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Tag: The Velvet Underground (1-7 of 7)

Metallica's Lars Ulrich on Lou Reed: 'He's the most direct, pure person I've ever met'

After Lou Reed passed away last Sunday at the age of 71, we reached out to one of his friends and collaborators, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who worked with him on his last major recording project, the 2011joint album LuluHe spoke to us about his first introduction to the Velvet Underground as a kid growing up in Denmark, their first meeting at an amusement park years later, and what working with Reed was like.

“My dad had a music room across from my room in the house I grew up in in Copenhagen, Denmark. There would be all kinds of crazy stuff coming out of there from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s: Hendrix, the Doors, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, all that kind of stuff. Among the things that came out of that room at that time was the Velvet Underground. I maybe wasn’t super aware of that when I was six years old, but a few years later we moved to America and [my Dad and I] started exchanging music that we were passionate about. I would sit there and play Iron Maiden or Motorhead, and he would play me some crazy stuff. And I remember we had some pretty next-level sessions with ‘Heroin’ and ‘Sweet Jane,’ and with Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal, some of that stuff. This was the first time I sat and got into it on a different level, probably around 1980 or 1981.

So obviously that type of stuff had a tremendous impact. I wasn’t quite in tune with the cultural impact of the New York scene and what it all meant, but as a musical relationship, it was very rich, and I loved what I was hearing and I connected with what I was hearing. Some people will talk about ‘the forefather of punk music’ and all that type of stuff. I wasn’t able to put it together in that type of context at that time because I was only 16, but those were the first couple of times I experienced Lou. READ FULL STORY

Remembering Lou Reed: Why he mattered to kids like me

If Lou Reed hadn’t been Lou Reed, I probably wouldn’t be here. I don’t mean I wouldn’t be alive (I don’t think I was conceived to his music, but I definitely don’t intend to ask). But I wouldn’t be here, at this desk, in this office, writing, at Entertainment Weekly. I probably wouldn’t even be in New York — I’d be somewhere in suburban Michigan working as an accountant, or worse.

I’m not alone in this sentiment. A whole lot of folks I know, and even more people I don’t know, walk around thinking — if not explicitly, then in the back of their heads — that they wouldn’t be who they are if Lou Reed had never existed.


Morrissey posts tribute to Lou Reed: 'He will always be pressed to my heart'

There are a lot of things Morrissey does not care for, but Lou Reed isn’t one of them. The Smiths frontman has expressed his reverence for Reed many times over the years, and yesterday he posted a short, moving tribute to his idol online.

Posted on True to You, a Moz fan site, the Pope of Mope wrote of the late Velvet Underground (and beyond) singer:

‘Oh Lou / why did you leave us this way?’

No words to express the sadness at the death of Lou Reed. He had been there all of my life. He will always be pressed to my heart. Thank God for those, like Lou, who move within their own laws, otherwise imagine how dull the world would be. I knew the Lou of recent years and he was always full of good heart. His music will outlive time itself.
 We are all timebound, but today, with the loss of liberating Lou, life is a pigsty.


The essential Lou Reed and Velvet Underground: Stream our Spotify playlist here

Lou Reed made music from the early 1960s right up until his death this weekend at age 71, so it’s hard to do his career justice in a single playlist. But the EW staff has compiled a list of 28 tracks from VU and his solo career that at least gives a snapshot of his musical legacy.

Check out our (nonlinear) list below, and share some of your own favorite tracks in the comments.

Music icon Lou Reed is dead at 71


Lou Reed, one of the most seminal figures of the rock era, has died of undisclosed causes at age 71, according to a report on Rolling Stone. He underwent a liver transplant in May, which may be connected to his cause of death.

From his early days with the Velvet Underground to his pioneering solo work, Reed became both a working legend and a totem of alternative culture and eternal, scowling cool. Born Lewis Allan Reed in Brooklyn in 1942, he studied journalism, film directing, and creative writing at Syracuse University and worked as a songwriter for a small record label before forming VU with original members John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker in 1964.

The Velvet Underground would essentially become the house band for Andy Warhol’s burgeoning downtown scene (he promoted them heavily, and paired them with German model/chanteuse Nico for a time), and though their 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico hardly caused a ripple commercially, their sound  — steeped in drugs and sex and the darker edges of bohemian excess — was hugely influential. (Brian Eno is supposedly the one who said, “Only five thousand people ever bought a Velvet Underground album, but every single one of them started a band.”)

John Cale celebrates the music of Nico with Kim Gordon, Greg Dulli, Yeasayer, and more

Christa Päffgen was better known to the world as Nico, the German-born art-rock chanteuse who lent her haunting vocals to the Velvet Underground’s most seminal work and carved out a deeply influential solo career. Though she passed away nearly 25 years ago, her work (especially The Velvet Underground & Nico and her 1967 solo debut Chelsea Girl) still echoes with incredible resonance. Her style inspired multiple generations of Goth acts, quirky-voiced art belters like Bjork, and filmmakers like Wes Anderson (who used two Chelsea Girl recordings during key moments in The Royal Tennenbaums; it could be argued that Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in that movie was at least partially inspired by Nico herself). 

Friend and frequent collaborator John Cale, a founding member of the Velvet Underground and producer of several Nico solo albums, recognizes her impact better than anybody. That is why Cale produced last night’s show Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of their Next Wave Festival. For a sense of how deeply Nico’s songs have been felt, one need only look at the lineup of guests and collaborators who filled BAM’s Gilman Opera House: Sonic Youth founder Kim Gordon, Sharon Van Etten, Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli, the Kills singer Alison Mosshart, Joan as Police Woman, Peaches, and Brooklyn indie groovers Yeasayer.

Nico’s songs offer a lot of unique opportunities: Most of them are made up of very few elements, which allowed many of last night’s interpreters to deconstruct those elements and glue them back together at strange angles. READ FULL STORY

Meet the new official Lou Reed spider breed: Just as cuddly as the man himself!

Science has given us some amazing things over the years: penicillin, cloning, Bill Nye. And thanks to an international team of biologists, we can now add Loureedia to that list.

That’s the name chosen for a new genus of spider that, due to its dark and shiny coat of velvet, reminded the group of Velvet Underground legend Lou Reed. Also, the spider likes to hang out underground, so, you know.

According to Sci-News, “most velvet spiders are rarely encountered” and are native to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Fortuitously enough, Reed will be touring Europe this summer, meaning that there’s a chance Human Lou might actually get to meet Spider Lou. It certainly wouldn’t be his weirdest partnership to date.

So this is all cool, obviously — but Reed’s not the first to get the spider’d. Neil Young, for example, has the trapdoor spider Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi and Frank Zappa has the mustached Pachygnatha zappa spider; elsewhere, Jerry Garcia has the wood roach species Cryptocercus garciai, Henry Rollins has the “extreme jellyfish” Amphinema rollinsiand Mick Jagger has both the trilobite Aegrotocatellus jaggeri and the fossilized mollusk Anomphalus jaggerius.


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