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Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes on Lou Reed

October 27th, 2013

I am very saddened to hear Lou Reed has died. Less than two months ago, it was great to see him in London collecting a GQ award for inspiration. He has always deserved so much more recognition that he has been granted. Like Elvis and The Beatles, Lou Reed pioneered and influenced a future generation of musicians, Duran Duran being just one of those bands on an endless list, grateful to benefit from his fearless, inventive and unique style.

In the late 80s we were playing a charity show in New York City, where through a mutual friend, I had managed to persuade Lou to come and perform a couple of his songs with us. It was quite surreal for everyone in the band, as less than a decade earlier, we had been fans listening to his music in our teenage bedrooms. Lou turned up at the Beacon Theatre with his guitar and amplifier to soundcheck, we rehearsed “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Sweet Jane together.” He was thrilled with the arrangements we had done, so we parted company for a few hours and next met, later that evening, onstage. When Simon introduced our hero, Lou, my heart sank as it sounded as though the entire audience began to boo. Lou was unfazed and smiling, so we launched into the songs. it wasn’t until afterwards when the sound of the crowd intensified, that I realised they were all affectionately shouting Lou, not boo…

Lou Reed is dead, Long live Lou Reed!