Music

Lou Reed, RIP

One of rock's greatest lyricists has died.

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Lou Reed has died at age 71. My colleague Matt Welch is writing a longer appreciation of his work; in the meantime I'll just say that at his best he was one of the greatest songwriters of the last half-century, a man with an almost unrivaled talent for wrenching something beautiful out of ugliness. Rest in peace.

And finally, something seasonal:

NEXT: Rock Pioneer Lou Reed Dead at 71

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  1. Sad news, indeed. My best to his family and friends.

    If you had asked me, in the early 1970s, how long I’d expect Lou Reed to walk this earth, I’d never had guessed anything close to 71 years. He had a good, long run.

    Kevin R

  2. I saw him circa 1975, on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal tour. Great concert.

    I wonder about the liver transplant… hard drugs can be very hard on your liver….

    1. I know I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but the guy was a socialist who, I’m sure, didn’t support the free market in organ transplants. Yet he managed to get a new liver at the age of 71, instead of who knows, maybe someone in their 30s. How does a 71 year old who famously abused his body get to the top of that list?

      1. Obviously, he knew the right Man to wait for.

        Kevin R

        1. Hey, white boy, you chasin’ our livers around?

          1. Up to Mt. Sinai, Madison 1455
            Go into pre-op more dead than alive

            1. I’m waitin for Dr Mann

              1. 270,000 dollars, in my hand

      2. I don’t support the free market in organ transplants either. What a moral hazard that would be. Imagine if my brother died in a car accident, and I decided to sell his organs to an old, rich, decadent man like that guy, and let a poor, honest and moral young man die? How holy is the dollar to you?

        1. The basis of your moral framework here is as oblique and ill defined as the life or death state of Schr?dinger’s cat:

          Imagine if my brother died in a car accident, and I decided to sell his organs to an old, rich, decadent man like that guy, and let a poor, honest and moral young man die?

          If your brother is dead, then the conflict of your last point does not exist. If he is alive, then to kill him to harvest his organs constitutes murder. So, if that is your basis for objecting to a market based solution to this problem, then may what ever you do find sacred protect us all from your righteousness.

        2. Good freaking Christ that is a stupid comment! I was going to explain, but seriously, it’s not worth it.

  3. No Satellite of Love?
    or is that too obvious and not enough hipster cred

    1. Was thinking the same.

      Libertarians (other than myself) seem to take pride in the fact that they listen to stuff the rest of the world has never heard of.

      1. Libertarians (other than myself) Hipsters seem to take pride in the fact that they listen to stuff the rest of the world has never heard of.

        1. I’ve never heard half the songs that get posted around here. Of course, I haven’t owned more than 5 CDs in my life. And before that not more than a dozen albums/tapes.

          Got my music from the radio and still do.

          1. I thought the go-to songs for Lou Reed were “Sweet Jane” and “Walk on the Wild Side.” Did “Satellite of Love” get a lot of airplay at some point?

            1. Shine a Light on Love got a lot of air time.

            2. Not a lot of airplay. But it probably ranks just below the two you mention. So it gets a lot of airplay by Lou Reed standards.

              Really, Walk On The Wild Side is the only one that ever got airplay when it was new. (And considering the lyrics, I’m pretty amazed that radio stations were willing to play it.)

              1. She never lost her head. Exactly. Are censors that stupid? Yes. Fire the censors. Viva freedom.

  4. Hard to believe, wow. My friend Ted Lyons (yes, the undead baseball player) likes to tell the story of his meeting Lou Reed. Lyons was in the middle of a gallery show featuring his own work and he noticed Reed was entering the place, taking a short cut through to get to the club he was playing at nearby. Reed made the mistake of noticing the artwork and he stopped for a close inspection. Lyons set upon him, ‘So what do you think, Lou Reed?!?!’

    Reed expressed a liking for it, but also seemed miffed at being called out like that.

  5. “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.” ~ Brian Eno

  6. Meh. Sad to see the old bastard go, but he was 71 years into a life not easy on the body. We all gotta go sometime.

    RIP ya old, dead bas-tahd.

    1. Lucky for us, we will be able to 3D copy a new liver. Problem solved. By top.men.in.the.free.market.
      Keep on rockin’ in the free market

  7. Lou was dead to me when he began shilling for those plastic Honda scooters.

    RIP

  8. Berlin was far and away Lou’s best solo effort but God that homemade video sucks.

  9. My colleague Matt Welch is writing a longer appreciation of his work;

    I wonder if there was a three opponent wrestling match between Matt, Nick and Jesse over who got the top honor to write the official obit. hardly fair, Welch is built like an angry ferret.

    1. Nick’s magnum opus praise chorus will be out soon enough. Who says they can’t all bukakke love for the man? When I heard about his death, I immediately went to reason.com expecting a state funeral. I am not disappoint. Good for the reason Godhead. Supposing Jesse is the holy goast.

      1. Nice! All Tomorrow’s Parties is a personal favorite.

  10. Moments ago I finished reading the Gibson novel All Tomorrow’s Parties. Then I go to the computer and find out Lou Reed is dead.

    Good thing I don’t believe in, like, omens an’ shit.

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