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Musical greats hail Lou Reed at Hall of Fame

20 april 2015, 11:01
0
Musicians Beck (L) and Nate Ruess (C) perform a song by inductee Lou Reed onstage during the 30th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.  ©AFP
Musicians Beck (L) and Nate Ruess (C) perform a song by inductee Lou Reed onstage during the 30th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony. ©AFP

 Music greats paid tribute to singer-songwriter Lou Reed as a singular cultural voice, as the late Velvet Underground frontman entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, AFP reports.

The induction ceremony Saturday night in Cleveland also featured a reunion of the surviving Beatles as Paul McCartney introduced Ringo Starr, the last of the Fab Four to be honored as a solo artist at the Hall of Fame.

Reed, whose countercultural sensibilities with the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist have carried a major influence for decades, was honored by alternative rock figures of a younger era.

Beck, the inventive Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist, performed "Satellite of Love" and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sang "Vicious."

Punk legend Patti Smith, breaking down at times with emotion, described Reed as "a humanist" who identified with the downtrodden.

"His subjects were his royalty that he crowned in lyrics without judgment or irony," Smith said, according to a transcript released by Rolling Stone.

"His consciousness infiltrated and illuminated our cultural voice. Lou was a poet, able to fold his poetry within his music in the most poignant and plainspoken manner," Smith said.

Reed, who was already inducted in the Hall of Fame as part of the Velvet Underground, died in 2013 of liver problems at age 71.

"It seems like after a year and a half, I'm still waiting for him to call, and sometimes he actually does call," said Reed's widow, fellow musician Laurie Anderson, as quoted by Rolling Stone.

"They say you die three times. The first is when your heart stops, and the second is when you're buried or cremated.

"And the third is the last time someone says your name. I am so happy that Lou's name is added to the list of people who will be remembered for the beautiful music they made," she said.

Stevie Wonder inducted Bill Withers, the soul singer best known for his 1972 song "Lean on Me."

"What determines a great singer and songwriter is when they are able to let you feel every word," Wonder said, as quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"You see, I've always felt that Bill Withers' songs were songs that were for every single culture there is," Wonder said.

Other honorees included pioneering female hard rocker Joan Jett and her band the Blackhearts. She was introduced by pop star Miley Cyrus, who described a sexual fantasy with Jett.

Other new names included latter-day punks Green Day -- inducted in their first year of eligibility -- as well as late electric blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and blues singer Paul Butterfield.


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