RIP Lou Reed

Lou ReedLou Reed died today. He lived a great life, a life of art and passion. Full. Calling him a “rock musician” is kind of reductive and diminishes what he did. By a lot. There are already some great obituaries circulating and this is not an obituary.

My upcoming novel is called Waiting for the Man. One of the earliest images that inspired the book was, Reed’s “Man,” the drug dealer from “uptown” with his “PR shoes and a big straw hat” who the song’s narrator desperately needs to meet – and then he scores the “sweet taste” and all is well in the world. Until tomorrow. It was that straw hat though, that vision of the man “dressed in black” that gave me one of the first key images to write the book. The Man wasn’t just a drug dealer after all, he was a symbol, a promise, because, even after the high, or perhaps because of it, Waiting for the Man is an optimistic song in its own twisted way. Just as my novel is also optimistic, in its own way.

Salman Rushdie just tweeted this photo. From a night he and Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed went to see… Pee Wee Herman. For real. What a great image:

Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson and Pee Wee Herman

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