“The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.”
Reed passed away Sunday, the result of complications from a liver transplant undertaken in April. Reed was (self-admittedly) a hard drinker and drug user for many, many years, perhaps sharing that strange niche of old-age survivalism with the likes of Keith Richards. “I’m a miracle of modern medicine,” Reed recently joked.
Others would be quick to categorize Reed alongside Bob Dylan and David Bowie, with a pioneering musical legacy that included pushing taboo lyrical topics like transexuality and hard drugs. Throughout his career, Reed took the craft of songwriting quite seriously.
“I’ve always believed that there’s an amazing number of things you can do through a rock n’ roll song and that you can do serious writing in a rock song if you can somehow do it without losing the beat.”
Image from the cover of the double-album, Perfect Day: The Best of Lou Reed.