I wonder if people from my parents' era would mourn the death of (a...a what? A nobody. A non-family member. A celebrity. A famous person. An entertainer. A musician. a what?) Lou Reed like I and many of my 40s/50s friends are doing today. One of my parents never even got far into his 50s, but even in their mid/late 30s, as I remember them best, I can't see them being affected at all. Even if music had been a large part of their younger lives, by their 30s they had outgrown all that, and would never feel "influenced" by any mere entertainer whose work they had enjoyed in college (they got married right out of college and headed straight to Familyville, so there was none of the post-collegiate "finding themselves" that we enjoyed). To be "influenced" by a musician, to listen to his music for years, to feel more than a fleeting sting at his death - that just wasn't done; you saved your sorrow for family, or statesmen, or friends or maybe a favorite teacher.
If my father were still alive, I wonder if he would find it strange that I could be sad about the death of someone not related to me.