( b. Mar 02, 1942 Brooklyn, New York, USA - d. Oct 27, 2013 Amagansett, New York, USA ) Male
Lou Reed was a singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had a major influence on generations of rock musicians. He remained a powerful if polarizing force for the rest of his life.
Mr. Reed brought dark themes and a mercurial, sometimes aggressive disposition to rock music. He played the sport of alienating listeners, defending the right to contradict himself in hostile interviews, to contradict his transgressive image by idealizing sweet or old-fashioned values in word or sound, or to present intuition as blunt logic. But his early work assured him a permanent audience.
The Velvet Underground, which was originally sponsored by Andy Warhol and showcased the songwriting of John Cale as well as Mr. Reed, wrought gradual but profound impact on the high-I.Q., low-virtuosity stratum of punk, alternative and underground rock around the world. Many of the group's themes -- among them love, sexual deviance, alienation, addiction, joy and spiritual transfiguration -- stayed in Mr. Reed's work through his long run of solo recordings.
In middle age Mr. Reed became a kind of cultural elder, acting in films by Wim Wenders and Wayne Wang, befriending the Czech leader Vaclav Havel (who smuggled a copy of a Velvet Underground LP into Prague after a visit to New York in the late 1960s), creating multimedia stage productions with the director Robert Wilson. His own work moved between mature, elegiac singer-songwriter reports on grief, tenderness and age and wilder or more ambitious projects.
Source: The New York Times obituary
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