News

Fans pay tribute to rocker Lou Reed

Fans pay tribute to rocker Lou Reed

LOU REED REMEMBERED: His memorial - just like him - was unique. Photo: Associated Press

By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hundreds of fans gathered at a public memorial in New York on Thursday for rocker Lou Reed, the frontman of the 1960s band The Velvet Underground who died last month of liver disease at the age of 71.

As music blared from speakers at the outdoor memorial on the terrace at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, fans danced, sat and listened to Reed’s music and strolled through the crowd while his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, greeted friends and well-wishers.

“I love Lou Reed. I always felt like he was a genius and he always will be,” said Janet Baletti, 66, a fan of 40 years who traveled from Weehawken, New Jersey with a friend for the memorial. “He had such a beautiful aura about him.”

Reed, who died on October 27, months after a liver transplant, wrote songs that were a form of provocative dark poetry. They invoked his native New York and touched on androgyny, illicit sex and drug abuse, and he delivered them in a trademark monotone singing voice.

EXTRA: Rocker Lou Reed dead at 71

Thursday’s memorial was announced on Reed’s Facebook page as a simple celebration.

“No speeches. No live performances, just Lou’s voice, guitar music and songs – playing the recordings selected by his family and friends,” it said.

For Alan Bako, 65, of New York, the memorial was an opportunity to listen to Reed’s music, whose solo hits included “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Perfect Day,” and to remember the legendary rocker.

EXTRA: Lou Reed’s death spurs sales spike

“I like his music and I like the idea that he’s a real New Yorker,” Bako said.

“I remember when I saw him at the Fillmore East with the Underground in the late ’60s,” he said, referring to the landmark New York club.

Reed formed The Velvet Underground with John Cale as an experiment in avant-garde rock. The group was managed early on by pop artist Andy Warhol, who spotted them after they performed in New York clubs.

The Velvet Underground was never a great commercial success but proved to be a vastly influential band and Reed was considered by many to be a godfather of the punk rock movement that emerged in the 1960s.

“The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet … I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy,'” Cale said on Facebook page after Reed’s death.

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Local

Public Not Allowed at Obama Speech — But Will Be Broadcast Live on WTAX

President Barack Obama signs the Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009 bill into law in the Oval Office of the White House. With President Obama are from left: Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL); Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY); Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA); Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO); Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).
Washington

Where: DC, United States
When: 12 May 2009
Credit: WENN

A spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says the public will not be able to attend when President Barack Obama delivers a speech in the Illinois House chamber on Wednesday.

4 hours ago in Local

State Museum Prepared to Re-Open — If Lawmakers Allow It

2-8-16 Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum can open once again. But State Department of Natural Resources head Wayne Rosenthal says not yet.

4 hours ago in Local

Davis Proposes FAA, Air Traffic Control Operations Changes

2-8-16 Davis

Davis and and a Democratic Congressman are proposing that that Air Traffic Control operations be run by a not-for-profit entity.

4 hours ago in Local

Report: Police Program Helped Man Who Prostituted Teen

police_lights

A newspaper report says a man who's serving 15 years in prison for running an underage prostitution operation did so out of an apartment obtained with the help of the Peoria Police Department.

5 hours ago in Local

Democrats Vying for US Senate Talk Up Experience, Background

I Voted Stickers

The Democrats running for U.S. Senate are working to distinguish themselves from their rivals as they meet for the first time this election season.