Lou Reed has died. After playing in a variety of bands, Reed became a songwriter for Pickwick Records in 1964. Among his early works was “The Ostrich”, which parodied instruction-based dance hits. During his stint at Pickwick, Reed met John Cale. They started a band that evolved into the Velvet Underground. Reed was the band’s principal songwriter. They were commercially unsuccessful, but enormously influential.
Early on, the band was embraced by Andy Warhol, who became their manager and mentor. He encouraged them to add another vocalist, Nico, to their debut album. The band dissolved their relationship with both Warhol and Nico, and in 1968, released White Light/White Heat. Cale left the band, and Reed helmed two more VU albums: 1968’s The Velvet Underground and 1970’s Loaded. He quit the band in 1970.