Just caught the news a bit earlier this afternoon. He had been in poor health, and had a liver transplant earlier this year.I was in my teens when I would have first heard of Lou Reed and his earlier band, VU. Once I got familiarized with those classic recordings, much of what I was listening to right around the turn of the 1980s made so much more sense. There was a period between the late 1960s and early 1980s where pop musicians were relatively willing to explore what the avant-garde had to offer, and Lou Reed was right at the ground floor of that movement. One really could not listen to much of what became part of pop's "New Wave" of the 1970s and 1980s without hearing the influence of Lou Reed and his various conspirators. We are losing our innovators, slowly but surely.
Dangerous Minds has its own tribute, which includes an early film of VU and Nico in Andy Warhol's film A Symphony of Sound.