Lou Reed, songwriter and frontman to the band The Velvet Underground, passed away yesterday. Without Reed and The Velvet Underground, music writer Charles R. Cross said, "There would be no Nirvana, Pearl Jam or any edgy rock 'n' roll."
Cross remembered taking his son to see Reed play at Benaroya Hall in 2000. "It was one of the loudest shows I've ever heard in my life, because you have a Symphony hall that is not set up for rock 'n' roll, and Lou came in and just blasted."
Cross described the influence of Reed as being the "original seed" that each rock 'n' roll "limb" grafted on and grew from.
"If you make rock music, you have to site Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground as an influence," said John Richards, host of the Morning Show on KEXP. "At the time not a lot of people heard it outside of New York, but it spread and it became this cult classic, this amazing sound that nobody else was doing."
Richards first heard The Velvet Underground 15 years after they released their first album. To him they still sounded contemporary, fresh and original and their music served as a gateway to the New York music scene, to many other musicians and to Reeds' entire catalog or work.
"Lou touched so many people in so many ways, it's almost hard to begin to describe it," said Cross.