There may be no bass line more powerful and evocative than the intro to "Walk on the Wild Side," with that clear, sliding melody. And, no song has more honestly spoken to the nature of drug addiction than "Heroin." In fact, the best live album of all time may very well be Rock 'n' Roll Animal. To say that Lou Reed was one of America's most important musicians isn't hyperbole; he was an iconoclast, a soothsayer, and a raconteur. He was a poet and a rabble-rouser, an activist and a rock star. Music didn't just lose a great performer, but New York has lost a piece of its gritty, wild soul.
While the cause of death has not been released, the 71-year-old musician underwent a liver transplant earlier this year, so it is possible to speculate that it's related. Rolling Stone released the news today. Thank goodness we still have Laurie, Yoko, David, and Iggy. Let's take this time to remember the way that music — and its makers — have left its mark on our lives.