The Influence of Lou Reed
Lou Reed. Rest In Peace.
I know that I was not the kind of fanatic follower of Lou Reed. I mean I knew instantly that I heard Velvet Underground that he along with his compatriots were on to a sound that “needed” to happen at that time of rock history. I always thought the way that he made songs were those songs that spoke to the people who needed the opposite things from the pop-revolution that was flooding the airwaves back then. ( there are always those pioneers who change where music is going aren’t there?)
When a friend of mine brought “Transformer” over to my house and put it in the turn-table, we already had a love affair with the stuff that was called “glam-rock” at the time. Spiders from Mars, Mick Ronson, Mott the Hoople. Bowie was just changing things so much. But Lou Reeds Transformer album was just wildly different. Sure there was the Wild Side song… yeah we got that. But there was so much more magic in every song. I actually wore out my copy and finally gave it to someone to listen to and never got it back.
When I was in a band in high school, we used to play “Sweet Jane” – somehow reaching back to our roots. And we played the “live” version (from Rock N Roll Animal) with the Intro that was just a great instrumental piece on its own. It was our favorite song even when we were playing so many other more classic pop songs back then. There was a night that we played it in a big auditorium and our guitar player must have had it turned up to 11. The crowd loved it, even those kids that we knew didn’t really know who Lou Reed was. There was an edge to his music, to the subject matter he wrote about.
So my hat’s off to the late great Lou Reed, passing today at 71 years old. His passing really made me reflect on things: He was more of an influence in what I listened to then and what I listen to now that I guess I realized.
- In Memoriam | Lou Reed Dead At 71 | 1942 – 2013 (jambase.com)