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RIP Lou Reed

Lou Reed has died. Time to get out those old Velvet Underground albums and say a prayer for his soul. Me and my high school friends, Lou Reed gave us such pleasure with his music. He was a broken man — he wrote and sang about very dark things, including drug addiction and prostitution — but out of that brokenness came beauty, at times, and even grace. The song in the clip above is one of his loveliest performances (I don’t think he wrote the lyrics, btw). I remember the winter of my freshman year in college, lying alone in my dorm room, sad and cold, listening to this over and over. I sing it in my heart for Lou Reed today. RIP.

UPDATE: I recalled just now that some critic said not many people bought Velvet Underground albums back in the day, but just about every one who did started his own band.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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