As he did with most people, Lou Reed changed music for me. But not directly.
I tried in college to get into the Velvet Underground. So many bands I love were directly influenced by them, so it seemed natural to want to go straight to the source. But it just didn’t grab me. It was too raw, weird, and harsh to me. (I haven’t really tried them in a long time; I might be in a better place to appreciate them now.) I also bought Reed’s New York album around that time but again, I just couldn’t get into it.
But it’s okay if I couldn’t get into it, because enough people did. The thing I couldn’t hear spoke to so many others and encouraged them to make music and get their voices heard as well. And some of those didn’t really do anything for me either, but a bunch of them did. And now those bands are influencing bands. The 30,000 people who famously bought the first Velvet Underground album and subsequently started bands have children and grandchildren now, and that genetic line started by Lou Reed thrives.
Thank you so much, Lou!