Who loves the sun, since Lou Reed is gone: Legendary rocker dies at 71
REUTERS - London
'I am a triumph of modern medicine,' Lou Reed had said a few months ago. Tributes were pouring on social media. Wikicommons photoLou Reed, whose band the Velvet Underground became one of the most influential in rock by fusing art and music in 1960s' New York through its collaboration with artist Andy Warhol, died today at age 71, Rolling Stone reported, his literary agent said.
Reed died at a home he shared in Long Island, New York, with his wife Laurie Anderson following complications from a liver transplant he had earlier this year, Andrew Wylie, the agent, said.
The Velvet Underground never achieved much commercial success, but revolutionized rock in the 1960s and 70s with a mixture of thrashing guitar licks and smooth melodies sung by Reed or the sultry German model Nico, who briefly collaborated with the band at Warhol's insistence.
The band has long been recognized as a major musical influence on punk and art rock, as reflected in a quote often attributed to musician Brian Eno that, "The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band."
An admitted hard drinker and drug user for many years, Reed underwent a liver transplant earlier this year at the Cleveland Mayo Clinic, his wife, Laurie Anderson, told The Times of London, after he had cancelled five California concert dates scheduled in April.
"I am a triumph of modern medicine," Reed posted on his website on June 1, 2013, without directly acknowledging the transplant. "I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future."