Lou Reed’s sister states the legendary songwriter would have been ‘amused but secretly delighted’ by becoming a Hall of Famer
ou Reed has joined the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist, with his induction taking place yesterday at a ceremony in Cleveland. With Reed sadly passing away from liver disease on 27th October 2013, he was unable to pass comment. His sister has told Billboard what she believes he would have thought at the honour. Merrill Reed Weiner said, “For him to be honored by his peers in this kind of way, I know how much it would have meant to him. Not that he would have let you know it.”
She went on to say that while outwardly he may have been dismissive, privately he would be elated, saying, “He wouldn’t be smiling quite the way I am, for sure. I think he would be amused. I think he would be sardonic and I think he’d be secretly delighted, really, really delighted. [Music] meant the world to him, and I wish he were here to see it. It’s amazing for him to be recognized in this way.”
Reed was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Patti Smith, who spoke of the debt owed to the songwriter by his peers. She said,”So many of us have benefited from the work he has done. We all owe him a debt. Most of us that owe a debt are not very happy to own up to it. Sometimes you like to imagine that you did everything on your own. But I think with Lou that everyone will stand in line to say, ‘Thank you,’ in their own way.”
Smith also inducted Reed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 as part of the Velvet Underground. Joining Reed this year was Green Day, Bill Withers, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Ringo Starr was given the Hall’s Award for Musical Excellence, with the “5” Royales inducted into the Early Influence category.
Reed began his career in music in 1964, working initially as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records and forming the seminal band the Velvet Underground with John Cale in the same year. In 1970 Reed left Velvet Underground and embarked upon a solo career that would cement his position as one of the most influential songwriters of all time.
Reed stated that his goal as a writer was “to bring the sensitivities of the novel to rock music.” It’s an ambition that Reed reached near perfection with in his work.