Here's a birthday shout to Lou Reed, urban storyteller, composer, guitarist, avant-rocker and NYC icon. The Velvet Underground are one of my all time favorite rock bands, and although his solo work is very hit-or-miss he displays heart and passion through all of it. He was a drug-using, free-jazz loving, dark poet with a life of ups & downs who captivated through song and sound. He is one of the godfathers of punk & no wave, a huge influence on Krautrock and sympathized with the freaks of the world. His biggest hit "Walk On The Wild Side" has been sampled numerous times.
His music could be sweet and poppy or dark and aggressive. He also did song cycles, white noise, R&B-inflected tunes and even ambient music. This is a man who could be as far-out as anyone, rock straight ahead, contribute to operas and could be very funny. He has collaborated with a wide cast of interesting folk, from John Cale, David Bowie, Rick Wakeman and Robert Quine to Don Cherry, Laurie Anderson, Metallica and orchestras. We may call him the original goth, the first art-rocker or simply a man who told us stories. He was an American original.
"My God is rock'n'roll. It's an obscure power that can change your life. The most important part of my religion is to play guitar."