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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).

http://www.jazzwax.com/2013/10/lou-reed-1942-2013.html

-- Tom Fine