Halloween has passed, taking its tribute bands with it, but on Nov. 24 at Bowery Electric, a slew of artists will try to do justice to the late, great Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground at a tribute show that’s being dubbed “Last Great American Whale.” The lineup is still in flux but the list of early confirmations, below, is impressive — and includes everyone from a couple of members of TV on the Radio to some musicians who actually played with Reed. Proceeds from the $20 go toward the Ali Forney Center for at-risk LGBT youth. More →
In his rock and roll heart, Lou Reed was first, a storyteller. His songs were rockhard vignettes of New York street life. There were tales of choices made, good and bad, and remembrances of beauty found in the most unlikely of places. If you lived in the Village in the 70’s, you recognized some of the real players in his songs, like Rollerena, the ubiquitous drag queen on skates in the elegiac, “Halloween Parade”: “But there ain’t no Hairy and no Virgin Mary / You won’t hear those voice again / And Johnny Rio and Rotten Rita / You’ll never see those faces again.” More →
Earlier today we gathered New Yorkers’ memories of their random encounters with the late, great Lou Reed. This one, from our contributor Susan Keyloun, might just be the most unexpected encounter of them all.
As a native New Yorker, I tend to leave touristy things to the tourists. I have never taken a carriage ride through Central Park and I avoid Times Square. But when I was invited to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last year, I accepted – – not a tourist destination per se, but not necessarily a place where you’ll find mobs of New Yorkers either. I could spend my time people-watching which was good enough for me. More →
Genya Ravan with Lou Reed at Bottom Line. (Photo: Chuck Pulin)
The leather jacket and moody persona were only a part of the puzzle that was Lou Reed. Musicians like Steve Katz of Blood Sweat & Tears and Genya Ravan of Ten Wheel Drive remember him as a friend with a wicked sense of humor and a gracious heart. Katz was the producer of Reed’s live album Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal and the rocker’s highest-charting LP, Sally Can’t Dance. Reed rarely performed on other artists’ albums, but he agreed to join Genya Ravan on “Aye Co’lorado”; Reed would later invite Ravan to sing on his “Street Hassle.”
Bedford + Bowery today asked Katz and Ravan to share their memories of Lou Reed. More →
The stories of Lou Reed’s encounters with the Bowies and Bangses of the world are the stuff of legend, but more than anything, his passing yesterday made clear just how many everyday New Yorkers treasured their random, often wordless encounters with him at East Village restaurants, movie theaters, and on the street (yep, despite his 1980s Honda scooter commercial, he often did settle for walking). More →
Velvet Underground lyrics posted on the window of the Bedford Cheese Shop yesterday: “No kinds of love are better than others.”
When he was in his twenties, Colin Summers was a computer consultant whose clients Penn & Teller introduced him to other notable New Yorkers, like Lou Reed. Summers, now an architect living in Santa Monica, shares a story about strolling through the East Village with the late musician.
In the early nineties I returned to New York City to live with my girlfriend, which turned out to be a mistake. One of the highlights of those years of torture was the time I spent with Lou Reed. He was going through a divorce and had a LOT of time to spend with his computer hacker (me). We had many dinners and lunches and it was only at the first one that my hands shook because I was having a burger with an artist who had helped me get through the hell of architecture school. He was such a hero to me. More →
In the wake of Lou Reed’s death yesterday, Laurie Gwen Shapiro, a Syracuse alum, dug up this amazing photo from the university’s 1964 yearbook. “Lou Reed was a student of Delmore Schwartz,” she told us. “Also friends with cheerleader Betsey Johnson (look at her here!) who went on to become the fashion designer and was briefly married to John Cale.” More →