Lou Reed — Velvet Underground Frontman, Influential Solo Musician — Dead at 71

Rolling Stone is report­ing that Lou Reed, whose music career began with The Vel­vet Under­ground in the 1960s, before becom­ing an influ­en­tial solo artist in the 70s, has died. He was 71 and had under­gone a liv­er trans­plant back in May. Whether that’s relat­ed to the cause of death remains unknown. We will fol­low up with a length­i­er reflec­tion on the life and times of Lou Reed. But, for now, we want to make you aware of this sad news and present some of our favorites clips of Reed and the VU. We start you off, above, with Reed singing a live funk ver­sion of “Sweet Jane,” a song first released on VU’s 1970 album, Loaded. It was per­formed in Paris in ’74, with Prakash John play­ing bass and Steve Hunter on gui­tar. To delve deep­er into Reed’s career, we sug­gest you watch the 1998 doc­u­men­tary, Rock and Roll Heart. It’s from PBS’s Amer­i­can Mas­ters series and runs 75 min­utes.

More Lou:

Hear New­ly-Released Mate­r­i­al from the Lost Acetate Ver­sion of The Vel­vet Under­ground & Nico (1966)

Warhol’s Screen Tests: Lou Reed, Den­nis Hop­per, Nico, and More

Hear 38 Ver­sions of “Sep­tem­ber Song,” from James Brown, Lou Reed, Sarah Vaugh­an and Oth­ers

Sell­ing Cool: Lou Reed’s Clas­sic Hon­da Scoot­er Com­mer­cial, 1984

Philip Glass & Lou Reed at Occu­py Lin­coln Cen­ter: An Art­ful View

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