Born in Brooklyn in 1942, Lou Reed loved music. A fan of jazz, doo-wop and early rock & roll, he learned to play the guitar by listening to the radio.
In her moving Farewell to Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson remembers, “We were always seeing a lot of art and music and plays and shows, and I watched as he loved and appreciated other artists and musicians. He was always so generous. He knew how hard it was to do.”
A pioneering guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter – both as a member of The Velvet Underground and as a solo artist – Reed’s career spanned nearly five decades. And his significance is far reaching still.
While considered a commercial failure upon its release in 1967, The Velvet Underground and Nico is now one of the most influential and critically acclaimed rock albums ever recorded. Brian Eno observed that although it sold only 30,000 copies in its first years, “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”
On Lou Reed’s passing (October 27, 2013), Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone wrote, “As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example.” Reed was 71.
“How could time go that quickly?
It never ceases to amaze me.”— Lou Reed
In recognition of the 45th anniversary of The Velvet Underground and Nico, Castle Face and Friends released a vinyl-only LP featuring tributes by contemporary artists such as Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, the Fresh & Onlys, Kelley Stoltz and more.