A Few Words On Lou Reed

Lou Reed was a capable musician, a fine songwriter, the epitome of cool, a jerk, uncompromising, and an icon of both the great and terrible things of the last 50 years.  His songs could be beautiful, touching, searing, self indulgent, disorganized, and compositions of remarkable skill.  The thing that was always shocking upon first encountering him was how mercilessly honest, self aware, and naked his art was.  Lou Reed represented truth in music and self expression in a way that could be jarring and unpleasant, but left one with the feeling they had encountered something real and tangible. At his best his songs were an artifact of a moment.  Those of us who followed his career and considered ourselves fans were not always entertained or pleased by what he choose to present to us, but in the end we stuck around because we never felt like we were lied to and our lives were richer for listening to what he had to say about the human condition.  When he was at the height of his powers and combined melody, realism, beats and words together there was nobody like him.

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013

Musical Memories Recalled

Bob Dylan barely aware

Looking at the crowd

As if he didn’t recall why they were there

Beck as a young man

Becoming something new

Before our eyes

John Lee Hooker singing tales

I was too young to understand

But am starting to now

Lou Reed looking older

Yet still defiant

Equal parts rage and love on stage

P Funk swirling like chaos

Floating on the boards

In a smokey dark haze

Elliot Smith standing like a shadow

Singing with beauty and fear

Shortly before the end

Public Enemy fist raised

Marching and calling out orders

Daring us to move

In my mind

I hear the music still

Feeling the sound

And the pulse

Of the crowd

Gene G. McLaughlin 2013