laurie Anderson took longer to understand. It wasn't until well into adulthood, on a melancholy interstate drive with a mix tape, that I discovered I couldn't ignore "O Superman" any longer. One joke clicked into place, which led to another joke, which led to a metaphor, which led to the discovery of an almost-narrative behind the collage of phrases that in the hands of another artist would add up to just a novelty song.

Somewhere about the same time, I figured out that I don't fully understand Lou Reed's work either.

I'm usually an ignorant idiot when it comes to celebrity news, so when I lately discovered that they were working and married together, it just sort of fit somehow. It's one of those artistic relationships that makes a magical kind of sense to me.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:25 PM on November 7, 2013


Lou Reed's Last Words: His Final Interview
posted by nickyskye at 5:42 PM on November 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's also unfortunate that this will be his last living pop culture moment; advertisers and film soundtrackers, "Perfect Day," as great as it is, is not a happy or fun song and should not be used to connote happy funtimes.

Lou Reed and Elvis Costello show how to delivery Perfect Day with no trace of funtime.
posted by rongorongo at 3:48 AM on November 12, 2013


Hear Lou Reed’s tai chi music
posted by homunculus at 6:18 PM on November 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Lou Reed's Last Words: His Final Interview

Wow, that interview. He really seems to know where his head is. I love the way he explained what sound is and how he's affected by it. That brand of slavish attraction to art always impresses and excites me. Go, Lou. Fuck yeah.
posted by heyho at 9:14 AM on November 13, 2013


That was a very quintessential Reed interview
posted by edgeways at 12:14 PM on November 13, 2013


homunculus, thanks for that gem of a link. Much appreciated.
posted by nickyskye at 7:13 PM on November 13, 2013


Lou Reed Public Memorial Set for Thursday at New York's Lincoln Center
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:15 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Big thanks go out to musician Alex Neilson for turning me on to the unbelievably great live version of "Coney Island Baby" on Take No Prisoners.

"The real stand out track is a wistful version of “Coney Island Baby” (described by Will Oldham as “one of my all time favourite recordings”), which grows over ten minutes to Wagnerian proportions, with Reed spitting, “Hey, Lou Reed there’s no way you'll ever be a human being. Look at all the things you’ve done... Don’t you know that I hated every single one”, before riding out on a triumphal ascending scale on sax, piano and raging guitar, with the heartbreaking refrain “the glory of love” repeated again and again like Saint Peter’s doorbell."
posted by porn in the woods at 8:08 AM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I must say I'm looking forward to making a mixtape based on all the tracks mentioned in this thread that I'd ...

A. never heard before, or
B. never given a proper listen

Sorry, Mr. Reed. I should've been paying better attention.
posted by philip-random at 9:47 AM on November 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lou and Laurie on Coney Island by Annie Leibovitz, 1995.
posted by nickyskye at 11:58 AM on November 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Lou tributes at The Wire magazine, from Mark E Smith and many many more.

Really feeling this entry from Bruce Russell (The Dead C.)

"For me, that simple statement about “I Heard Her Call My Name” et al encapsulated one of Lou’s greatest gifts to rock music. Leaving aside his literate street lyricism, his unflinching attitude towards the reality of human nature and his prescient willingness to propose rock music as a genuine artform designed to redeem from damnation all les enfants perdus: Lou Reed was the first to posit that rock ’n’ roll was at heart nothing more nor less than a blast of skronking noise. On record, he did this at the instant when he sang “and then my mind split open”. It was in my opinion the most perfect moment on any rock record ever, and always will be."
posted by porn in the woods at 7:44 PM on November 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


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