This morning, on the radio, I hear that Lou Reed has died. I first heard Lou Reed on the radio in the early seventies. I remember being a snot-nosed kid, listening to the FM radio station alone in my room, and the Velvet’s “Rock & Roll” came on the radio. I had never heard anything like it. It sounded so “New York,” smart, edgy, raw, kind of funny, sort of trashy, a little bit dangerous too. So Un-Beatles.
I remembered this first glimpse as an important moment! It was a song that opened my eyes and ears. There was a big world outside of my little, sheltered world, and the Velvets and Lou Reed came from another side of the planet.
Lou Reed was never a role model when it came to life-style. He was a self-titled “rock & roll animal.” You wouldn’t really want to do drugs like he did drugs. You probably wouldn’t want to have sex with the people he had sex with. You definitely didn’t want to live inside his head.
But the music, the lyrics, the voice, the dedication to making rock & roll songs that mattered, yes, that kind of artistic integrity was over-powering, admirable, and inspiring. In that respect he certainly was a role model. Lou Reed was a major force in r&r and a major voice in my life. And his music still means a lot to me. I will miss Lou Reed. – Jammer