Rock's Elite Mourn 'Legend', 'Master' Lou Reed
Music world grieves over his death of liver disease
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2013 7:49 AM CDT
This Oct. 31, 1974 image released by Mark Goff shows Lou Reed in concert in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Mark Goff)

(Newser) – Friends, fans, and fellow musicians are mourning Lou Reed following the influential rocker's death yesterday at age 71. Rolling Stone and Digital Spy round up the reactions:

  • Flea's simple tribute on Twitter: "I love Lou reed so much. Always."
  • And from The Who: "RIP Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side."
  • On Twitter, the Pixies call Reed "a legend."
  • "Lucky to have shared the stage with you. A moment, a song and a man that I will never forget," writes musician Sharon Jones, tweeting this video of a "Sweet Jane" performance.
  • David Bowie called Reed "a master," and his official Facebook account offered up a picture of the "old friends" together.
  • "RIP Lou Reed & thank you & the Velvets," tweeted Billy Idol. "U were my inspiration in the '70's, 4 without you there would have been no punk rock!"

  • "I met Lou Reed and told him he gave me tinnitus at a concert in 1989 that never went away and it was worth it," tweets Judd Apatow. "Dirty Blvd. Love to Lou."
  • "As a sober alcoholic & person under a psychiatrist's care, I always felt Lou Reed sang best about mental illness & for that I'm grateful," tweets comedian Rob Delaney.
  • On Twitter, Terry Pratchett repurposed some of Reed's lyrics: "Lou Reed's gone way up to Mars / Soon it will be filled with parking cars..."
  • Today's New York Times obituary calls Reed an "outsider whose dark, lyrical vision helped shape rock 'n' roll," noting that "Joy Division, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, REM, the Strokes, and numerous others were descendants" of the Velvet Underground. The obit also officially reveals Reed's cause of death as liver disease.
  • "Goodnight Lou Reed," tweeted Neil Gaiman. "You beautiful prickly bastard."
  • Punk magazine co-founder Legs McNeil echoes that sentiment in a Daily Beast piece, writing that though Reed was "always a grumpy old man," he died well-loved. (And that grumpiness was mostly "an act," McNeil adds.)
  • The New Yorker posted online a 1996 tour diary Reed wrote for the magazine. "Some group has threatened to kill the Sex Pistols for cancelling a gig—security is high," he wrote in Belgium. "What a way to go. Shot by a drunken fan mistaking you for Johnny Rotten. I love rock and roll."

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Oct 28, 2013 9:36 PM CDT
He had the respect of so many musicians... I"m just going to listen to "Perfect Day" over and over.. "Waiting for the Man... for a few days.. Sweet Jane after that..bummed!
Oct 28, 2013 12:32 PM CDT
In the 70's, I had the good fortune to see Lou Reed in various clubs all over NYC. Including Warhol's factory. I was too young (and narrow minded) to really appreciate him then. I don't like everything he did. His solo records are spotty at best. But he was an artist in the truest sense, he never sold out.
Oct 28, 2013 10:33 AM CDT
Must have been a coastal thing. Been in music for decades and never heard of him. But .... my music has melody.