Who influenced Lou?




A friend and I were in New York last week, and we made our way to Chinatown, where we indulged in (forgive us) Thai food. Then we strolled over to Columbus Park and stood alongside a quartet of men and women who were making music. They played instruments I couldn’t recognize and sang in a language I couldn’t understand. These four individuals appeared to be north of 70, and I could imagine them performing this same music decades ago in the park. There was something about their discordant but appealing sound that reminded me of The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs.” Maybe I drew this tenuous connection because I was in New York and Lou Reed recently passed away. Or perhaps I’m onto something. The Velvets influenced thousands of rock and roll musicians. It’s possible, I suppose, Lou Reed and his bandmates were influenced by music similar to what I heard in Columbus Park.