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Later Lou

LOU REED

Lou Reed died on October 27th 2013. I don’t believe rock and roll bands change people’s lives. But when I was 19, in college, one of my roommates was listening to a song by Lou Reed that really resonated with me. Coney Island Baby is the name of it. We were smoking cigarettes and talking. I asked to play the song again. I went back home during winter break. I bought a compilation record called Different Times: Lou Reed in the 70’s. That song was on there as well as many other of his hits. I bought this compact disc at a strip-mall in Aurora, Illinois. Northgate, the neon sign read. The mall isn’t as pretty as it used to be, kind of a dump actually. But I loved it when my discman leaked a tiny reproduction of Reed’s voice into my head all day, every day for most of 1996. I enjoyed listening to him. His music is out there to be experienced any time you want to hear it. He made lots of records.

When you’re a teenager, rock & roll has a gravity that it can never have again. In the summers of my college days, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground were sort of my emotional life. I have blogged before about his music and I have been still listening to his stuff. When I heard the news, I listened to Coney Island Baby right away. I tried, but could not recapture the intensity of feeling that song had for me in another time. I wouldn’t want to, however. But the spaces in that song are certainly planted in my DNA now. (paraphrased) Man, I’d swear, I’d give the whole thing up for Lou.

later lou

to be misunderstood
is not so bad
brutal honesty in New York City
crossing his legs
holding a guitar
on his lap
writing a sad song
with sunglasses on
(better artistic impressions)
to care
but not regret or change
to transform
but stay the same
a poet
a story teller
a man who will be missed
enjoy the twilight
as its reeling

-Christopher Noe Copyright 2013

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