Lou Reed. 1942-2013

Blabber’n’Smoke hasn’t posted an obituary since its inception but tonight we make an exception to mark the passing of Lou Reed. There should be no need to recount his career here and some folk might wonder why an “Americana” themed blog would mention him (although he did write a song called Lonesome Cowboy Bill). Suffice to say that Reed and his comrades in the Velvet Underground have cast such a huge shadow over the most interesting music produced over the past four decades either musically or in attitude. Way back in the seventies when Zeppelin, The Who and the Stones were the top triumvirate in schoolboy rock cred some brave folk carried around VU albums and fortunately I eventually saw the light. Reed’s initial solo career however passed me by as I (in a snobbish way) associated him with glam and I was off pursuing the likes of Neil Young, Poco and catching up on the adventures of The Grateful Dead. Late seventies and into the eighties I gradually discovered his work (and enjoyed Lester Bang’s on off love affair with his music). The persistence of a friend ensured that I considered Reed’s music as each album came out and to this day his Blue Mask and New York albums get regular plays. As tribute here’s a song from Coney Island Baby which that friend hopefully will understand why Blabber’n’Smoke has chosen it to commemorate one of the most influential musicians of the past 50 years.

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