'Magic and Loss'

30 Oct 201313
U2 have paid tribute to the great Lou Reed, who died, aged 71, earlier this week. The singer, guitarist and co-founder of The Velvet Underground was a hugely significant figure in the development of rock music, not least for U2 who've often talked of how they were influenced by his songwriting.

In 'U2 By U2' Larry recalled how the band used to cover Sweet Jane at some of their first gigs and Bono has described the influence on him, as a young teenager, of the Velvet's 1972 album Transformer. Lou Reed himself first became aware of that influence through Live Aid in 1985, when the band's extended version of Bad included snatches of Satellite of Love and Walk on the Wild Side.

It was not long after, in 1986, that the band got to know Lou Reed when they performed together on Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope tour, travelling with artists like Peter Gabriel, The Neville Brothers and Joan Baez. Bono remembers how Lou would 'talk guitar sounds with Edge, motorcycle sounds with Larry and James Joyce with me.'

It was a friendship that was to endure. A few years later, on the ZOO TV Tour in 1992, Lou joined U2 on stage at Giants Stadium to duet on Satellite of Love (see above).

The song went on to find a unique place on the tour, Bono duetting each night with a pre-recorded image of Lou Reed on video.

When One was first released in 1992, it was coupled with Satellite Of Love and a year later, when The Velvet Undergound reformed, they joined the band on ZOO TV for several dates. As Bono recalls, 'U2 were beyond ourselves with delight when The Velvet Underground reformed to play some select dates in the early 90's, including some with us. Pale Blue Eyes is perfection in pop.'

'Transformation is at the heart of Lou Reed’s best work,' he adds. 'People’s ability or inability to transform. We know that turning pain into beauty is the mark of a great artist and we understand defiance is at the heart of romance, but we're mystified by how Lou Reed’s songs are so airborne. Helium filled metal balloons, never weighed down by their subject matter, humour always around the corner from vitriol. Magic and Loss indeed.'

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Hey Guys, please record another one of L
U2 turned me into a fan of Lou Reed. I was in high school when I saw the Zoo TV tour in Dallas and saw Lou's image on a TV screen far above the stage while they sang 'Satellite of Love'. The very next day I bought a greatest hits album from the Velvet Underground. At this point I have every official recording Lou has released and I've seen 3 of his concerts. The 'New York' album was a revelation to me. I've described it as gangsta rap for white people who love rock and roll for many years now. Lou never hid his feelings on record. He is so far departed from the packaged music that the industry pushes on us all the time. It is refreshing to hear his recordings, especially his live recordings, because you know that he always made real art and damn the torpedoes if people didn't like it because he recorded and released precisely what he wanted to give to the world. I will forever miss Lou. I wish I could see more concerts or look forward to new albums but I suppose that is an impossibility now. Vaya con dios Lou.
Remembered always
I was lucky to have seen the reformed VU gig and Lou Reed live many times. The Magic and Loss Tour was an extremely emotional set. "Life's Good, but not fair at all". Your massive legacy remains forever with the world. Thank you Lou.
Achtung Larry
Happy Birthday, Larry!!!! Vorsprung durch Technik ;)
Happy Birthday Dear Larry
He's left a legacy, never to be forgotten.
The Finest Art America Has Produced
If someone from another country asked me, "What art has your country given to the world?" I'd proudly introduce them to Lou Reed. In a multitude of ways, Lou was the epitome of an American artist. One of my fondest memories of Reed is when I heard Lou's six-song set during the live broadcast of the last show of Amnesty International's "A Conspiracy of Hope" tour from Giants Stadium in New Jersey on June 15, 1986. I was completely adrenalized by the aggressiveness of his set. In an interview after his performance, Reed talked openly about how his visits with the families of death-row inmates--I assume conversations that were arranged by the folks at Amnesty International--had caused him to change his view on capital punishment. Lou's unvarnished self-assessment about his own metamorphosis regarding the issue was the beginning of a change in my own views regarding capital punishment. Reed was a true artist because he was a chameleon: always changing and always listening to his muse with no regard to current tastes or fashions. I often loved how Lou would perform drastically different versions of his most famous songs depending on his mood or the effect he wanted to create. For example, compare the studio version of "Sweet Jane" on the Velvet Underground album Loaded with the live version on the Velvet Underground's Live MCMXCIII album with the live version in Julian Schnabel's concert film Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse. The live versions are more propulsive and more gentle, respectively, than the studio version, and cause you to consider perhaps his most famous song anew in completely different lights. I'm sad that we've lost such a true artist who continued to produce vital, contemporary, and challenging work over the course of his entire life. You were a Great American Whale, indeed, Lou, and our culture will be diminished ever so slightly moving forward because you will no longer be contributing your gifts to it. Our only solace is we have the work you've left us to revisit, reconsider, or discover for the first time in the years to come.
Lou is a Star!
Lou Reed...When I came on this site today and read this article it was like knife went through my heart...such a great voice...great song writer! It was nice to see U2 havn't forgotten there roots! That clip from Zoo Tv was one of the highlights of that Concert DVD...Lou Reed will alwaybe a Star!
This song was already emotional on its own. But now it makes more sense than ever. Bye Lou. Rest in Peace.
A Special Place
Something has been set aside for a Mr. Lou Reed...a special place in all hearts that knew him and knew his music. I was so intrigued with him before U2. And knowing my favorite band feels the same way validates my thoughts of this great man and musician.
The Satellite is gone...
up to the sky!...thank you Lou!...Thank you U2.com for sharing!
Beyond sad....
The world has truly lost a visionary artist. I didn't get into the Velvet Underground until the '90's and at first listened couldn't believe that this band that existed in the late '60's (during the same time as the Beatles and the Stones) was making music that could be heard in bands like R.E.M., U2, pick your punk rock band, etc., etc. etc. Huge huge loss. Lou will be sorely missed.
He's gone up to the stars...
Avion Espia
Good bye Lou...
See you soon.
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