Published on October 28th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

That’s the Story of My Life: A Lou Reed Playlist

“The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.” – Probably Brian Eno.

My dad bought me the “Peel Slowly and See” box set for my 16th birthday, and it opened my eyes to a world of music that rarely gets played on popular radio. The Velvet Underground quickly became one of my favorite bands, and I think I see their influence more prominently today than almost any other 60s act. Certainly more so than The Beatles and Stones.

My partial explanation for that is that while everyone wanted those bands’ success, attempting to replicate it would be called out instantly. The VU’s success as an influence came because of their lack of commercial success. No one was going to call someone out for sounding to much like them, because not enough people knew what they sounded like. A generation became carriers of their sound without realizing it, like musical Typhoid Mary’s.

I’d put Reed neck and neck with Dylan in terms of influence. Punk and new wave probably wouldn’t exist without him.

Long story short, I’ll miss Lou Reed. I have no musical ability, but his music certainly ignited something in me.

“It always bothers me to see people writing ‘RIP‘ when a person dies. It just feels so insincere and like a cop-out.” To me, ‘RIP‘ is the microwave dinner of posthumous honors.”

I went with the live version of “Femme Fatale,” since it has Reed on vocals instead of Nico.

About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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