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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.

17 thoughts on “LOU REED DEAD AT THE AGE OF 71

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Lou Reed was an artist who both embraced and always sought to transcend the label “rock star”. He was about music as a force, and about words being a powerful means of expression. He broke rules and took chances from his earliest days in and before Velvet Underground all the way up through Lulu. He knew he’d be praised, insulted, harassed, ignored, respected, and vilified. Sometimes he cared, a lot of times he didn’t. He was close with Warhol, fought with Bowie, played in the White House, married Laurie Anderson, made a record with Metallica. And more. He led a full life, and will be missed.

  4. R.I.P. Lou Reed.really like that Lou brought in the muscle(Metallica) for the grand finale album! Like it more&more every listen! Also wanted to mention that heaven got a great bass player recently as well,R.I.P. Lorne Black -those 1st 3 Great White albums were awesome! take care all and live it to the fullest because as you know Life is short!!

  5. Lou Reed.. The man who single-handedly made every Metallica fan throw their cds in the garbage. It is rare that I say a musician sucks.. But Lou Reed was God awful. When he attempted to sing, it sounded like he was constantly trying to find the right note to stay in key.

    1. Actually NAPSTER made METALLICA fans toss their CDs and thanks to ITUNES, no one has new ones to throw away. Fifty years in music and very influential, I’d say he found the right note to be entertaining enough. Everyone trashes LULU, but I wonder how many people actually heard the whole album. People just hated the concept and never gave it a chance. It’s very long but it has merits for certain. You put LULU alongside GARAGE DAYS and METALLICA does interesting things. Just no more orchestras ever.

  6. Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner played on Aerosmith’s Get Your Wings, Alice Coopers Welcome to My Nightmare and some Kiss stuff as well. Also great but out of print check out Tim Curry’s Fearless which featured Dick Wagner. Saw him at the Palladium in New York about 1979 and it was a killer show. You can find some footage on youtube.

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