Lou Reed and the Iconography of Rock and Roll

Image- Peat Bakke via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In the flood of eulogies prompted by Lou Reed’s death last month, the words “rock icon” featured prominently. This modern usage of a very old word may seem like an anomaly for those more familiar with its older sense, but though it’s been watered down a good deal in its popular usage, calling a rock star an “icon” is remarkably apropos.Before it came into its current idiom, “icon” was a fairly archaic word that was mostly used of the religious pictures of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the t … [Read more...]

The Understated Power of Influence: Why Lou Reed is Such a Big Deal, Even If You’ve Never Heard of Him

Lou Reed 1978

During the time pop-art legend Andy Warhol was running around with the weird, obscure, protopunk outfit The Velvet Underground he told reporters that in the future everybody would have their own 15 minutes of fame. Who could have known how right Warhol was. We have fulfilled Andy Warhol’s prophecy. Not only do we assume our 15 minutes, we crave it. The Internet is our global soapbox, blogs unite and divide into homogenous tribes, and hero worship is streamlined by flawless digital self-branding o … [Read more...]


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