Lou Reed, the iconic frontman for the Velvet Underground, passed away yesterday, at the age of 71. While the cause of death remains unconfirmed, reports indicate that Reed underwent a liver transplant surgery earlier this year.
Rather than listing Reed’s prolific accomplishments, I want to share this statement released by guitarist Trey Anastasio:
We had the honor of playing with Lou Reed on a festival bill in Germany when we were touring with the Violent Femmes in 1992. As we were walking up onstage, Lou was sitting in the grass next to the stage. I nervously approached and said hi, and he said “go up there and show em’ how to Rock and Roll, after all, we invented it.” His comment made my head spin. The entire time we were up onstage playing I was thinking, “did he mean Americans, or him and The Velvet Underground?” Because either statement would be true. Think about it for a second… long before the Ramones, without whom there never would have been the Sex Pistols or punk music, long before Patti Smith, long before Glam, noise rock, grunge, indie, long before the Smiths, Pavement, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and on and on… there was Lou Reed.
Thank you, Lou. You are the true father of Rock and Roll. We all are forever in your debt.
– Trey Anastasio
This statement just goes to show how tremendous Lou Reed truly was (and is). In honor of Reed’s passing, Phish opened their show last night with the Velvet Underground song “Rock and Roll,” which had not been seen in the first-set opening slot since 1998, and held a brief moment of silence afterwards.
Lou Reed was an iconic musicians, and he will be missed.
-David Melamed (@DMelamz)