John Cale pays tribute to Velvet Underground bandmate Lou Reed

"I've lost my school-yard buddy" the multi-instrumentalist says

John Cale has paid tribute to his former Velvet Underground bandmate Lou Reed, who died yesterday (October 27) aged 71.

News of the death of the legendary performer emerged late on Sunday. Although the cause of death is currently unknown, Reed had undergone a liver transplant in May this year (2013).

“The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet… I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy'” Cale wrote on his Facebook page.

Cale followed the brief statement with a longer statement which reads: “The news I feared the most, pales in comparison to the lump in my throat and the hollow in my stomach. Two kids have a chance meeting and 47 years later we fight and love the same way – losing either one is incomprehensible. No replacement value, no digital or virtual fill…broken now, for all time. Unlike so many with similar stories – we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse. The laughs we shared just a few weeks ago, will forever remind me of all that was good between us.”

Reed’s death leaves Cale and drummer Moe Tucker as the only surviving members of the pioneering New York art rockers The Velvet Underground.

Cale and Reed founded the band in 1965. They later enlisted guitarist Sterling Morrison, who died in 1995, and model Nico, who contributed four songs to the band’s debut and died in 1988.

The Velvets released two albums together under the original line-up – 1967’s ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ and 1968’s ‘White Light/White Heat’ before Cale was replaced by Doug Yule later that year. They then released their self-titled third album in 1969, before 1970’s ‘Loaded’, Reed quitting before 1973’s ‘Squeeze’.

David Bowie, The Strokes, Morrissey and Sonic Youth are among the huge list of artists who have paid tribute to Lou Reed.

Read NME’s obituary of Lou Reed, 1942 – 2013

Read NME’s tribute to Lou Reed
Listen to a playlist of Lou Reed’s finest musical moments