As tributes continue to pour in...
Lou Reed

Lou Reed's cause of death has been confirmed as liver disease by his doctor.

Lou Reed's passing has left an irreplaceable hole in rock's tapestry. A uniquely thrilling artist, the songwriter came to define for many what rock could be: exciting, unexpected and conforming only to its own rules.

News of Lou Reed's death broke at the weekend, with many linking it to a liver transplant earlier in the year. Now the New York Times has spoken to the songwriter's personal physician, confirming the cause of death as liver disease.

Poignantly, Lou Reed has declared himself ready to go back out on tour earlier this year - telling fans he was a "triumph of modern medicine". Sadly, after a successful comeback show on June 20th the singer's condition deteriorated and he was forced to return to hospital in July.

Tributes are continuing to pour in for the legendary songwriter. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Patti Smith explained the impact Lou Reed had on her own work: "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 gave a more personal account of his relationship with Lou Reed. "More recently I'd see Lou and Laurie socially — we'd join mutual friends for dinner sometimes — and at concerts. He and Laurie 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."

Finally - and perhaps most poignantly - John Cale has issued a statement reflecting on the death of an artist who is implicitly linked to his own life and career. "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. John Cale, 27th Oct, 2013"

In tribute, Clash posted an archive interview with Lou Reed - it's a wry, funny and ever-caustic meeting with a true legend.

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