Monday, October 28, 2013

"Sha La La La Man....."

What can be said about the genius of Lou Reed that hasn't already been said. Admittedly, the only song of his I knew until I was around 18 years old was "Walk on the Wild Side" which always sounded so alien to me on the radio. There was nothing else like it on the dial and it always left me feeling like I was being let into a naughty other world for three minutes. It exhilarated me and made me feel like I'd gotten away with something that the adults couldn't know about. Then at 18, and like everyone who first heard it, my mind was simply exploded by "The Velvet Underground & Nico" album. Nothing before or after sounded anything like it. It was like reading the best literature with the perfect soundtrack to a world you never knew existed.

In relation to how important their writing was to the history of rock and roll, only Bob Dylan compares to Lou for me. If Dylan in the early-mid 60's paved to way for writing about something REAL in popular music, Lou made it ok to write about the darkness of the human condition, all while also showing you a little bit of the light. He made it ok for the light and dark to coexist and made my naive 18 year old brain realize that's how life is man! With no one paving the way before him, Lou was a poetic punk with a heart filled with as much joy as there was sorrow. His writing, attitude, and guitar playing was so influential you could spend a month drawing a Six Degrees of Musical Separation map from Lou to almost anyone worthy of listening to. Younger music fans for the rest of time will be blessed for Lou's writing, whether they know it or not. I would say he will be missed, but the wonderful thing is that he really wont be.

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