Lou Reed, Legend, Dead at 71

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Lou Reed, singer-songwriter and guitarist in New York City's the Velvet Underground, died Sunday. He was 71.

In April of this year Reed received a liver transplant in Cleveland. Afterward he took to his website and said he felt "bigger and stronger" than ever. "I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics, and chemistry," he wrote on June 1, 2013. "I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future."

Our thoughts and condolences go out to Reed's family and friends. Below are remembrances and more -- including a few Lou Reed gems from our archive.

Magic and Loss: The Death of Lou Reed by Peter Gerstenzang

Sunday Mourning: Voice Columnist Richard Nusser Remembers Lou Reed by Tessa Stuart

The Voice's 1967 Review of Velvet Underground's Debut Album by Richard Goldstein (April 13, 1967)


The Voice's 1970 Review of Velvet Underground's Last Performances by Richard Nusser (July 2, 1970)

The Voice's 1973 Review of Lou Reed's First Solo Performance by Richard Nusser (February 1, 1973)

Good Evening, Mr. Reed: The Voice's 1989 Review of Lou Reed's New York by Tom Carson (January 24, 1989)


Robert Christgau's review of Street Hassle

The Voice's Full Coverage: Lou Reed: 1942-2013



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21 comments
dbrightcough
dbrightcough

There have been a lot of comments in various venues regarding Lou Reed's songs that they were straightforward and rarely used metaphor. This is nonsense. While he might not have written as self-consciously poetic as Cohen, Dylan, or Simon, his songs are full of tropes. Just take his most infamous song, Heroin: A needle is referred to as a "spike." When he is high, he feels "just like Jesus' son." And of course, the most striking line in the song: "Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life."

It's not that Reed didn't write metaphorically, it's that he wrote the apt metaphor, the painful, striking metaphor. And that's why his music matters.

Jessica Weiss
Jessica Weiss

Anyone else find it strange that the Village Voice needs to mention that he was the principle singer in the Velvet Underground? The man is a legend..I don't know maybe because I'm NY born and raised but I kind of think you'd have to be living under a rock your whole life not to know who he was! RIP Lou.

jodi.adams
jodi.adams

Farewell Lou from your many many many fans in Australia, who are also sending condolences to your family. Thank you for such great music over so many decades! 

Deborah Morris
Deborah Morris

If you're going to write an obit on a writer, at least show him the courtesy of correct spelling.

John Crane
John Crane

He sang about principles? How noble.

zoomer
zoomer

And the colored girls go

Doo do doo, doo do doo, doo do doo

RIP to a legend

Ri DeCarlo
Ri DeCarlo

Far too young to die. RIP Lou Reed.

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