Lou Reed, SU alum and member of the Velvet Underground, dead at 71

The influential musician died today of unknown causes.

Lou Reed, an influential rock musician famous for his time in the Velvet Underground, died today at 71. The official cause of death is still unknown, but the singer had liver surgery in May, according to a Rolling Stone article.

Reed was born in Brooklyn in 1942. He attended SU in the 1960s, and he hosted a radio show on WAER called "Excusions on a Wobbly Rail," according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. The show played a variety of doo wop, R&B and jazz music.

Reed formed the Velvet Underground after earning his B.A. from SU, and the band often partnered with Andy Warhol, who designed their iconic banana album cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico. The album was met with indifference upon release, but it has become one of the iconic records of the late 1960s. The band brought a depth to dark music and broke rock and roll boundaries. They were one of the first bands to incorporate punk in their music before that genre's explosion in the '70s and '80s. Reed is famous for his quote, "One chord is fine. Two chords is pushing it. Three chords, and you're into jazz."

Reed left the Velvet Underground in 1970 and has had a varied and daring solo career through the 2000s.

Photo by Man Alive!/Flickr.


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