Lou Reed, Dead at 71

Rolling Stone Magazine reports the man behind one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s has died. Lou Reed underwent a liver transplant in Cleveland earlier this year but the cause of death has not yet been released. Reed formed The Velvet Underground in 1964 with John Cale. The band’s first album sold just 30,000 copies in its early years.

Everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.

– Brian Eno, 1982

Reed’s biggest solo hit came shortly after leaving the band. 1972’s Walk on the Wild Side was a track from his second solo effort Transformer and was produced by David Bowie. It deals with topics considered taboo in the day: transsexuality, drug use, and male prostitution. RCA released the single for radio without references to oral sex.

Reed’s “last words” were posted on Twitter.

He was 71.

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