Read Patti Smith’s Moving ‘New Yorker’ Tribute to Lou Reed
A cavalcade of fellow musical artists — ranging from peers like David Bowie all the way to current stars like Miley Cyrus — took to social networks to express their condolences. Others, like Arcade Fire, honored Reed by covering some of his many classic songs in concert.
Now fellow rock pioneer, punk poet and fixture of the New York scene, Smith, has offered up her own remembrance of Lou Reed with a touching memorial piece penned for the New Yorker. You really should read the whole thing.
“He had black eyes, black T-shirt, pale skin. He was curious, sometimes suspicious, a voracious reader, and a sonic explorer,” Smith wrote in the heartfelt tribute, rife with literary and cultural references. “An obscure guitar pedal was for him another kind of poem. He was our connection to the infamous air of the Factory. He had made Edie Sedgwick dance. Andy Warhol whispered in his ear. Lou brought the sensibilities of art and literature into his music. He was our generation’s New York poet, championing its misfits as Whitman had championed its workingman and Lorca its persecuted.”
She ended the piece: “Before I slept, I searched for the significance of the date—October 27th—and found it to be the birthday of both Dylan Thomas and Sylvia Plath. Lou had chosen the perfect day to set sail—the day of poets, on Sunday morning, the world behind him.”