'It doesn't seem right that I won't be sending him a Christmas card,' says former bandmate

The Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker has paid tribute to her former bandmate Lou Reed.

Tucker, who joined the group in 1965, has written an obituary for the Observer in which she mourns the loss of the celebrated singer-songwriter, who passed away aged 71 in October of this year (2013).

She wrote: “Lou had a reputation, for sure. He was tough and he could be grumpy and bitchy, but I’ve come to realise that his bitchiness came out when there was incompetence about. Didn’t matter if it was a waiter or a record producer, he’d rip someone apart if things weren’t up to scratch. He didn’t suffer fools gladly. That’s just the way he was, but he was also incredibly encouraging and generous.”

Tucker added: “He was a good friend through everything. We had this brother-sister type relationship in the group, and it lasted long after the group split. We would always exchange Christmas cards, Valentine cards. It was one of those friendships where it didn’t matter if you didn’t see each other a lot. We’d meet up after two years or five years and it would be like we’d seen each other last week. As you get older, you come to realise that that kind of friendship is rare, so I miss him a hell of a lot. It’s just dawning on me that he’s not out there any more.”

She later added: “Now Andy [Warhol]’s gone, Sterling [Morrison]’s gone, Nico’s gone and Lou’s gone. It feels strange. I miss them all, but I really miss Lou.

“He was a great songwriter who pushed the boundaries in terms of what he was writing about, but more importantly, he was a good and loyal friend. It doesn’t seem right that I won’t be sending him a Christmas card.”

Lou Reed died from liver failure on October 27, following a transplant operation in May. His death leaves John Cale and drummer Moe Tucker as the only surviving members of The Velvet Underground.

In November it was revealed that Reed left his estate to his wife and sister. The singer left his Manhattan penthouse, his home in East Hampton, New York and the majority of his estate to his wife, musician Laurie Anderson. The couple married in 2008 and had no children. Anderson paid tribute to her husband, saying “he died while looking at the trees”.