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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