Sunday, October 27, 2013

See the Bells, Up in the Sky: Lou Reed, RIP

The death of Lou Reed (March 2, 1942-October 27, 2013) is a "Proustian moment:" the man, the music, his words and vibe, all serve as memory triggers. All day today and probably well on into the future.

From Lou Reed solo, from Velvet Underground tracks, too, I can remember people, places, trips, journeys, books, surroundings, time drifts, compadre artists and lit candles. Among other things. 

The time my buddy-pal JC and I schlepped our way to Richmond, Virginia, to see Lou and his crazy-electric band rip this joint, the Mosque, on October 9, 1984. (Life lesson: do it!) 

Birds of a feather like Andy Warhol, Nico, John Cale, Stooges, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Laurie Anderson (his widow), William S. Burroughs, Jim Carroll, Bob Dylan, Ramones, Talking Heads, Hotel Chelsea, Václav Havel -- and outward goes the spiral.

"See the bells, up in the sky
Somebody's cut the string in two" 
-- Lou Reed, "What Goes On"
Lou Reed was sharp, pithy, jangly, often a pain in the ass, an artist. With him, beauty comes through distorted guitars and talking songs and words that stick in the mind. Rarely would Lou put up with "a saccharine suburb in the mush," to use the Iggy phrase. Love him or hate him, he was great. A fond farewell. 

Today's Rune: Joy.  


Charles Gramlich said...

Never really listened to Lou Reed. I know that--to me--walk on the wildside is one of the worst songs ever written. I'd thought I didn't like anything by him but turns out I do like the song "Heroin" by the Velvet Underground, which I guess was his.

certainly I'm sad for his loss. I know a lot of people who loved his work. Just not my cup of tea.

t said...

Sorry man.

the walking man said...

I will admit his reading of Poe's "The Raven" was one of the best I'd ever heard. Bu a lot of his work was just too hard on the ears for my tastes.

jodi said...

Erik, altho I liked some of his stuff, he mostly gave me the creeps!