RIP Lou Reed

Sad news. Lou Reed has died of liver disease at age 71.

I remember him more from the days of the Velvet Underground than his later solo work. In addition to Heroin("I don't know just where I'm going, But I'm goin' to try for the kingdom if I can") I still listen to "Sweet Jane" and "I'm Just Waiting for the Man."

R.I.P. Lou Reed.

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    Holly came from Miami, FLA (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:26:08 PM EST
    ...hitchhiked her way across the USA.

    RIP to a truly great rock artist.

    I'm just sad.

    Plucked Her Eyebrows On the Way... (none / 0) (#5)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:14:29 AM EST
    ...shaved her legs and then he was a she.

    Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side


    Very sad news... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:15:32 AM EST
    to wake up to...one of America's greatest poets.

    How 'bout some Dirty Blvd...

    Pedro lives out of the Wilshire Hotel
    he looks out a window without glass
    The walls are made of cardboard, newspapers on his feet
    his father beats him 'cause he's too tired to beg

    He's got 9 brothers and sisters
    they're brought up on their knees
    it's hard to run when a coat hanger beats you on the thighs
    Pedro dreams of being older and killing the old man
    but that's a slim chance he's going to the boulevard

    He's going to end up, on the dirty boulevard
    he's going out, to the dirty boulevard
    He's going down, to the dirty boulevard

    This room cost 2,000 dollars a month
    you can believe it man it's true
    somewhere a landlord's laughing till he wets his pants
    No one here dreams of being a doctor or a lawyer or anything
    they dream of dealing on the dirty boulevard

    Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I'll piss on 'em
    that's what the Statue of Bigotry says
    Your poor huddled masses, let's club 'em to death
    and get it over with and just dump 'em on the boulevard

    Get to end up, on the dirty boulevard
    going out, to the dirty boulevard
    He's going down, on the dirty boulevard
    going out

    Outside it's a bright night
    there's an opera at Lincoln Center
    movie stars arrive by limousine
    The klieg lights shoot up over the skyline of Manhattan
    but the lights are out on the Mean Streets

    A small kid stands by the Lincoln Tunnel
    he's selling plastic roses for a buck
    The traffic's backed up to 39th street
    the TV whores are calling the cops out for a suck

    And back at the Wilshire, Pedro sits there dreaming
    he's found a book on magic in a garbage can
    He looks at the pictures and stares at the cracked ceiling
    "At the count of 3" he says, "I hope I can disappear"

    And fly fly away, from this dirty boulevard
    I want to fly, from dirty boulevard
    I want to fly, from dirty boulevard
    I want to fly-fly-fly-fly, from dirty boulevard

    Lou Shakespeare... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:56:02 AM EST
    Willy Shake Spear (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:31:06 PM EST
    And Lou shake it harder.

    Waiting for My Man (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:50:44 PM EST
    Also one of my all time and enduring favorites. Here he is recorded live in 1975.  I realize the song is titled, "Waiting for the Man," but Lou always sang, "waiting for my man."  And here's a nice 1983 performance.

    A better ode... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:08:37 AM EST
    to copping dope, I've never heard.  

    I once cited these lyrics (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:29:14 AM EST
    in a federal appellate court brief about ten years ago, where my client was recorded in a conversation just before the person he was talking to made a (videotaped) drug deal with an undercover agent.  The (other) target had introduced my client to the undercover in the earlier conversation by saying "This is my man, KB."  The prosecutor argued, not based on any real evidence, that "my man," in this context meant, "My supplier."  I cited Lou Reed in saying that might be correct, but that according to the "Dictionary of Afro-American Slang" (which I got from the library and then also cited) "my man" could as easily mean, "My good friend."  The court was not as impressed with my slang scholarship as my client and I had hoped.  

    Nice try Peter... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:57:30 AM EST
    Lou would be very proud I'm sure.

    FWIW I think you made a very sound argument..."my man" could be a friend or dealer (or both)...where as "the man" could mean a dealer or simply an impressive individual, as in "Lou Reed was the man!".


    Too sad. (none / 0) (#3)
    by shoephone on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:54:59 PM EST
    I knew he was very ill, but this news hurts. His music reminds me of so many of the special people I grew up with, some who have passed on as well.

    John Cale and Lou Reed, "Small Town," from their album about Andy Warhol.

    I've got a post-VU song for you, Jeralyn: (none / 0) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 03:32:23 AM EST
    "Coney Island Baby," the low-key, edgy but sentimental closing track to his 1975 solo album of the same name. Please check it out.

