Wednesday, October 30, 2013

RIP Lou


Carol and I saw him at the Paramount or maybe the Moore. He was good. It was the Magic & Loss tour, I think. Smaller than I would have thought. I was surprised how many of his songs I knew. I was surprised by his walk. Kind of up in his toes, a little stiff. I always pictured him strutting.
I had New Sensations on cassette. A friend of mine insisted Down At The Arcade was a sign that Lou Reed was a horrible song writer. The more he said that, the more I could not get the song out of my head. I haven't heard it in maybe 20 years but I could sing you the chorus, no problem.
My room mate had VU. Foggy Notion played all the time. I was surprised when Greg chose it as a defining song. I honestly didn't know anyone else had listened to it more than once or twice.
I had the banana album on cassette, too. I liked the mix of sweet and pretty with drone and noisy. Don't know that I ever realized how dark the lyrics were. every once in a while I will sing for no particular reason, "I could sleep for a thousand years."
When MCA died, even though I knew he had cancer, I was reminded that people my age die. I hate that reminder.
With Lou I guess I never really thought of him as having an age. I knew he was old, though I didn't know he was sick. I guess it just never occurred to me that he would die. He was around for as long as I could remember.
So many bands I like would not be the way they are were it not for the Velvet Underground.
He was good in Far Away, So Close, too.
Because he sang, "But she never lost her head/ Even when she was giving head," Bon Jovi felt he could sing, "I walk these streets. a loaded 6-string on my back/ I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back." That was a not good thing. I realize head and back each have two meanings, but you shouldn't rhyme them with themselves.
I'll miss him. 


3 comments:

  1. I really liked this post Jim. sniff, sniff.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This killed me as I was reading it... Laurie Anderson sent this letter to the East Hampton Star, their local paper:


    To our neighbors:

    What a beautiful fall! Everything shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water surrounding us.

    Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in the past few years, and even though we’re city people this is our spiritual home.

    Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!

    Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician hands moving through the air.

    Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

    — Laurie Anderson
    his loving wife and eternal friend

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