MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A Milwaukee rock group has personal memories of Lou Reed.
The former Velvet Underground songwriter and guitarist from the 1960's and '70's died Sunday from complications of a liver transplant.
The 71-year-old Reed had a heavy influence on rock bands, including Milwaukee's Violent Femmes. They got to tour with Reed in Germany, Australia, and Spain since the early 1990's.
Violent Femmes' bass player Brian Ritchie said the Velvet Underground were the ones that, "made rock and roll intelligent," and Reed was a "heroic figure."
Ritchie said Reed was a true artist who did what he wanted, regardless of the impact or what people thought.
Ritchie said he first met Lou Reed in 1988 in Rome where the star was doing media interviews. Ritchie said Reed was always known as a curmudgeon, but he was very supportive of the Milwaukee group.
Ritchie and Milwaukeean Victor DeLorenzo collaborated with Reed on a 1991 solo album from Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker called "I Spent a Week There the Other Night."
Ritchie said he and DeLorenzo marveled at performing with two Velvet Underground members. "For us," Ritchie said, "It was like hanging out with the Beatles."