Lou Reed, the frontman of "The Velvet Underground", the late sixties rock band, passed away Sunday, October 27, in his Long Island home, according to several news reports.
Peter Noble, Reed's publicist announced that the songwriter-musician breathed his last in his home but did not reveal any more details. The "Walk on the Wild Side" singer's wife, Laurie Anderson, had earlier said that he had undergone a liver transplant in May. Reed's literary agent, Andrew Wylie told Reuters that his death was a result of complications from the transplant. He was 71 years old.
Reed was an inspiring musician who helped shape rock music for the past fifty years. The influential icon created the band "The Velvet Underground" with John Cale. They fused art and melody, harsh guitar and soothing tunes.
Musician Brian Eno said, "The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band."
Pop artist Andy Warhol became a fan of the band almost immediately. Together, they created "The Exploding Plastic Inevitable", a series of multimedia events that featured musical performances by VU and Nico, a German artist.
After "The Velvet Underground", Reed embarked on a solo career journey that included the albums "Sally Can't Dance", "Transformer", "Metal Music Machine" and "Berlin". His latest work "Lulu" was a collaboration with Metallica, which was released in 2011.
Reed's music was distinctive, as was his personality. The New York Times reported in 1998:
"Back then he was publicly gay, pretended to shoot heroin onstage, and cultivated a 'Dachau panda' look, with cropped peroxide hair and black circles painted under his eyes. But in 1980, Reed renounced druggy theatrics, even swore off intoxicants themselves, and became openly heterosexual, openly married."
As news of Reed's death broke, friends, colleagues and fans flooded social media with tributes and remembrances.
MTV notes the reach of Reed's inspiration, across nations, across genres- right from Mötley Crüe to Glee!
Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe posted on twitter:
RIP Lou Reed.Thank you for your beautiful/dark lyrics/music and stance on life.You inspired me from my teenage years right up till today.
— Nikki Sixx (@NikkiSixx) October 27, 2013
Darren Criss who plays Blaine in popular music series 'Glee' tweeted:
Very sad to hear the news of Lou Reed's passing. Another rocknroll legend has left us mere mortals behind. Thanks for the inspiration, Lou. — Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) October 27, 2013
Samuel Taylor Jackson also remembered Reed:
R.I.P. Lou Reed. Just met at the GQ Awards. The music of my generation. Still Relevant!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) October 27, 2013
Popular author Salman Rushdie wrote:
My friend Lou Reed came to the end of his song. So very sad.But hey, Lou, you'll always take a walk on the wild side. Always a perfect day. — Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) October 27, 2013
Reed's 'VU' bandmate, John Cale posted on Facebook:
"The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet...I've lost my 'school-yard buddy'"
While everyone remembered Reed as a kind, loving person and a very inspiring musician, reed only had one thing to say:
"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out."
Though we mourn Reed's loss, his magical music will remain with us. Forever.