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.
LAURIE ANDERSON'S GOODBYE TO LOU REED
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.
See ya around later, Lou. I will miss you.
- chris tower - 1311.07 - 17:42