Lou Reed died two days ago. A giant has passed. I grew up in an era when musicians were directly influenced by Lou Reed and Velvet Underground. In fact, it’s been said that those who listened to them during that time went out and formed a band, many of which went on to become successes themselves. But his music — and Velvet Underground’s — is not easy to like. It requires a certain mood and outlook to get into it. They’re not really songs per se, but more like novels. As I grew older though, I finally got his music. I guess it requires a certain maturity and some living to finally get into that place where I “get” him.
Here, two songs that, while not exactly the ones that made him and his band famous, showcase his range as a musician, traveling from the dark melodies he trafficked in to almost sunny ditties that are at once melodic and melancholic. (And somewhere in Long Piddleton, Melrose Plant, Earl of Caverness and Lou Reed aficionado, must be raising a glass of Guinness to toast his fallen hero.)
PS: Neil Gaiman wrote a really touching tribute to the man: Neil Gaiman on Lou Reed. If not for Reed, Sandman would not exist. My universe just shifted.