Thoughts and remembrances have been pouring in from all directions, sources and times in reaction to yesterday’s death of singer/songwriter Lou Reed. Not easy for a fan to process it all, but here is a sampling from different parts of his world:

Firstly, there has been an enormous amount of fairly instantaneous celebrity reaction on Twitter and Facebook. Some excerpts:

“…a poet 1st, he performed like a hit-man on a mission.” – Comedian Richard Lewis

“’Where was I when I heard Lou Reed died? A pumpkin patch in Moorpark. A pumpkin patch. In Moorpark.’ – me, to my grandchildren” – Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt

“One of a kind magic street soul, who created a future and history…” – Actor-musician Juliette Lewis

“We love you, Lou. We love you, Laurie” – Girls creator/actor Lena Dunham, referring also to musician/artist Laurie Anderson, married to Reed since 2007

“From Maxes [Max’s Kansas City club in Manhattan] to the masses, you made the world sing” – Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler  

Understandably reflecting the still reverberating shock of the news, many of Reed’s close relations and collaborators (including Anderson and Maureen Tucker) have been silent, but some have managed muted, yet-telling, observances:

“Devastating news” – Iggy Pop

“He was a master” – David Bowie

“The world has lost a fine singer and a poet, I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy’” – John Cale

One startlingly powerful Obituatry, in The Scotsman, opened like this:

LOU Reed was a vicious, uncompromising, pretentious narcissist who epitomised everything sleazy and hard-bitten about rock ’n’ roll. He also had faults.

Music academics and critics have had the most to say at this point:

“Lou Reed was an exceptionally gifted singer, songwriter, and musician who has had a profound impact on rock music and our culture. Both his work with the Velvet Underground and his solo efforts are legendary, introducing avant-garde rock to the mainstream” – Recording Academy president and chief executive Neil Portnow

“[Lou Reed] completely changed the cultural landscape we inhabit,” while he “did not suffer fools…or journalists gladly,” using the “deliberate withholding of charm as a weapon” and “performed to a smallish but loyal audience sufficient in number to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.” – British music journalist and author Charles Shaar Murray in conversation with BBC Radio 4’s Today program

Perhaps the most attributed quote was from musician/producer Brian Eno some time ago, and may have been apocryphal, but is nevertheless apt:

“The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.”

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