    I find "Coney Island Baby" to be Lou Reed's most personal and introspective work, set to a slow but steamy tempo in which he laments his high school years spent in the suburbs of central Long Island, a place where "you're all alone and lonely in your midnight hour, and you find that your soul, it's been up for sale." And how years later, he can still recall his then-adolescent longing for New York City, an emotional place of refuge for him, even though "the city is a funny place, something like a circus or a sewer."

    At its conclusion, Reed dedicates the song to "all the kids at PS 192," the Brooklyn elementary school he attended before his family moved away from the borough, and also to Rachel, a comely Greenwich Village transsexual who was his lover at the time, and who served as his inspiration for this particular album:

    "And just remember different people have peculiar tastes,
    and the glory of love, the glory of love,
    The glory of love might see you through. [...]
    Man, I'd swear, I'd give the whole thing up for you."

    I think we're going to dearly miss Lou Reed, a true rock'n'roll pioneer in every sense of the term. And speaking for myself only, I know I'll always treasure his gritty, unsparing musical honesty and insightful urban sensibility.


    Way to freak it up, Donald (none / 0) (#12)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:24:52 AM EST
    And I mean that in the best of ways. In the Lou Reed of ways. I had forgotten about Rachel. Thanks for the memory. True artists are complicated and yet simple cats, the ultimate irony we all face, I suppose. But more acute in the artist.



    Rachel served as Lou Reed's muse and ... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:13:44 PM EST
    ... was an important part of his life in the 1970s, as the person who kept him grounded during a very turbulent personal period.

    Reed was certainly no saint, and Rachel was evidently tossed aside rather unceremoniously as he moved on in the late '70s. But she nevertheless had a profound effect on his artistry, and inspired him to actualize his true potential as a solo act. She should be both acknowledged and remembered for that.



    she was no saint (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:27:59 PM EST
    and who is? such is the fate of the social outcast, held to an unfathomably higher and infinitely more prejudiced standard than any "normal" person ever would be.

    And that's the inherent message ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 03:51:05 PM EST
    ... of "Coney Island Baby" which I've long since come to appreciate as a masterpiece. As a social misfit, Lou Reed was that almost stereotypical square peg, who could never have been happy trying to fit into the round holes that were the vanilla communities of Nassau County and suburban America in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

    The loneliness and angst that Reed experienced during his teenaged years on Long Island would ultimately help to define his art, which served him well in his lifetime. He was destined to be forever a consummate creature of New York, a city where he could stand out and be appreciated on his own terms, and then conveniently lose himself among the mazes and multitudes whenever he felt the scene was getting too heavy.

    Reed loved and lived life on his own terms. He never hid his hard-partying, life in the fast lane ways, nor did he offer excuses for the personal choices he made. But underneath the hard-scrabbled exterior of his cutting-edge persona was a good, kind and gentle soul.

    Reed spoke directly to not only the hopes, dreams and aspirations of not only his fellow outcasts, but also to those of us who were similarly raised on Wonder Bread and fed the party line, only to subsequently look around as young adults and ask, "Is this really as good as it gets? Shouldn't there be more than this?"

    Through his music, Lou Reed urges us to break free from our self-imposed chains of conventionality, learn to just be as we really are, and come to accept others for where they're coming from without hesitation, question and qualification. And if his isn't a timeless message for social tolerance and an earnest plea for mutual respect and acceptance, I don't know what is.



    I meant to say Reed was no saint... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:29:11 PM EST
    Not she. Freudian slip?

    As somebody said (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:32:28 PM EST
    it's hard to be a saint in the city.

    We're talking about turning the alchemical "prima materia" to gold..which can't be done till one is willing to face and live through everything.


    My favorite is the self-titled (none / 0) (#7)
    by magster on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:08:22 AM EST
    "The Velvet Underground" album. The song "Jesus" is so haunting. The rhythm guitar in "What Goes On?" is cited by The Edge of U2 as a model for his own guitar style.

    "Loaded" is awesome too.

    My favorite- (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:34:17 AM EST
    What's Good

    From 'Magic and Loss' and the "Until the end of the World" soundtrack.

    "You loved a life others throw away nightly...
    Life's good, but not fair at all"

    RIP Lou.

    Even "supergroups" strip it down for him (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 11:22:05 AM EST
    Lou Reed, later in life: (none / 0) (#19)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:53:35 PM EST
    September Song, from Lost in the Stars, a compilation of Kurt Weill songs.  This album also features Tom Waits, Todd Rundgren, Carla Bley, John Zorn, Marianne Faithfull, Aaron Neville, Charlie Haden (the bassist) and others.

