You've undoubtedly heard that Lou Reed passed away today. If you're young, you may not know who he is, or if you do, don't understand what the fuss is all about. If you lean towards hipster, you may think that anything after the Velvet Underground sucked. If you're a little older, you might just know his only hit, "Walk On the Wild Side". If you're a music geek, you may love much of his work, or you may hate it. Or both. When you step back and take your personal listening habits away from the equation, what you come away with is a ground breaker; someone genuine, cool enough to be uncool, a streetwise degenerate, melancholy sap, a survivor, and writer of songs ugly and beautiful, cooler than shit, and total pap.
Tammy Wynette followed by Shane McGowan; all I'm sayin'.
If you are of a certain age, his work probably intersected with events in your own life. You may have hummed along with "Walk On the Wild Side" when it was a hit, not knowing what it was about. You may have been introduced to the Velvet Underground through his solo versions of their songs on his LP "Rock 'n' Roll Animal" LP, featuring the overly long solos of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter (later, after you'd grown out of you masturbatory guitar solo phase, wondering what he was thinking ), Maybe you remember hearing Metal Machine Music and thinking "the fuck is this?", or hearing "Sally Can't Dance" and going "I give up". You may have bought the Live in Italy on cassette, based solely on the fact that Robert Quine was in his band, and listened to it while you finished your hostel hopping through Europe. You may have played "Perfect Day" at half of the friends' wedding receptions you DJ'd at. You may have the face of your late brother flash before you every time you hear "Pale Blue Eyes". You may have come to admire Reed for what he was. Motherfucker was and is Lou Reed. There's only one.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Lou Reed - Perfect Day mp3 at The Cargo Culte
Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music, Part 1 mp3 at WWMMD (?)
Velvet Underground - Pale Blue Eyes mp3 at Motel de Moka
Velvet Underground/Lou Reed - Rock 'n' Roll (four mp3s) at Review Stalker LP, demo, alternate take and solo live.
Lou Reed - Acoustic Demos (1970) (via MediaFire) at A History of The Underground Recording Industry 31:52 minutes
The Primitives - Do the Ostrich mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Primitives - Sneaky Pete mp3 at Beware of the Blog
A Night With Lou Reed (hour long 1983 live set) at YouTube with Robert Quine on guitar
Past Velvet Undergound and Lou Reed posts A lot of the links are still good.