October 29, 2013 8:34

Patti Smith and David Byrne pay tribute to 'inspirational' Lou Reed

New York icons issues separate statements about deceased Velvet Underground frontman

Patti Smith and David Byrne pay tribute to 'inspirational' Lou Reed

Photo: PA

Patti Smith and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne have added their voices to the many musicians paying tribute to Lou Reed, who died on Sunday.

Smith (pictured) and Byrne, both New Yorkers, follow Morrissey, David Bowie, The Strokes' Julian Casablancas and many more in reacting to the death of the hugely influential musician.

Smith told Rolling Stone: "Lou was a very special poet – a New York writer in the way that Walt Whitman was a New York poet. One thing I got from Lou, that never went away, was the process of performing live over a beat, improvising poetry, how he moved over three chords for 14 minutes. That was a revelation to me."

Also speaking to Rolling Stone, David Byrne recalls numerous meetings with Reed, including one at Reed's Upper East Side apartment during the early days of Talking Heads, in which Reed ate ice cream and played a slowed-down version of the band's 'Tentative Decisions'.

Speaking about Reed in later life, Byrne says: "He and Laurie [Anderson] never stopped checking out emerging artists, bands and all sorts of performances. That was, for me, inspirational as well. Lots of creative types retreat after they achieve a certain level of success or renown — Lou seemed to maintain his curiosity and willingness to take risks."

Lou Reed died on October 27 aged 71. Although the cause of death is currently unknown, Reed had undergone a liver transplant in May this year (2013).

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