Lou Reed: 1942-2013

photo by Marvin (PA) ©2006

Lou Reed, co-founder of the Velvet Underground, solo artist, poet, and photographer, died yesterday from complications stemming from a liver transplant in May.

VU bandmate John Cale released a statement:

The news I feared the most, pales in comparision to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach, Two kids have a chance meeting and 47 years later we fight and love the same way – losing either one is incomprehensible. No replacement value, no digital or virtual fill … broken now, for all time. Unlike so many with similar stories – we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. The laughs we shared just a few weeks ago, will forever remind me of all that was good between us.

Reed’s artistic impact on the world is equaled by very few. He made spectacular music, took great chances, challenged his audience, and simply didn’t care about those who might not get it – which sometimes included nearly everyone. That his final release was 2011’s Lulu, a much-maligned collaboration with Metallica, is certainly lamented by fans. But Reed would likely be unfazed, probably even a little pleased, that he left us somewhat confounded.

Writer Steve Erickson has composed a tribute that succinctly describes the loss from a fan’s perspective: “Reed’s genius was to score a literary landscape of Jean Genet, Iceberg Slim, and Raymond Chandler to Brill Building doo-wop, girl-group and trash-pop, a Marvin Gaye lick thrown in here, a surf harmony thrown in there,” he writes. Later he muses, “Reed’s work endures not because it shocks but because it forgives, because it depicts humanity not at its most debased but at its most human.”

Read Erickson’s full piece, “Lou Reed’s Incorrigible Genius,” here.

RIP, Lou.

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I’d sail the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
In a sailor’s suit and cap
Away from the big city
Where a man can not be free
– Lou Reed, “Heroin” (Velvet Underground)

Caspian Bassist Chris Friedrich Passes Away At 29

Saying goodbye to anyone is difficult, but there is always an added depth to the sadness when it’s someone young and full of life, with a promising future.

News is coming in this morning that Caspian bassist Chris Friedrich has passed away at the age of 29. Details regarding the cause of death have not been released at this time, but those close to Friedrich report it was an “unexpected” event.

Taking to Facebook earlier this morning, members of Caspian broke the news of Friedrich’s death and outlined their plans for a memorial this coming Saturday, August 31. Their update reads:

Dear friends, we write to you today with heavy hearts and indescribable sadness to tell you that our bass player, Chris Friedrich, died unexpectedly Sunday afternoon. We have lost a close friend, a true brother, and a presence that can never be replaced in any of our lives. Chris epitomized the heart and soul of Caspian, and in our own ways — both individually and collectively — dedicate ourselves to honoring his memory. We ask for privacy. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

We will be paying tribute this Saturday (8/31) to Chris by performing at The Engine Room in Manchester, NH. This is a benefit show for a friend of Chris’s who is seeking funding for a lung transplant. Chris was instrumental in putting this show together, and is the only way we know how to honor his memory at this time. You can find more information in our events section for this performance. We love you all so very much.”

Friedrich’s absence will be felt in the music community for a long time to come. Our thoughts go out to his friends, family, fans, and brothers in Caspian.

Blue Oyster Cult Founder Allen Lanier Passes Away

We hate to start the day on a sad note, but this story simply could not wait.

Reports are coming in this morning that Blue Oyster Cult founder Allen Lanier has passed away due to complications from C.O.P.D. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). He was 67.

A message posted earlier today by Blue Oyster Cult’s frontman Eric Bloom reads:

My great friend Allen Lanier has passed. I’ll miss the guy even though we hadn’t spoken in a while. He was so talented as a musician and a thinker. He read voraciously, all kinds of things, especially comparative religion. We drove for years together, shared rooms in the early days. We partied, laughed, played. All BOC fans and band members will mourn his death. Ultimately smoking finally got to him. He had been hospitalized with C.O.P.D. It was Allen who heard some old college band tapes of mine and suggested I get a shot as the singer in 1968. A lot of great memories, over 40 years worth. Maybe he’s playing a tune with Jim Carroll right now

Blue Oyster Cult started in 1967 and went on to release a string of hits. Lanier left the group briefly between 1985 and 1987, but otherwise played with them the entirety of his adult life. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. (more…)

Kris Kross’ Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly Dies at 34

Chris Mac Daddy Kelly, one half of popular early ’90s group Kriss Kross, has passed away. He was 34.

Kelly was found unresponsive at his Atlanta-area home, and later died at Atlanta Medical Center on Wednesday, May 1. No cause of death has been revealed at this time, but from what we can gather there does not appear to be any hint of foul play.

The mother of the deceased and the So So Def family issued this statement on Thusrday morning:

“It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1. To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music. But to us, he was just Chris “ the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party. Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music, and we will forever love him.

Kriss Kross had a few hits, but none were as big as “Jump.” Click below to enjoy that classic one more time. (more…)

Deftones Comment On Chi Cheng's Death

News of the passing of Deftones‘ bassist Chi Cheng has sent waves of sadness through the entertainment industry. Though Chi was suffering for the last few years, his absence from this world makes things dimmer for countless family, friends, and fans around the world. After taking some time to grieve themselves, Deftones have come forward with a message for fan’s regarding Chi’s passing:

“There are so many things I can say, and yet at this moment, none of it matters or compares to the loss everyone feels. There will be a hole in our lives where Chi once was. But that will be filled everyday with all of our love and memories we all have in our heart. He will always be here because of love. It’s time we all give our love and best, and do our best to love. Especially ourselves, Chi would want that for everyone. All our healing will begin with love. I love you, Chi.

Stephen, for Deftones”

Rest in peace, Chi. You will be missed.

Tupac Shakur’s Mother Vows To Release His "Entire Body Of Work"

Anyone familiar with the work of Tupac Shakur is already well aware of his posthumous career. In fact, Tupac (or rather, his estate) has released more albums featuring new material after his death than any other musician in history, and it seems we may soon have even more to enjoy.

Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, has released a new statement vowing to release the fallen rapper’s entire body of work in order to give a new generation a chance to experience the rapper’s unheard material. She is the head of her late son’s estate, and recently handed over the management of that estate to Jampol Artist Management (JAM). During this transition, Afeni shed light on plans to release material even die hard fans have yet to hear. Her statement reads: (more…)