I have long admired Lou Reed as a writer, singer and consummate musician. A pioneer as much as a perfectionist, his work with the Velvet Underground was a significant influence on early Roxy Music — bringing together the worlds of rock & roll and avant garde art in a way that we all admired, and which seemed so modern, uncompromising and cool. As a solo artist, too, I think that Reed had a wonderful talent for combining the energy of rock music with a truly literary sensibility. His best lyrics had the impact of great fiction, telling a story in a wry, sharp yet deeply-felt way — very much a New York City voice. Like all major artists, he was also totally fearless in exploring new and challenging forms and ideas, regardless of critical or public expectations. He ranks with Hendrix and Dylan as an artist who has shaped the course of modern music and social attitudes in a profound way.