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Top 20 Lou Reed Quotes


Lou Reed, the influential frontman for the Velvet Underground has passed away today, he was 71. His influence was massive and stretched almost 50 years. No official cause of death has been announced, but he received a liver transplant in May. At that point, Reed’s wife spoke on the singer’s health saying, “It’s as serious as it gets. He was dying. You don’t get it for fun.” It appears he may have passed due to complications from that procedure.

Reed was no stranger to the Rockstar lifestyle, once being quoted as saying,

“I tried to give up drugs by drinking.”

He was, however, actively working to improve his health. In a more recent post on his Facebook wall he was quoted as saying,  “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry.”

“I am bigger and stronger than ever. My Chen Taiji and health regimen has served me well all of these years, thanks to Master Ren Guang-yi. I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future.”

His talent and opinionated nature will surely be missed.

Below, we’ve compiled some of our favorite quotes to inspire the many fans he leaves behind.

Top 20 Lou Reed Quotes

On The Future:

1) “I think that everything happens for a reason, everything happens when it’s going to happen.”


On Doing Anything:

2) “There’s only X amount of time. You can do whatever you want with that time. It’s your time.”


On Balance:

3) “There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.”


On Being Commited To The Craft: 

4) “The music is all. People should die for it. People are dying for everything else, so why not the music?”


On Religion:

5) “The most important part of my religion is to play guitar.”


On Vanity:

6) “I don’t believe in dressing up reality. I don’t believe in using makeup to make things look smoother.”


On Practice:

7) “Me, I’ve concentrated on music pretty much to the exclusion of other things.”


On Be Fiercely Independent:

8) “Some even claim that I’m a terror, a dictator and they’re right.”


On Alcohol:

9) “I tried to give up drugs by drinking.”


On The Economy:

10) “These are really terribly rough times, and we really should try to be as nice to each other as possible.”


On Being An Aging Rockstar:

11) “It’s depressing when you’re still around and your albums are out of print.”


On The Importance Of His Own Voice:

12) “I always believed that I have something important to say and I said it.”


On Critics:

13) “I don’t know anyone actually who does care what a critic says.”


On Crowd Control:

14) “I don’t know what goes on in the crowd. I’ve had them show up and throw beer cans at me. I caused riots in most of the major cities.”


On Giving It 100%:

15) “I’m in this business for too long to be half-hearted about anything.”


On Focus:
16) “Me, I’ve concentrated on music pretty much to the exclusion of other things.”


On Album Topics:

17) “I don’t really think about what the subject of my next album will be. I just know that I’m going to make another album.”


On Why He Keeps It Simple:

18) “One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”


On Nostalgia:

19) “I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine.”


On Inspiration:

20) “In the late ’70s I started to search for the perfect sound – whatever that might be, before that I was mainly interested in drugs, insanity and the rock’n’roll lifestyle.”


Have any Lou Reed Quotes we may have missed? Let us know in the comments.

header image via: Martin Pulaski

Written by Quotezine Team

Michelle Quinteros is a pop culture and lifestyle writer with a fancy degree from McMaster University. When she’s not writing for Quotezine, she can be found excessively quoting The Simpsons or binge watching Netflix.

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