Lou Reed’s Memorial Lets the Music Talk for Itself

For three hours at New York’s Lincoln Center, a crowd of fans celebrated the legendary heart plus rock & roll animal

New York City always loomed large in the works of the late Lou Reed. So it was just appropriate that New Yorkers paid their respects to the legend, who died on October 27th, at a open public memorial held on Thursday afternoon near Lincoln Center’s Paul Milstein Pool and Terrace. The event, billed as “New York: Lou Reed at Lincoln Center, ” has been announced Tuesday on Reed’s Fb page as “a gathering available to the public – no speeches, no live performances, just Lou’s voice, guitar music & songs – playing the recordings selected simply by his family and friends. ”

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It took place exactly as promoted, as Reed’s songs were heard through several loudspeakers spread over the plaza, making for a heady, sonic experience. The three-hour memorial obtained off to a rocking start with blaring electric guitar and thunderous drumming that will introduced the turbulent title track from Reed’s 1982 album The particular Blue Mask.

The playlist drew from the numerous high points of Reed’s music career spanning the last 45 many years as both a member of the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist. “Sally Can’t Dance, ” “Femme Fatale, ” “Heroin, ” “I’m Waiting for the Man, ” “Waves of Fear, ” “Sunday Morning, ” “I Love You, Suzanne, ” “Pale Blue Eyes, ” “Dirty Blvd. ” and “Sweet Jane” were just some of the many songs performed.

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The program created to a climax with the gloriously loud epic “Sister Ray, ” off the Velvet Underground album White Light/White Heat and followed by the particular touching “Think It Over, ” Reed’s signature solo hit “Walk on the Wild Side, ” “All Tomorrow’s Parties” and the defiantly rocking “Set the Twilight Reeling. ” The event concluded with one more great time of noise — a portion of Reed’s infamous 1975 LP Steel Machine Music.

At one point during the funeral, Reed’s widow Laurie Anderson produced an inconspicuous appearance and chatted using a few people near the seated section.

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The tribute was less a solemn affair than an informal, respectful celebration buoyed by Reed’s electrifying music. The crowd was a mixture of young and old, sitting and standing because they soaked in the music; there were hugs and chatting, with media milling about. Everyone cheered and applauded after each song.

The event didn’t feature any kind of large signs, banners, photographs of Reed or any other markers showing it was a memorial. For three hrs, it was just about letting the tunes speak for themselves.

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