Influential musician, Lou Reed, died Sunday at the age of 71 in Southampton, N.Y. Reed had a liver transplant in May of earlier this year and reports indicate his passing may be related to complications from the surgery. Reed was still active in music as recent as 2012, where he collaborated with Metric on the track, “The Wanderlust” and most involved with the 2011 project with Metallica for the album, Lulu”. It’s Reed’s work with his band Velvet Underground and as a solo artist that he is widely credited for inspiring the punk rock movement and rock music for generations after.
The Velvet Underground was not a commercial success, but their influence on music inspired a new attitude in songwriting both lyrically and musically. Reed’s frank lyrics about topics ranging from sex and drugs were considered taboo during the conservative 1960s and opened up a whole new approach to songwriting. Julian Casablancas of The Strokes sites Reed and the Velvet Underground as one of his biggest influences. Casablancas wrote in Rolling Stone magazine how Reed “could be romantic in the way he portrayed these crazy situations, but he was also intensely real. It was poetry and journalism. While I was writing my first songs. More than anything, they taught me just to be myself.”