It’s midnight and I’m exhausted but I can tell I won’t be getting to sleep any time soon. And Lou Reed died and all I want to do is talk about how important his music is to me, but it keeps sounding either like I’m trying too hard not to reference “Walk on the Wild Side” for fear of sounding like a poser, or way TOO genuine to the point of people saying, “Dude, it’s not like you KNEW him.”
But here’s the thing…I goddamn LOVE Lou Reed, and less than 12 hours since hearing about it, I miss him. I DIDN’T know him, but I miss him. There are a handful of artists I’ve come across that have shaped who I am as a musician, writer, and person. If I had to do a top ten, it’d look something like this (in random order–probably with a few variable ones):
- Pete Townshend
- Johnny Cash
- Joey Ramone
- David Bowie
- Neil Young
- Frank Black/Black Francis
- Rich Mullins
- Aimee Mann
- Leonard Cohen
- …and Lou Fucking Reed.
His music takes me into a different place in myself that I forget is there until I hear his songs. It’s not a comfortable place, it’s not a fun place, it’s maybe not even always a healthy place…but it’s an important one. And it’s sad to know that there’s not going to be new music taking me there from now on.
I’m a better writer because of Lou Reed. I’m a better thinker, too. I mean that musically and personally…
I was in the car at a stoplight and I glanced at my Facebook account on the phone. That’s how I found out–illegally, which I think is fitting. Also fittingly, I’d earlier (on the way in to church, no less) been listening to the “Lulu” collaboration he did with Metallica a couple years ago. I immediately turned off the stereo and began observing musical silence. I do not know when I plan to turn it back on. When a voice that means this much to you is silenced, sometimes the quiet needs to reverberate a while.
…but God damn it, Lou… You left right when I needed you.