Lou Reed looks on during a question and answer session
after the world premiere of his first film Red Shirley in
April. Photo by Reuters.
The Dunedin Sound would not be what it is without Lou
Reed, those involved in the musical era say.
Reed (71) died in New York late on Sunday (NZ time),
reportedly of an illness related to a liver transplant he had
earlier this year.
The former lead singer of Velvet Underground (he quit the
band in 1970) was regarded as one of the most influential and
distinctive musicians of his generation.
Dunedin musicians who established the Dunedin Sound were
among many young artists worldwide who took inspiration from
Music writer and retailer Roy Colbert, who owned Records
Records for 35 years, said Velvet Underground's Pale Blue
Eyes (1969) was ''about as perfect as you can get'', and
Venus in Furs (1967) another gem.
Having spent yesterday listening to Velvet Underground,
following news of Reed's death, Mr Colbert said the band's
''lovely simple guitar backings'' were a key influence on the
Dunedin Sound, because young musicians were able to replicate
''It's very simple, starting-out guitar, and that's very much
the Dunedin Sound to me.
"Rick Bryant once told me he always thought Velvet
Underground was a mixture of the Rolling Stones and Bob
Dylan, which is kind of like the essence of rock, really, and
the Dunedin Sound, for me, was the essence of rock, as
Velvet Underground's ''drone'' was also heavily used by
Flying Nun Records' Dunedin artists in the early 1980s, Mr
The band's music would continue to be influential, and would
serve as Reed's legacy.
''That first album came out in 1967 but in terms of influence
it peaked in the '80s and '90s. A lot of music comes and goes
very quickly but Velvet Underground took forever and will be
forever. It will never go away.''
Graeme Downes, founding member of the Verlaines and head of
Otago University's music department, said Reed and Velvet
Underground made a ''significant'' impression on the Dunedin
''I'm gutted,'' he said of Reed's death.
Dr Downes said Reed's live album Rock 'n' Roll Animal,
which was released in 1974 and included Velvet Underground
songs, was especially memorable.
The Dunedin Sound was complex and influenced by many things,
as was the music by Reed and Velvet Underground, he said.
''I would say exactly what Lou Reed said when he was
associated with punk. He said, `I can't be, because I'm far
too literate for that', and that's what the Dunedin Sound
was, as well.''
An obituary will follow.