Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American rock musician and songwriter. After being guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades. The Velvet Underground were a commercial failure in the late 1960s, but the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era – hence Brian Eno's famous quote that while the Velvet Underground's debut album only sold 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."
After his departure from the group, Reed began a solo career in 1972. He had a hit the following year with "Walk on the Wild Side", but subsequently lacked the mainstream commercial success its chart status seemed to indicate. In 1975, Reed released a double album of feedback loops, Metal Machine Music, upon which he later commented, "No one is supposed to be able to do a thing like that and survive." Reed was known for his distinctive deadpan voice, poetic lyrics and for pioneering and coining the term ostrich guitar tuning.........for more, see the full Lou Reed story at Wikipedia here
His death and tributes
In May 2013, Reed underwent a liver transplant in Cleveland. Afterwards he claimed on his website to be "bigger and stronger" than ever. On October 27, 2013, Reed died at the age of 71 from liver disease at his home in Southampton, New York, on Long Island. His physician Charles Miller noted that Reed "was fighting right up to the very end. He was doing his Tai Chi exercises within an hour of his death, trying to keep strong and keep fighting."
Tributes were paid to Reed on Twitter, including Iggy Pop, Miley Cyrus, Samuel L. Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Ricky Gervais, Ryan Adams, Elijah Wood, and many others. David Bowie posted a comment on his Facebook page saying that Reed "was a master". Rock band Pearl Jam dedicated their song "Man of the Hour" to Reed at their show in Baltimore and then covered the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for the Man".
John Cale, his Velvet Underground bandmate, posted on his Facebook: "The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet…I've lost my 'school-yard buddy'". Later, Universal Music revealed Cale's full statement on Reed's death:
"The news I feared the most, pales in comparison to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach. Two kids have a chance meeting and 47 years later we fight and love the same way - losing either one is incomprehensible. No replacement value, no digital or virtual fill ... broken now, for all time. Unlike so many with similar stories - we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. The laughs we shared just a few weeks ago, will forever remind me of all that was good between us."
Former Velvet Underground drummer Mo Tucker responded by saying that Reed was "generous, encouraging and thoughtful. Working with him sometimes could be trying to some people, but never to me. I guess we learned from each other. We all learned from each other. Reed became an important influence to numerous singers and songwriters, including British musician Morrissey: He had been there all of my life. He will always be pressed to my heart. Thank God for those, like Lou, who move within their own laws, otherwise imagine how dull the world would be.
Others from outside the music industry also paid their respects, including the Vatican and Salman Rushdie, who wrote, "My friend Lou Reed came to the end of his song. So very sad. But hey, Lou, you'll always take a walk on the wild side. Always a perfect day."
The ultimate tribute is listening to his music and this 31 track collection covers almost his entire career.