Lou Reed, the influential rock musician-songwriter best known for “Walk on the Wild Side,” died Sunday at age 71.
The cause of death was not immediately known. But Rolling Stone magazine, which reported his death, said Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.
As a founding member of The Velvet Underground, Reed was part of New York’s thriving avant-garde art and music scene of the 1960s and a close associate of Andy Warhol.
The album The Velvet Underground & Nico, though never having mainstream success, is now considered one of the most influential rock albums of all time. Loaded in 1970 features two popular Reed songs, “Rock & Roll” and “Sweet Jane.”
After leaving the group in 1970, Reed’s solo album Transformer, produced by David Bowie, included “Wild Side,” the unsentimental ode to Warhol’s world. The song’s famous double bass track makes it recognizable from almost the first note.
Reed, observes Rolling Stone, brought a “whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry” and that “glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example.”
RIP Lou Reed