365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

T-shirt #231: CBGB & Lou Reed RIP

T-shirt #231: CBGB & Lou Reed RIP

The last place I want to engage in bullshit is here on my blog.

So, no bullshit. I am not going to claim I was some huge Lou Reed fan. I was not. But I did like Lou Reed a great deal. Is he someone that would have made my top ten musical artists? No. But I was sad to hear of his death as he left the world too soon. He was important to American music, to music in general. He was an artist. I appreciated him and his work, both the solo work and the work with Velvet Underground. I would have gone to see him in concert. I always wanted a VU shirt, probably the Andy Warhol Banana album. There was a time that I listened to Transformer A LOT, like so many others. In the early 1990s, his solo album New York spun on my turntable quite a lot. But I never got around to buying the CD of this album despite how much I loved it. CDs I did own were more for curiosity than actual frequent play, such as Set the Twilight Reeling and Magic and Loss.

No bullshit. For me, there were musical icons whose deaths hit me harder, such as Joe Strummer, both Richard Wright and Nick Mason, John Entwistle, George Harrison, and of course, John Lennon.

And yet, the death of Lou Reed reminded me of our mortality, as all deaths do. What got me thinking was that sooner rather than later other great musicians who did have a huge impact in my life would start dying, people like David Bowie, Pete Townsend, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, Paul Weller, and so many more. Definitely many of the people who are older than me (like Lou Reed) will likely die before I do. And though these thoughts are sad, I do not know these people. Any sadness or loss I would feel for their deaths is nothing compared to how I will feel when someone I truly love dies--a family member, a dear friend, let alone my spouse, child, puppy, cat. Will I be able to cope?

Since I do not own a Lou Reed shirt, I went with my CBGB shirt for today. I wanted to write about the death of Lou Reed. For those who do not know, CBGB is a club where many of the greatest bands of all time first performed. It was located on the Bowery at Bleecker in New York City. It closed in 2006. It seemed a fitting shirt for today's subject.

It's fascinating to me how news spreads these days. I learned of Lou Reed's death from Twitter. This message below was not the first but it was one of the best.

Now, two weeks later, the Rolling Stone issue has arrived in the mail. My wife posted Laurie Anderson's remarks (Lou's wife and a great (one of my favorites) musician and artist in her own right) to Facebook.


Her comments are beautiful and poignant. If I did not already love Laurie Anderson for her brilliance as an artist (now, her, I have seen in concert several times), I would fall in love with her for these comments. It has been some time since I wrote about the Dinner Party I want to hold. I think Laurie Anderson should be there and by proxy, as their hearts and minds have been entangled for some time, then Lou Reed also.

Here's comments I wrote about my dinner party back in the last post on the subject in T-shirt #99.

Who else should be there? How big should it be? I must be choosy. Is it really a dinner party if there are over a hundred people? I think I might have to invite ELLIS. I would consider Adrian Tomine, but he wouldn't come (just like he assumed people would not come to his wedding in his little marriage book). But that's two authors, and the original concept was musicians, hence Suzanna Vega, Erykah Badu, and now Moby. Surely, Bowie would be there (or I would invite him), and never fear, I have not forgotten Mr. Bowie. As possibly my favorite musical artist, I am saving him for a special moment (no, not tomorrow).
Moby is another one of those kindred souls. I think we would have been friends had we grown up in the same town (Darien, Connecticut or if he had grown up here in Kalamazoo) or met early in his career. I do not share all of Moby's beliefs or convictions (sorry, buddy, I eat meat, though I do agree with your thoughts on the subject), but I share A LOT of Bowie's ideas. WOW. I meant "Moby's ideas." But I wrote Bowie, and then in editing, I decided to leave it. See how interchangeable they are?

If I could get my wish, if the Make-a-Wish Foundation would grant a wish to me, I would want to have this dinner party as my wish. However, I am not done adding people to table. I think thirteen, like the Last Supper (or was that 14?), would be a good target number. I have some other ideas of people to invite, like Marisha Pessl, author of Night Film.

And, like I wrote in the above, of course, Bowie.

The Bowie and Lou Reed connection has been well established.


I have three main favorite Lou Reed songs. It's really a toss up as to which I love best. But if I had to choose, and I did the other day when I had time to play just one for my students, I would pick "Coney Island Baby." I do not remember how these songs entered my life, entered my heart, but I know that "Coney Island Baby" came to me from a very special woman, not sure which one, but I remember being introduced to it by a woman with the best of intentions.

And now I present my three favorite Lou Reed songs.

Coney Island Baby

Perfect Day - Lou Reed & Bono & Dr. John & Elton John & D. Bowie 

Lou Reed - Last Great American Whale - Live at Farm Aid

See ya around later, Lou. I will miss you.
- chris tower - 1311.07 - 17:42