Oct 27, 2013

So long, friend: Some brief thoughts on Lou Reed

So long, Lou
Since I heard the news, hours ago now, I've been thinking & thinking, and apart from the (now) short period I was not a music nut, its hard to find any space in my life that he didn't touch. So many memories & so much knowledge, is tied in with him & th
e Velvets. He was one of those guys that educated his listeners if you were paying attention...I know about Ornette Coleman, Hubert Selby, Little Jimmy Scott, Christopher Isherwood, junkies, hustlers, much art, many artists - everything interesting - directly because of him. The list could be much, much longer.

As well, despite his reputation towards the curmudgeonly, the few times I was in his presence I'm happy to say were nothing but pleasant experiences. A friend on Facebook used the word "avuncular" to describe him which I thought was pretty appropriate. To quote Sasha Frere-Jones in his great piece posted on the New Yorker website today, "His work spans my life and is woven into it, and it is impossible to imagine my own imagination without thinking of the direction in which Reed told me to look...He is everywhere." If you're looking & listening, yes.

He was also, once I was an adult, a musical connection I could make with my father (who is still very much with us at 88). There are two favorites of mine my father has been hip enough to accept my invitation to go see with me - Tom Waits (twice!) and Lou Reed. We saw him at Radio City Music Hall (or perhaps it was the St. James Theater?) together. For the record, my dad liked Lou, but I think he preferred Tom.

At dinner tonight at Robbie's, he brought up the idea a film about Lou's life, and would that be interesting. This was based on the idea that if someone could make a film based on the life of someone like Hunter S. Thompson, they could make one about Lou. I agreed with him, but would like to take that one step further...You could easily make dozens of films based on dozens of his songs. Imagine that? Or a movie based on the Berlin album...that would be a doozy. Having spent his career attempting to set in song the types of characters & stories he loved in literary writers, I think its safe to say he accomplished what he set out to do. I hope he felt that, knew that...

As another friend said, "A little part of a lot of us has left the planet."

1 comment:

MJG196 said...

I dont think I'd ever want to see a "live action" movie about Lou's life - Rock & Roll Heart and the Transformer "Classic Albums" DVD are more than enough for me. First problem is finding someone who could "act" Lou's razor-sharp barbs and not look ridiculous doing it. A second problem, though less of an issue, is that so many NYC places we associate with Lou are gone.

His life is well documented in his music and I'm happy with that!

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