Classic Rock News


Rock icon Lou Reed died Sunday on Long Island, less than six months after undergoing liver transplant surgery. He was 71. Though the actual cause of death has not been announced, his literary agent said he died of an ailment related to his liver transplant. Reed was always open about his longtime addiction to drugs and alcohol, and often wrote about his battles with both in his songs including The Velvet’s “Heroin.” Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1942, Reed, along with keyboardist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, formed the Velvet Underground in 1965 in New York City. The following year artist Andy Warhol hired them as the de facto house band at his studio, The Factory, and his mixed-media “Exploding Plastic Inevitable” review. The Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, leaving its mark on rock with essential songs such as “I’m Waiting for the man,” “White Light, White Heat,” “Sweet Jane” and “Rock and Roll.” Reed began a solo career in 1970 which produced a host of hugely influential tunes including “Walk of the Wild Side,” “Satellite of Love,” “Dirty Blvd.,” “Sally Can’t Dance” and “I Love You, Suzanne.”


Scores of musicians posted Twitter tributes to Lou Reed following news of the legendary rocker’s death Sunday. The following are a few examples: Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler: “RIP to a great friend and fellow musician. From Maxes to the masses you made the world sing. I love you Lou!” The Who: “R.I.P. Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side.” The Doors drummer John Densmore: “The soul of NYC has broken on thru. Much respect, Lou.” Kiss singer/guitarist Paul Stanley: “RIP Lou Reed. A musician, artist and trailblazer who played by his own rules.” Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx: “RIP Lou Reed. Thank you for your beautiful/dark lyrics/music and stance on life. You inspired me from my teenage years right up till today.” Foo Fighters frontman Dave Navarro: “F***! One of my all time heroes and friends has passed. RIP Lou!: Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea: “I love Lou Reed so much. Always.” Finally, former Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale posted on his Facebook page: “The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet… I’ve lost my school-yard buddy.”


According to a statement on Fleetwood Mac’s official Facebook page, bassist John McVie has been diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer. The statement reads in part: “Fleetwood Mac…has announced the cancellation of their upcoming 14 date tour of Australia and New Zealand. John McVie…is now scheduled to be in treatment for cancer during that period of time. We hope our Australian and New Zealand fans as well as Fleetwood Mac fans everywhere will join us in wishing John and his family all the best.”


He’s been known as the “Rooster Rocker” for his famous spikey haircut, but at 68 Rod Stewart is certainly no longer a spring chicken. Nevertheless, the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee jokingly told the Detroit News, “I do hope I’ve got the dignity and the awareness to bow out at the right time, which is when I’m 93.” Referencing fellow veteran rockers like Elton John and the Rolling Stones, Stewart added, “It’s our job. It’s what we do. I would say, it’s our identity and it’s very hard to give up, especially when you love what you do.”


The rock world lost one its most influential guitarists when Ronnie Montrose passed away on March 3, 2012. On April 27 of that year, a stable of the musician’s former bandmates and friends including ex-Montrose bandmates Sammy Hagar, Denny Carmassi and Bill Church, among many others, gathered at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco to pay musical tribute, and now that night of once in a lifetime performances will be available on the forthcoming DVD, Concert for Ronnie Montrose – A Celebration of His Life in Music, available December 10.