RIP Lou Reed

Impossible to know where to start, really.

9 responses to “RIP Lou Reed”

  1. J-Man says:

    Our friend Chris Morris wrote this about Lou: Lou Reed’s passing.

  2. Ruben says:

    At the Long Beach City College library in 1987 they still had a collection on records you could listen to. Actual vinyl albums. I remember thinking, “see, now I know how college is different than high school” but also questioned the actual logistics. I mean, I was just supposed to flip through the records and slip one onto a turntable and then put these giant funky headphones that had been God knows where in order to casually listen to music in a room full of other people? This was definitely not my standard operating procedure. But it was an interesting time. CD’s were just kind of becoming a big thing, a bunch of stuff had not yet been released, but vinyl was clearly dying and so finding just about anything you wanted on cassette was an iffy proposition.

    I’d heard about Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground but I couldn’t tell you much other than to name check some of their hits and the Warhol connection. So when I came across the double album Rock and Roll Diary I found the least questionable set of headphones and settled in.

    Sides 1 and 2 were all Velvets and as good as you would assume and side 3 was very powerful Berlin era solo stuff but it was Side 4 that hooked me. I still haven’t been able to find all of the live versions but I had literally never experienced anything like these songs before. And just when I thought I had heard everything it closes with Street Hassle.

    In a sense I’ve never really got up off that library couch because I’ve never stopped listening to Lou.

    Iggy, Bowie, and Lou together-an all time great photo too-would someone please post it?

    I’m partial to live stuff so the awkwardly titled 1969: The Velvet Underground Live has been my one go-to album over the years.

    The third album is what I listen to the most lately.

    New York is/was a great comeback record for a guy who didn’t need one.

    How great is it that Lou drove Lester Bangs so crazy?

    Check out Candy Says from the Julian Schnabel film of Berlin.

    I always think of Lou as a songwriter.. I wonder what would have happened if he had been born just one generation earlier and the nexus of rock and roll and art wouldn’t have been so available to him. Would he have been a Tin Pan Alley/Brill Building pro churning out so many The Ostriches with the Great American Novel gathering dust in his drawer?

    A story-I bought the Velvets box set years ago but it had a defect. The packaging and labeling was all correct but they had actually pressed completely different music on to the third disc. The record store guy said it was something he had hardly ever seen but for some reason I was listening to a 90’s R&B girl group instead of White Light/White Heat. They ordered me a replacement but for that one moment it seemed like a Metal Machine Music type of trick that Reed himself might have appreciated.

    Last thought-once I saw that Lou had passed I came right to the Whatsit and Bryan had already put this up. Thanks. I don’t come by often but I knew I could count on you. Much appreciated. May you grow your hair like favorite incarnation of Lou.

  3. Bryan says:

    Shit, Ruben, you should’ve just made that a post. For reals.

  4. Bryan says:

    Hey, guys. Curious abt what your go-to songs were last night/today. I couldn’t stop listening to all the versions of this on YouTube — so many good ones — but this seems like this should be the song of the week, doesn’t it? Then again, I heard a side of Metal Machine Music on EV Radio and that sounded pretty appropriate. All the links and clips flying around on Twitter last night, I hardly saw anyone recommending the same stuff.

  5. T-Mo says:

    I don’t usually get this thrown by the death of a musician, but I have been with Lou. The world seems a diminished thing.

    Last night I almost put on Berlin first thing because it’s my favorite record of his, but then sensed that it was too early in the evening for it, so I listened to Rock n Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live first. At around 11pm it was sufficiently late to listen to Berlin. That record just tears me apart, the best sad album ever. So haunting.

    I’ve been trying to find a good live video of Sad Song, the final track from Berlin, but the audio on most of the versions on YouTube is bad. Here’s the version from Lou Reed Live. Creepiest line ever: “I’m going to stop wasting my time/Somebody else would have broken both her arms.”

    Henry Rollins did a great last-minute job of putting together a tribute for his radio show last night — a mix of Lou, Velvets, and amazing covers by other artists. You can listen to it here.

  6. Bryan says:

    Lou’s last public appearance. Shushes the crowd, including Handsome Dick Manitoba, whose account of this evening is pretty great.

  7. T-Mo says:

    I love that virtually the last thing Lou said through a microphone to a public audience was, “Hey!! Shut! Up!”

  8. Bryan says:

    Ok, so I finally managed to write something brief and assemble some of my favorite clips from the last few days. You’ll find it over at PWHNY.