Being a musician with little to no rights to such a title, I owe a great debt of gratitude to the recently departed Lou Reed. At the same time as he was assisting the maturation of rock music (not to mention the invention of punk, indie, and the furthering of noise music), he also seemingly stretched the genre in the opposite direction by showing that you didn’t need to have amazing skill in order to bang a tune out. In other words, you don’t need to play in order to play.

For those wanting to spend some time pondering his work in the Library, there’s plenty on offer – some familiar, some unexpected – to allocate day after day to discovering more on this man who did so much for fringe cultures around the world.

Transformer the Lou Reed story

Once you’ve lingered on his life a while, the next stop would be his words. Muddy, dark, though full of life, his rambling delivery continues to be influential, with such stylings evident in everyone from Patti Smith to Michael Stipe to Arab Strap.

Pass thru fire: the collected lyrics

The man can be enigmatic though, so an intimate concert video of one of his most personal works could just about shave off some of that edge. Berlin was generally misunderstood for quite some time, though is more at home nowadays, as we’ve become more accustomed to difficult confessional works in popular music.

Lou Reed's Berlin

Allocating some time for his sound, of course, would be good. Possibly whilst reading a decent account of the life of The Velvet Underground. Maybe even a book of his recent photography. Any of our librarians will gladly help you track down more items, if you’ve still not had enough. But who has, really?


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