The above picture is taken from Lou Reed’s 1959 high school year book and that line about taking life as it comes is kind of perfect I think. I sort of felt the need to write at least something here today having now had a couple hours to process the fact that one of my favourite artists has died. I adore The Velvet Underground and between that sublime body of work and his solo oeuvre, Lou Reed’s music means a lot to me. He was just so cool with that seductive, nonchalant sprechgesang; the perpetual sunglasses; the fact he was part of the Factory crew with Andy Warhol; and, of course, those frank, beautiful lyrics about drugs and would-be romances.
And yet in spite of that whole casual, indifferent demeanour he was always so incredibly enthused and passionate about creating and appreciating music and, yeah, sometimes it wasn’t great (I’m thinking mainly of the Metallica collaboration), but more often than not Lou Reed produced music of otherworldly quality, pushing the boundaries of the underground art scene and paving the way for innovative, exciting new sounds.
I’m not really sure what else to write, because nothing I write will do him justice or explain how much I love him and his music and how much it means. I guess this lyric from ‘Berlin’ kind of sums it up for me anyway.
“oh babe I’m gonna miss you now that you’re gone”