    My copy is on cassette tape; I haven't played it in years.  Fortunately, Youtube is always at hand, the biggest, baddest Jukebox of all time.

    Marianne Faithfull's (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 03:04:15 PM EST
    "20th Century Blues" is, without a doubt, the finest modern recording of Kurt Weill's songs. Saw the tour in the mid-90's... it was just her and pianist Paul Trueblood. Best non-jazz show I've ever had the pleasure to see.

    Marianne's (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jondee on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 10:36:10 PM EST
    a true poetic, street survivor-Lou Reed soul sister if there ever was one.

    I never knew Lou was married to Laurie Anderson. That's quite a team..


    Here's a 2003 interview ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 12:54:10 AM EST
    Good one, Donald (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 07:00:08 AM EST
    as one of the commentators somewhat indelicately put it "fuck the Brangelinas, that's the coolest couple ever." I couldn't agree more.

    Once, when I was eighteen (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 07:23:38 AM EST
    I snuck into the VIP smoking lounge at Carnegie Hall and shared a cigarette with Warhol, Ahmet Ertegun, and Allen Ginsberg. They all three treated me like I belonged there every bit as much as they did. The impression was of three very open, generous spirits. Who's here to fill those empty spaces now, and this latest one, is what I'd like to know..

    Just heard that boats (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by fishcamp on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 08:04:00 AM EST
    being attacked by Somalian pirates are using Brittany Spears music to repel them since they hate Western music and hers the most.  It was on HLN news a minute ago.  I don't play her on my boat either because she seems to repel fish.  CCR's Cotton Fields always attracts fish.  Plan to try some Lou Reed next.

    A couple of apallingly distasteful (none / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 08:21:58 AM EST
    associations were occurring to me just now..

    But, to switch gears, let me suggest Elvin Bishop's sloppy drunk, good timey masterpiece "Fishin". It'll make the fish think they're being invited to a party.


    LOL! Makes one wonder ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 05:52:01 PM EST
    ... how many Somali pirates a ship could repel with the incomparable Darlene Edwards.

    Actually, it takes an awful lot of talent and skill to purposely sing THAT off-key, and "Darlene Edwards" was none other the late Jo Stafford (1917-1908), a highly renowned pop singer who was very popular during the 1940s and '50s, both in the States and on the USO circuit overseas.

    Stafford and her husband Paul Weston, an accomplished jazz pianist whom Stafford while both were performing with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra, initially concocted "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards" as a lounge act parody, with which they would entertain their friends at private parties.

    Then, in irritated response to the increasingly tedious and cheesy song selections that then-Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller was foisting upon her in the studio, Stafford decided on a whim one evening to record an additional track as her incompetent alter ego, with Weston joining her on piano.

    As they had intended, the stodgy and uptight Miller was not amused. But much to their surprise, the tin-eared Darlene Edwards proved a huge hit with other Columbia executives who subsequently heard the bootleg recording, and Stafford and Weston were quickly hustled back into the studio. "The Piano Artistry of Jonathan Edwards" was released in 1957, and became the first comedy or parody album ever to go gold.

    Initially, Columbia kept secret the true identity of Jonathan and Darlene Edwards from the public for marketing purposes, which led to rumors that they were really Harry Truman and his daughter Margaret (which probably annoyed the former president to no small end). Stafford and Weston finally revealed their identities to Time magazine later that year.

    Their 1961 release "Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris" was awarded the Grammy Award that year for best comedy album, which proved to be the only Grammy that Jo Stafford would win during her incomparable career.



    great story (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by DFLer on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 10:34:50 AM EST
    The one I would have loved to meet would be Ahmet Ertegun, Warhol second.

    Ertegun (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:19:53 AM EST
    seemed like a very nice guy. We ended up talking about the NY Cosmos soccer team and how they were trying to sign Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff.

    There I was with three of the most important cultural figures of the last century and what do we do? talk sports! While some annoying person kept trying to get Warhol to draw a picture on a napkin for him..


    Never got or understood Laurie Anderson, ... (none / 0) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 12:16:07 PM EST
    ... but yeah, they are totally cool and perfect together, and my heart really aches for her right now.

    Laurie Anderson's farewell to her husband (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:55:59 PM EST
    appeared yesterday in the East Hampton Star.

    Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.