Something about the passing of Lou Reed really bums me out. I didn’t know him, and chances are if you’re reading this you didn’t either. But somehow the news left some of us breathless and at a loss for words.
Really, though, how much do the lives of musicians really matter to us? Most of us will never get the chance to meet them. We’ll never meet them, but somehow we can feel their loss. It’s like sitting at your friends funeral. They’ve died but somehow you start to question how well you really knew them. They’re gone, but how much will be notice? Do you feel sad enough? Too emotional?
Something about yesterday’s events really perplexes me. Generally I’m all about the loving and sharing of music, but suddenly I felt that everyone is an idiot that only carries on about Transformer. It really bothered me that people who seemingly know something about Reed where going on about him. But I suppose that’s because death is always personal. You can’t judge other’s reactions.
Musicians are our heros. They live lives that we mere mortals only dream of. At least that’s how we can feel. They do die. They leave us. Their music continues on, but at least we can keep living their dream. Lou Reed was the New York City cool: effortless and confident, difficult and trying. The struggle of being NY cool is dreamy.
The way I feel about Lou Reed (and probably how most of us feel) is just like the lyrics Velvet Underground song “Rock & Roll.”
Jenny said when she was just five years old
There was nothin’ happenin’ at all
Every time she puts on a radio
There was nothin’ goin’ down at all,
Not at all
Then one fine mornin’ she puts on a New York station
You know, she don’t believe what she heard at all
She started shakin’ to that fine fine music
You know her life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll
So fuck it. Spin your favorite record. Have a think about an amazing life that has been forever pressed into wax. We loved him. May he live on.