Growing up in New York, the Velvet Underground was always prevalent. It could be in the music of young bands or seen in people's fashion choices as you walk down the street. It could have been as simple as seeing a banana and thinking of Andy Warhol's iconic album cover or walking through Chelsea humming "Chelsea Girl." No matter how you slice it, the band was part of the New York fabric and remains so today.
Mary Bell Lou Reed at Fingerprints in Long Beach last year
Which brings us to the sad news about VU frontman and fellow Long Islander Lou Reed's surprising, yet not shocking passing on Sunday. An iconoclast in the truest definition of the word, Reed did whatever he wanted creatively and explored sounds we liked (most of the VU material and Transformer) and hated (Metal Machine Music). Reed is one of the few musicians to make calculated moves on his own terms and without regret, even if it meant alienating his casual fans. He's made a concept album with Metallica, and opened for U2 on their Zoo TV tour. He's recorded with David Bowie and pushed the boundaries of sexuality with his exploratory lyrics. Reed's songbook reads like a fulfilling musical journey that cuts across artistic borders. Not bad for a kid from Freeport.More »