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Velvet Memories

Moe Tucker’s Tribute to Lou

The Velvet Underground drummer is now a grandmother in Georgia. She talks to Harry Siegel about her ‘special friendship’ with Reed, what she thought of his lyrics, and more.

Moe Tucker, the drummer and percussionist of the Velvet Underground, has been largely out of the spotlight for years, living in Georgia. Harry Siegel called her to get her thoughts on the passing of her one-time bandmate Lou Reed. Here’s what she told him.

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American Poet

Remembering Lou Reed

Music critic and former MTV News anchor Kurt Loder pays tribute to the prickly, brilliant Velvet Underground front man.

Lou Reed was a famously hostile interview. The first time I approached him in a journalistic capacity, somewhere back in the 1980s, the first words out of his mouth were, “No questions about drugs or fags.” This obviously closed off some important avenues of inquiry, but I guess we muddled through. He didn’t hit me, anyway.

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Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty

No Obit

Lou Reed Lives!

He cheated death enough times to live a long, full life and proved that greatness takes time. On hearing of Reed’s passing Sunday at 71, Elizabeth Wurtzel reflects on his checkered career—and undying legend.

Lou Reed had the most amazing life.

He cheated death many a time. So what if it finally stuck out its ugly foot and tripped him at age 71?

R.I.P.

The Epitome of NYC Cool

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Andy Warhol and Lou Reed at a David Johanson show at the Bottom Line in New York City on July 20,1978. (Ebet Roberts/Getty)

Lou Reed served as gatekeeper of New York City’s dirty, sexy underbelly filled with drugs, transvestism, and prostitution, writes renowned NYC nightlife columnist Michael Musto.

“Cool” is one of those words that is completely meaningless because the second you apply them to someone, they totally evaporate. Being truly cool means never having to say you are, and certainly never having to get anyone else to say it either. But I’d make an exception for Lou Reed. Dripping with NYC attitude and angst, Lou was the epitome of cool from day one, when his impenetrable shades, leather jacket, and droning voice made him the modern day answer to the tough, bisexual antiheroes of 1950s cinema. The man was cool personified, and his passing due to his liver-related ailment today at age 71 sounds the death knell for irony-laden rock chic.

Brando and Dean by way of Cale and Bowie, Lou had an acid-drenched view of the world’s horrors, but he infused it with wry wit and sweet sentiment that made his world a haunting place of dark romance and transcendence-seeking. He’ll always have a place in the history books for having gotten a chart hit out of transvestism, drugs, and prostitution by way of “Walk on the Wild Side,” his 1972 song that detailed the Warhol superstars’ original treks to New York, which they brought to its knees (while they were on their knees). The song became my guidebook to the freaks and fabbies I’d missed out on because I was still in school at that time and actually doing my homework. It was my invaluable introduction to the wonderfully racy glamour of the nightlife underworld, and with the record’s deadpan vocals and woozy guitar riffs, backed by “colored girls” do-wopping, it made me a believer—in transvestism, prostitution, and Lou Reed.

Velvet Revolution

Sweet Lou

Lou Reed died Sunday a legend. Punk old-timer Legs McNeil on how, despite his best efforts at acting like a grump, the Velvet Underground front man was beloved.

Lou Reed was always a grumpy old man. Okay, so I did my best to ask him the most annoying questions when the Punk magazine staff first interviewed him after our first night at CBGB’s, with questions like, “How do you like your hamburgers cooked?” 

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Lou Reed, 1942-2013. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty )

ON A SUNDAY MORNING

Lou Reed Playlist

The rock legend died Sunday at the age of 71. Take a walk on the wild side and remember him with The Daily Beast’s playlist.

Lou Reed didn’t rank among the artists with the top 100 best-selling albums of the 1970s—but his songs will outlast almost all those marquee names. Reed’s subjects were drugs, dislocation, and alienation, and the sometimes lonely life on the wild side. His only constant companion was the city of New York.

Lou Reed

Lou Reed, circa 1970. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty)

THE BLUE MASK

Rock Legend Lou Reed Dies at 71

Rock Legend Lou Reed Dies at 71 Theo Wargo

John Cale reacts to his passing.

Lou Reed, one of the most influential songwriters and guitarists of the past 50 years, died Sunday. He was 71. The cause of death is unknown, although he underwent a liver transplant in May. Reed befriended musician John Cale in the mid ‘60s, and later formed the Velvet Underground with Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker. They caught the attention of Andy Warhol, who incorporated the Velvets into his Exploding Plastics Inevitable. Cale wrote of Reed's passing: "The news I feared the most, pales in comparison to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach ... 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."

Read it at Rolling Stone