50. LOU REED – ‘Life-Changer’ (1942-2013)

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At the end of the night, he (Lou) told us we’d been such a crummy audience we didn’t deserve an encore. and he didn’t do one. That I decided was a true rock’n’roll star.”
– Neil Gamen in The Guardian.

There is nothing to say and everything you want to about Lou Reed.
This album sleeve sums it all up for me …

lou reed

I never met Lou Reed (though loved his music and attitude) but I did meet Holly Woodlawn, the ‘he was a she’ in Lou’s ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ …

… “Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side”
He said, “Hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

Holly Woodlawn

When I say I ‘met’ Holly Woodlawn – it was rather more than that.

Holly was one of the stars in the Warhol Factory in New York. If Lou Reed hadn’t brought her additional fame by including her in his song, then Holly probably wouldn’t have developed the extraordinary cabaret act she brought to London in the late 70’s. If she hadn’t come to London I wouldn’t have met her – I happened to be working in the place where she would be performing – the innovative ‘supper-club’ Country Cousin on the Kings Road.

I noticed she had her eyes on me during day-time rehearsals for the opening night but didn’t think much about it. After her late-night performance that night though – I was ‘summoned’ to her dressing room. She curled her finger and I was, quite literally, ‘hooked’. She insisted I become her escort for her two-week stay in London. There really was no choice – she was extremely persuasive. I thought it could be fun.

It was more than fun. There followed two weeks of hilarity and wonderful times. I met her manager and entourage, had dinner with her friends, hit the newly-emerging night-club ‘scene’ springing up all over London, danced the night away as she continually shocked, enlivened and challenged those whose lives we unsuspectingly swept into. I cruised around town getting into serious mischief with the explosive diva that was Holly Woodlawn and it was one of the most precious, entertaining and exhilerating experiences of my life.

essential Lou Reed

If it wasn’t for Lou Reed  – those extraordinary two weeks would never have happened. Lou Reed changed my life. I’m convinced there are many, many others who would say the same thing. He not only changed lives directly but indirectly too – through the diverse and left-field challenges he continuously presented to us in his music and in his own life.

Thank you Lou Reed. Thank you a million times over.

Peace.

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One Response to “50. LOU REED – ‘Life-Changer’ (1942-2013)”

  1. Guy Says:

    I represented Holly when she filed for bankruptcy in the late 1980’s. We met once or twice in my offices in Manhattan and then at the Courthouse for her examination. All business. She said that I earned a mention in her yet incomplete BIO, but I think she chose not to mention it or me. Maybe someone who read the BIO could fill me in. I happened to be in LA with my family on New Years Day a while ago and noticed she was the headliner at the New Year’s Eve gig at the hotel across from Graumans Chinese Theater. Unfortunately she wasn’t there for a meet and greet…

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