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

10 hours ago in National

Making headlines this week

kansasweatherAP

A look back at some of the biggest newsmakers this week and the headlines you may have missed.

18 hours ago in National

Teen pregnancies hit historic low

sexed296416402183

The annual survey shows the continuation of a downward trend that began in 2006 and continued through 2014, the latest year of complete data, when nearly 250,000 babies were born to girls and women aged 15 to 19.

18 hours ago in National

U.S. high court approves rule change to expand FBI hacking power

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in a photo illustration in Paris in this April 15, 2014 file photo.

The Supreme Court on Thursday approved a rule change that would let U.S. judges issue search warrants for access to computers located in any jurisdiction despite opposition from civil liberties groups who say it will greatly expand the FBI's hacking authority.

18 hours ago in National, World

Biden visits Iraq in show of support amid multiple crises

11-overlay-9

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials in unannounced visits to Baghdad and Erbil on Thursday to show support for a government battling Islamic State amid political and economic crises.

18 hours ago in National, World

No wall, but more high-tech gear, fencing sought by U.S. border agents

borderwallREUTERS

The modest scope of the requirements, details of which were contained in internal emails seen by Reuters and described by Border Patrol officials in interviews, contrasts sharply with calls by Republican presidential candidates for more drastic measures to secure the border.