Goodbye to Lou

Gail Faustyn

I was 14 when I listened to the Velvet Underground for the first time; it was at my friend’s house and the music was so good that I cried.

I loved everything about the band from the lyrics, to the guitar riffs to just the way Lou Reed’s voice sounded. It was so unique, different and overall timeless.

It was Sunday, Oct. 27 when Reed, the lead singer and the founder of the band, passed and I swore in that moment the world stood still. I haven’t lost anyone immediately close to me, but learning of Lou’s death made me feel like I lost a very close friend.

I had my first kiss to “Pale Blue Eyes.” The first bass line I ever learned to play was from “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.” The first song I ever sang karaoke to was “Satellite of Love”

This may be all mushy gushy nostalgic crap that seldom are interested in, but I tell you all that to tell you this.

While Reed may have been devastatingly important to me, he never quite reached the commercial success of other singers placed into his category, such as Bob Dylan or The Beatles.

Brian Eno, a producer for many of the band’s albums, was constantly singing the praises of Reed—referring to him as the Godfather of Punk and other variations on that theme.

“The first Velvet Underground Copy sold 30,000 copies in the first five years,” Eno stated in his biography “On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno.” “I think everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”

Many other artists such as Bono, lead singer of U2, and Morrissey, lead singer of The Smiths, have stated being heavily influenced by Reed as well.

In an interview with the British music magazine “Telegraph,” Morrissey said he was 12 when he saw Reed in concert for the first time and that it changed him entirely.

“Imagine a 12 or 13-year-old going by themselves, to see somebody such as Lou Reed who was at the time singing exclusively about transsexuality and heroin and death and the beauty of death and the impossibility of life.”

Bono even stated at one of his concerts “Lou Reed is to New York what Mark Twain is to Dublin.”

If you want to get real emotional, I recommend listing to “Sunday Morning,” written by Reed and The Velvet Underground, to commemorate Reed’s death.

He was the first person to be on the cover of “PUNK” magazine.

He hated school, his parents and the law; he was the quintessential icon of rock-and-roll.

The death of Reed Sunday, Oct. 27 marked much, much more than the death of my favorite singers. It was the death of an era and a legacy

“Sunday morning, and I’m falling, I’ve got a feeling I don’t want to know.”

Goodbye Lou.

Lou Reed, 71, passed away this Sunday, Oct. 27.
Lou Reed, 71, passed away this Sunday, Oct. 27.