74 years ago today (3/2/42), Lou Reed was born. With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s with Lulu, his collaboration with Metallica he always challenged listeners. Most importantly his early work was always embraced by future generations, cementing the Velvet Underground’s status as the most influential American rock band of all time. Reed passed away on 10/27/13 following death from liver disease. Watch Lou Reed solo perform “I’m Waiting For The Man” live in Paris from 1974.