• Lou Reed in 1976

    Dave Hickey on Lou Reed: 'We Have Lost the Master of the Mundane and the Malicious'

    Lou Reed's death has loosed a flood of great, heartfelt eulogies attempting to neatly sum up such a huge, thorny, sprawling, multi-disciplinary career. Here, legendary music/art critic Dave Hickey (go read Air Guitar, like, right now, and if you've memorized that, try his new Pirates and Farmers) offers his own thoughts and his own descriptor: "artist-on-purpose." Enjoy.We all remember Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground as starlets at Andy Warhol's Factory. We forget that Lou was the scythe of sanity amid that clusterfuck. He was a bullshit detector in a scene nose-deep in it. He polished the cold edge of truth in the kingdom of denial by writing songs like "I'm Waiting for the Man" and "Heroin." Sometimes, in utter secrecy, Lou would even play catcher in the rye and send kids home. One night, when we were talking about the perils and permissions of the Factory, he shrugged.

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