Lou Reed, the singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had an impact on generations of rock musicians, and who remained a powerful if polarizing force for the rest of his life, died on Sunday at his home in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island. He was 71.
The Velvet Underground, which was originally sponsored by Andy Warhol and showcased the songwriting of John Cale, as well as Mr. Reed, wrought gradual but profound impact on the high-I.Q., low-virtuosity stratum of alternative and underground rock around the world.
Joy Division, the Talking Heads, Patti Smith, R.E.M., the Strokes and numerous others were direct descendants. The composer Brian Eno, in an often-quoted interview from 1982, suggested that if the group’s first record sold only 30,000 records during its first five years — a figure probably lower than the reality — “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”
Early on in the milblogosphere, I thought blogging was to military writing/opinion/journalism what VU was to pop music. I'm not sure who our Andy was ... but whatever je ne sais quoi there once was a decade ago is gone. I'm not saying in a grumpy hipster way that is was better ... just different.
Of the crew from '04; Lex left - Chap, GreyHawk, John, Kim, The Commissar, and a few others have moved on or demurred. Joel, BLACKFIVE, JAWA, EagleOne, Skippy-san; they're still hanging in with the rest of the Sophomore class.
In hindsight, maybe we were notsomuch VU as Backstreet Boys. VU was, though, in a fashion - unique.