Rock music lost a major icon last Sunday with the death of Lou Reed, 71, singer, songwriter and guitarist renowned for his poetic, dark, urban-oriented lyrics. He originally played with The Velvet Underground, one of the most influential groups in rock history. The music of this proto-punk, late 1960s, NYC-based band focused on drugs, sexuality, alienation and street life, among the themes Reed continued to explore as a solo artist. Above, Reed played "Sweet Jane" on the BBC, in the year 2000. Reed previously appeared on this blog here and here, as a solo act; here, with Pete Townshend, and here with The Velvet Underground. Listen to a tribute to Lou Reed (parts one and two) on the St. James Infirmary music show, hosted by my good friend Michael Mand.