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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  • Bobby on

    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.

    • richman on

      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.

  • Lee on

    Live in ’70 he was okay but cigarettes wrecked his voice, Dylan met the same fate with vocals.

  • Andrew on

    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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