loureedmetallica400pix Lou Reed, a songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.

With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music. As a solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. “One chord is fine,” he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. “Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”

Metallica and Lou Reed collaborated on 2011’s Lulu, inspired by German expressionist writer Frank Wedekind’s plays Earth Spirit and Pandora’s Box. Although the album was largely rejected by Metallica fans, guitarist Kirk Hammet insists that, Lulu, is one one the band’s best records.

Read more about Lou Reed at Rolling Stone.

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  • Ryan on

    That’s too bad. RIP Lou Reed

  • Geno on


  • richman on

    Kol Tuv to a New York legend. I’m a rare defender of LULU and I’ll stick to my guns. ROCK N ROLL ANIMAL is a great live album featuring Dick Wagner. The era of New York that he masterfully captured is long gone but those of us over 40 will never forget it. You wanna know NYC in the late 60s to the 1970s, watch TAXI DRIVER and MIDNIGHT COWBOY, then download this guy’s solo material. It’s all there. A true intellectual rock star. God Bless and please give my regards to Johnny Thunders.

    • flashrockinman on

      Thanks for the Rock & Roll Animal album recommendation. The album cover caught me by surprise. Somehow I figured he always looked like he did in the 90s and more recently. R.I.P.

    • Yankee on

      Dick Wagner? Sure you don’t mean Steve Hunter?

    • richman on

      Actually both and both are great, I personally am more familiar with Wagner ’cause I read his bio.

  • Jim Libbey on

    Never a fan but I’m sorry for his family, friends, and music colleagues on his loss.

  • Taskerofpuppets on

    Damn shame , as he was what rock n roll was really about. I , too, loved his collaboration with METALLICA. Glad to see he went out as a rebel, doing something avant-garde’. I was lucky enough to have seen him perform with METALLICA at the 30th Anniversary Fillmore shows. I thought he was older than 71, or at least I thought he looked it. Up on the stage looking very similar to his spitting image doll from the eighties. He rocked

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