Sunday, October 27, 2013

Miss You Already, Lou Reed

Miss You Already, Lou Reed
Oil on canvas, 10x10

Lou Reed has died, and I find myself darkly, deeply sad.

I always loved the guy, for what he did, what he said, what he meant. Lots of his songs didn't really do it for me, but his music, in general, always did, if that makes any sense. I could tell a Lou Reed song a mile away - and that's something I can't say for a lot of musicians.

Far as I could tell, Lou Reed never wanted to be anything other than Lou Reed. He never seemed to want to be cute, or a star, or commercial. He wanted to be himself, and to express himself, and if the world didn't like it, too bad.

Brian Eno said that though the first Velvet Underground album only sold 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band." You can count me in that 30,000. My little band, Petite Mal, couldn't have been more unlike any of Lou Reed's bands - except that, in its soul, it was. We never wanted to be anything but what we were, good, bad or indifferent.

Peter and I had the good fortune to see Lou Reed not so many years ago, in Kingston, NY. We were in the second or third row, and Reed gave a great performance. He was weathered, and yes, he was dark, but he had that rock and roll gleam in his eye, and he sang his heart and his soul, and you just knew he'd lived the way he wanted to live.

Far as I could tell, Lou Reed tried pretty much everything that crossed his path, and he was unapologetic about all of it. Everything he did, everything he took, everything he sampled colored his life and his music. And in the end, that's what got him. His liver gave out, and complications from the transplant took his life today, Oct. 27, 2013.

The world is just not as good a place without Lou Reed in it. 

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