What Does Lou Reed Mean To You?


Rock icon Lou Reed passed away on Sunday at the age of 71.

The former singer of The Velvet Underground made a mark on the lives of people across the globe, whether it be musicians, writers or just your average Joe on the street. Reed is undoubtedly a New York City artist, but his vivid lyrics have no boundaries, and have a way of reaching both the young and old worldwide.

I was probably in my early 20s when I began to listen to The Velvet Underground , and later spent many hours walking down the streets of Hollywood listening to their music along with Reed’s solo albums. The lyrics spoke to me as I left a small town, and observed all the strange occurrences of Hollywood.

Although I am much more familiar with The Doors and Bob Dylan, I have always been intrigued by the life of Lou Reed and his career with The Velvet Underground. One can read book after book about artists, which I’ve done with Dylan and Jim Morrison, but Reed is an artist that I’ve learned about only through the music and lyrics. As a product of Minnesota, I have sought out Bob Dylan landmarks across the state over the years , and did the same in Los Angeles for Jim Morrison. I like to know the atmosphere in which an artist worked, and what made them tick. For Lou Reed it was New York City.

Music has always been a gateway to something larger for me, and through the lyrics of my favorite artists I am reminded of not only the joys and pains of the past, but also hope for the future and the accomplishment of goals. Lou Reed was relentless with his art, and continuously surprised his fans by changing up his style. Reed was a transformer, and a true innovator that didn’t adhere to anybody’s expectations except his own.

Reed’s style has always connected with me, and he is one of the few artists that I have to listen to on a weekly basis, if not daily. There are times in life when we all feel misunderstood, and Lou Reed’s music conveys that feeling of disconnection in such an honest way.

What does Lou Reed’s music mean to me? It serves as a constant reminder that one should take risks, and keep the bullshit at a distance while staying loyal to what you believe in.

What does Lou Reed mean to you?

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