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  • November 24, 2008
    By Carly Carioli

    Before Bono made himself king -- or at least crowned himself rock and roll's official ambassador to the Universe -- the most internationally influential rock star, on a policy level at least, was Lou Reed. If there'd been a Secretary of State for 20th-century "alternative" rock, it woulda been Lou, since the Velvet Underground, as everyone knew, had helped topple Communism in the Czech Republic, where they seemed to have held a cultural sway that was vastly out of proportion to what they held such cultural backwaters as, say, the United States.

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