Lou Reed. Influence extraordinaire. Magna influere omnimodus in the Music world. His work in the 1960s as main songwriter and lead vocalist/guitarist for The Velvet Underground is NEVER to be underestimated. It is seminal and subversive. It is subliminal and serious. It was NEVER superficial. Guided by Lou Reed’s musical vision and Andy Warhol visual genius, the group remains today as important to the evolution of American/Popular Rock music as does The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan.
To those who are unfamiliar with his name or his work, we forgive you. No, we empathize with you. For you are one of the uninitiated. You have been un-enlightened. Links below will assist you on becoming enlightened.
Having passed away recently at age 71, Lou Reed has accumulating many heartfelt tributes and mentions via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc. Even Miley Cyrus chirped in with her adolescent, but respectful response. Now, is she familiar with Lou Reed’s canon of work? I somehow don’t think so, but we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Are you? You should be. No matter what style of music you personally like. Professionally speaking, it would be essential.
Here is a short list of musicians, artists & genres alike, that I know have been influenced by Lou Reed – David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Jane’s Addiction, Nirvana, Weezer, The Killers, Electronica, Experimental Rock, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Punk Rock, Glam Rock, Post-Punk, New Wave, Neo-Psychedelic. Even actors from Christopher Walken to Steve Buscemi to Robert DeNiro. There is a little bit of Lou & The VU in them all. To be frank, there are actually too many to list.
You see, The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed’s subsequent Solo work brought life to subjects and thoughts that were considered un-cool. The unthinkable. Lou Reed’s words were poetic enough to bring a certain comforting feeling to the listening experience of his music and words. So much has been written about the darker, nihilistic subject matter that he brought to his songs. Death, anger, confusion, loneliness, sexuality, drug use, emotional abuse, physical abuse and desperation were constantly explored by him in song and words. Hearing these songs and lyrics was liberating for so many people. He helped make personal expressionism and alternative lifestyle acceptable and eventually the norm. He made so much, so real, for so many people. His words and voice will be missed.
For more information on The Velvet Underground Bio and discography:
For more information on the Lou Reed Bio and discography: