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.

Latest Headlines

yesterday in Viral Videos

How ‘Frozen’ Should Have Ended

How Frozen Should Have Ended

This "alternative ending" would have made Frozen a COMPLETELY different movie!

yesterday in Lifestyle

US Airways investigating pornographic tweet sent to complaining customer

airplane

The apology has been retweeted more than 13,000 times and social media was flooded with jokes and gripes about the image.

yesterday in Entertainment

Hilary Duff to star in first TV series in a decade

hilaryduff

Hilary Duff will star in a new comedy from the man behind "Sex and the City."

yesterday in Viral Videos

This greeting card commercial will tug at your heartstrings

mom

Watch what happens when people apply for the #WorldsToughestJob.

yesterday in Entertainment

Apparently nobody watched the ‘Mad Men’ premiere

madmen2

Well, some people watched, but it wasn't the audience AMC had hoped for.

Latest Headlines

airplane

In Lifestyle

US Airways investigating pornographic tweet sent to complaining customer

The apology has been retweeted more than 13,000 times and social media was flooded with jokes and gripes about the image.

chadsmith2

In Music

Red Hot Chili Peppers music used as torture

The star has expressed his disgust at U.S. authorities for allegedly using the band's music to torment detainees.

google

In Lifestyle

Google Glass goes on sale for one day only

Google will take orders for its wearable gadget in a push to get the $1,500 Web-ready glasses out to the public.

butler

In Music

Arcade Fire brings in Debbie Harry to close Coachella, slams VIP policy

Arcade Fire closed the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Sunday and deplored the festival's growing amenities reserved for VIPs only.

kiss

In Music

Rock Hall inducts 2014 class

The ceremony centered on live performances but KISS stayed true to their vow not to perform.