I've always felt that an artist like Lou Reed is well within the range of
our attention; I once wrote a review of the "Coney Island Baby" 30th
Anniversary reissue for the ARSC Journal that didn't make it into the
Journal. What was particularly interesting about it was that the issued
"Coney Island Baby" LP (1975) was an excellent, but inexplicably short
project. The CD included a batch of unproduced tracks containing versions
of songs that did not appear in Reed's published oeuvre until "Street
Hassle (1978)," an album of which the filler material had a strangely
retrospective feel, but the listener had no frame of reference for the
selections. The frame of reference was supplied, decades later, by the
"Coney Island Baby" 30th Anniversary reissue -- these were tunes from
"Coney Island Baby" that were never finished because Reed's relationship
with RCA then went south. Reed's career is full of fascinating instances
like this that involve the vagaries of studio recording, technology -- he
embraced Manfred Schunke and binaural sound at one point -- revisiting past
selections, ambitious efforts met with commercial and critical
indifference. There has been a whole range of scholarship that has grown up
around The Velvet Underground as their five studio and two live LPs proved
only the tip of the iceberg in regard to their recorded output.

Lou Reed did have contact with scholarship, such as in the incident
described here:

He's an interesting guy, and definitely made major -- and positive --
contributions and changes to pop music; a deep thinker and someone whose
work tended to have impact in the long term rather than the short. Lou's
work may not appeal to all tastes -- it never did -- but he is more than
worthy of study.

David Lewis
Lebanon OH

On Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 9:07 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Marc Myers hits all the right points. Many obituary writers clearly didn't
> understand Lou Reed, the NYC arts scene of the 60's through 80's, and
> pretty much anything else that was hip and different. Lou Reed's influence
> on a certain strain of rock music cannot be overstated. He may also have
> influenced the fact that the Czech Republic is a stable democracy today
> (one news report indicated that the Velvet Underground strongly influenced
> a young Vaclav Havel to become a poet dissident).
> -- Tom Fine