Lou Reed was a capable musician, a fine songwriter, the epitome of cool, a jerk, uncompromising, and an icon of both the great and terrible things of the last 50 years. His songs could be beautiful, touching, searing, self indulgent, disorganized, and compositions of remarkable skill. The thing that was always shocking upon first encountering him was how mercilessly honest, self aware, and naked his art was. Lou Reed represented truth in music and self expression in a way that could be jarring and unpleasant, but left one with the feeling they had encountered something real and tangible. At his best his songs were an artifact of a moment. Those of us who followed his career and considered ourselves fans were not always entertained or pleased by what he choose to present to us, but in the end we stuck around because we never felt like we were lied to and our lives were richer for listening to what he had to say about the human condition. When he was at the height of his powers and combined melody, realism, beats and words together there was nobody like him.
Gene G. McLaughlin 2013