Lou Reed's Friends and Colleagues React to His Death

Tributes and memories from Flea, the Who, Salman Rushdie and more

Lou Reed in Madrid, Spain.
Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage
October 27, 2013 3:58 PM ET

The death of Lou Reed on Sunday at the age of 71 touched off a widespread outpouring of grief among the rocker's friends, colleagues and many fans. Reed's massive influence on several generations of musicians and artists, from his days with the Velvet Underground to his most experimental solo material, is made strikingly clear by the public responses, which Rolling Stone has compiled.

Lou Reed, Velvet Underground Leader and Rock Pioneer, Dead at 71

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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