Lou ReedRock | 2010
Born Lewis Allan Reed, Lou Reed is arguably the architect of some of the later 20th century’s most powerful musical movements. The songwriter, composer, and guitarist, who grew up in Freeport, began his music career as a staff writer for Pickwick Records where he first met Welsh musician John Cale. The two formed the Velvet Underground with Maureen Tucker and Sterling Morrison and thus began one of rock’s most influential ensembles. Reed left the group in 1970 to pursue a solo career that would span four decades of creative ferment. Educated on the streets, Reed consistently populated his work with the squalid characters of urban society’s underbelly. Marginalization, mainstream contempt, and emotional impact were always a part of Reed’s oeuvre and were exemplified in classic songs such as “Sweet Jane,” “Rock and Roll,” and “Walk on the Wild Side.” The Velvet Underground was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and Reed—one of music’s most enigmatic figures—was posthumously inducted as a solo performer in 2015.