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

(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."

This Oct. 31, 1974 image released by Mark Goff shows Lou Reed in concert in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Mark Goff)
In a March 27 1989 file photo, musician Lou Reed poses at the American Sound Studio in New York.   (AP Photo/Wyatt Counts, File)
In a June 13, 1986 file photo, Lou Reed performs during musical number at a benefit in Chicago, for Amnesty International.   (AP Photo/Fred Jewell, File)
In a June 24, 2003 file photo, music icon Lou Reed has his hands imprinted as supporters cheer in the background as he is inducted into Hollywood's Rockwalk, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Ric Francis, File)
In a Wednesday, Jan. 17, 1996 file photo, members of the band the Velvet Underground, from left, Maureen Tucker; Martha Morrison, attending for her late husband, Sterling Morrison; John Cale and Lou Reed...   (AP Photo/Joe Tabacca, File)
In a Wednesday, July 31, 2013 file photo, Lou Reed attends the "Breaking Bad" final episodes premiere hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.   (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
In this Jan. 17, 1996 file photo, Lou Reed takes the podium as the Velvet Underground, the group he once headed, is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
In this Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009 file photo, Lou Reed performs at the Lollapalooza music festival, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/John Smierciak, File)
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