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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed Dead at 71

Terrible news, if not unexpected.  He had liver transplant recently.  Last time I saw him, at a Radio City show for Leonard Cohen a few months back,  he looked awful--moving slowly and older than years.  First intro to Lou was from seeing that WTF yellow banana cover on the record racks in college in '66.  Never interviewed him but helped arrange piece by him in Crawdaddy in '71 about being a star and warnings about the same.  (Lisa of "Lisa Says" fame also writing for us at the time.) Then there was the night backstage at a very early Springsteen show in Rhode Island where Lou looked rather Frankensteinish--in makeup, even off-stage. 

Of course, we heard various sordid tales about Lou back then, though not necessarily true.  Later, in his more mature years, I went with David Corn to see Lou give a poetry reading at the West Side Y in New York.   Was it just two years ago when he spoke up for Occupy after a Philip Glass night at Lincoln Center and video went viral?  Also, much to his credit, he inducted Leonard Cohen into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Watch full 85-minute PBS doc here.

Just yesterday I touted the Velvets' Live 69 as one of the two or three greatest live albums.  And they were certainly the greatest and most influential NY band ever.  (Yet I see young 'uns on Twitter who seem to think "Perfect Day" is true Lfou.)  A few selections from that period below, plus live "Heroin" here and live "New Age," "Venus in Furs" and Patti Smith doing "Pale Blue Eyes"  here.  And "Sweet Jane" directed by Julian Schnabel here.

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