The Day Lou Reed Died

Lou Reed is dead. Those words sound as if they come from another planet. One where heroes go to their graves on flaming pyres of moonlight,  the glory held in the bright colors of lapping flames that lick and split over T-shirts and chains,

needles and strait jackets, sending electrified crowns of thorns in flashes of dark truth. Convulsions reeling in the hate and doubt, the love and worry of middle class conservatism. Star of David an option. He preferred Miles Davis’ star…

He’s gone… could be the name of a song sung by Television at CBGBs or the Village Gate with gospel choir… Lou, Lou your last album blazing artillery fire from metallic storm clouds - guitar thunder over a desert storm and shield. Voice in the toil of self: how much could you reveal? No one revealed as much. Did you tell it all, bare the flesh and meat as much?

Listening to Reed is like walking through a Francis Bacon exhibit, darker and weirder and the blood begins to flow into my head. I say no, no, no, oh,… lay out on the bloody sheets to pop a vein, droopy eyes and despair. Cum all over the screen

Lou Reed is dead and I cross over the blur of memories despite never having seen him in concert. How I missed him every time, stepping by the chance of a lifetime like passing by a dirty window without seeing the record/gold mine within.

stacked black LPs that do the do and Oooh, baby Oooh, I want you to know heavy chords of a rock + roll animal caught me, brought me in to taste and feel what it is, being in the eye of hurricanes and scratching monkeys.

Waiting for the man to spew out what he thinks – fuck what he thinks; think for yourself and you are the foundation the clearer of paths burning bridges and don’t look back or I’ll hit you with a flower.

Sat back to hopscotch through songs, but those first notes of the intro to Sweet Jane pulled me in, touched my skin with the sexy needle prick, hiss and a satanic offer an apple – STOP – nothing to do, I was stuck and frozen ‘til swaying to the rhythm. Sweet, Sweet Jane, how thundering power chords just take you in –

no prisoners allowed, but the memory of the 14 year old who bought that album at Alexander’s at $3.99 and fell into a perfection of punk’s rock and lyrics and melodies that have rarely been attained live with that semblance of intrinsic perfection –

oh, it was a perfect day I have and will spend a lifetime loving and regretting. Perfect, perfect, perfect day. And again each time those notes begin, and the simili-Vegas band intro - Elvis about to appear dog collar and lipstick to blow a kiss and your mind. before the fireplace, hear Jack say as we run up the grassy knoll the day Kennedy died.

Will you be my mirror? Reflect what I am or what you need. Reap what you sow. What a perfect day it was and again each time it comes again, from that then first that comes back, play again and gesture toward the wings with disdain, he’s there looking on with a smirk.

Yeah, sure. If they take the children what is left for the music if it isn’t love and energy? All the drugs….. remember, and The guitar builds up and I remember remembering that album in my hands, the blur of the cover photo taunting. Who is this guy genius giant rocking punk and idol of the margins reaching over the edge of a book of poems you never quite capture completely, offset by twists and turns.

That first album I heard, and into the driving solemnity of Heroin and into that rock beat and chord structure that cuts to the raw Rock ‘n’ Roll. Fm days and long pieces de resistance. Yes

I didn’t know who you were – the image of you in glam garb a misleading twist to your turns – and Lou Reed Live followed the gigantic footsteps you left, and me thinking how close I came to going to The Academy of Music, how could I miss it by that month of days immaturity – seeing the Hebrew troubadour alter ego folk royalty  with my mom – you don’t go see Lou Reed with your mom!

and now thinking how those forty years since have changed nothing, still the little kid regretting that you passed me by and left me with so much emotion and power in music and words. Sure there are others, but how many Dylans, Lennons, Morrissons, Hendrixs, Barretts, or Bowies or Waits for all the low grade tripe we pawn as tomorrows animal flour. Feed the herds, feed the herds, feed the herds, but leave me out of it. Don’t do it every hour.

You can’t depend on your family to become who you are, only one thing : a busload of faith to get by. Reeling in the years of r+r. can’t depend on miracles or wise men, just the sounds that come back through the system – and tell you “I love the way you drive your car” into a wall with flashers flashing.

Was it finally done, come on, and look at me, lay down and make your bed, it’s yours to die in. A busload of faith and a stack of records are what you need. Remember, remember, remember and then flip the side. Black petrol product of worth, grooves turning spinning with needle in arm and diamond stiletto carving out the words you lined up to execute. Shoot up the stars and the glory of love to see you through.

And you are the original transformer, not yellow metallic clone from space, electric shocks a detour, thorazine a misnomer, sleep, restless youth, restless giant cramped in the metal bed at Creedmore. Somehow talking to you is like being here before, thinking drinking smoking singing sex with your parents.

Tell me about it motherfucker! Who’s gonna do that now??? Flyin’ away from us into the twilight reeling… like a solo on a wire stretched between guitars, acrobat between words and distorted sounds tellin’ stories and people you came across or screwed, fucked, smoked or shot. Life’s life; life’s live lives life. Just workin’ it up.

Wooden soldiers marching up that hill and looking down, on Bela Lugosi or Venus in Furs, The sword of Damocles and Harry’s circumcision. Lulu waiting for the man somewhere between magic and loss, thinking about Miami Fla. and the dirty boulevard

Just a New York City Man sippin’ on an egg cream hanging on to his emotions

The proposition : walk on the wild side: metal machine music ripping tides the day that Romeo and Juliet died, and Sister Ray says “good evening Mr Waldheim.”

Warhol everywhere, your mentor friend guide painting hydra head of creativity and – immediate, spontaneous, instinctive or planned, repeated, massified portrait of a place in time. Warhol and work work work. Hard working small town boredom and hope: a camera without film is where you’ll meet again to talk things over

Hear him never mellow with time yet movements soften. Lou. I miss you Lou and I never saw you to miss you more. Meditate the sky and bird song electric

Remembering still even that it seems the principal and people hold to the Jolted feline cringing in a suburban cage I didn’t know how close we were – black lipstick and spot lights blinding me. Staring into the dark and cringing with emotion at the time to disappear, staring at the finish line and wondering how it was you were so much to so many – discreetly primordial, everybody’s godfather telling us to hang on to our emotions and wring them dry – dark dark darker than any overdressed goths, children in monstrous garb, as real as costume jewelery.

Blue is the color of the mask, but a reputation is another thing and so are the rumours that twirl at the end of a finger pointing at the sky; put on the face. Set things right, let the narrative take sway.

You are not where you seem, somewhere between your story and the narrative you’ve made of it – people cross the street into a song and smile back at us familiarly – 331/3 times – your European son morphing into punk new wave thunder showers and amphetamines, licking the floor and flying high.,

See the light show fantastic! Andy’s there camera in hand look splashing colors zooming in and out between dancers weaving movements left and right distortion plié.

Dare I say Hubert Selby of song? You’d appreciate that and tell me to fuck off. New York! Love it in the blood like you. Storyteller story dealer stakes are high everything is high bases are loaded Are you still? Always now and forever each card a tale

I remember remembering the great American novel in your words, the melodies but chapters we live again and again - The biograph’s curve is moot. Your life story perturbed by nightfall. Lou Reed is dead lou reedis dead long live loureed

“And you know that it was all right”

 

Le Club est l'espace de libre expression des abonnés de Mediapart. Ses contenus n'engagent pas la rédaction.