up to the skies
Thing like that drive me
out of my mind
One of my fondest memories was a day in the early 2000’s. Probably about 2002 or so. At that time I was a middle-aged house-wife with three young children ages eight, eleven and twelve. My best friend Carol was a single mom with a daughter who was besties with my eleven year old. We all became fast friends. One summer, Carol and I decided to take a road trip with just the kids to San Francisco. We drove my big old Suburban and rented a little flat in North Beach for a week. From our base we discovered the beauty, the craziness and the fun of San Francisco. It also just happened to be Gay Pride Week, with lots of festivities and of course the parade. Carol and I just looked like partners with a gaggle full of our kids. We were asked numerous times if we were here for the parade and at some point we just started answering ‘yes’! What the heck?
Anyway, we made our way to Haight Ashbury. We wanted the kids to see this mecca of hippie-dom. Unfortunately it’s kind of a sad, run down place at first glimpse and not full of the peace love and movie type hippies we were expecting. There was one great store though. The original Amoeba Records. The place was the size of a football field and filled with records and CD’s. Remember this was before mp3 players. We all spread out and went looking for our favorite genres. Rock, pop, jazz, classic and of course I had to go to my old faithful, punk. I found the best CD compilation of greatest hits I have ever had. One that I listen to still to this day.
So, here I was standing in front of the bins at Amoeba Records in Haight Ashbury scanning the songs and studying the cover. For a moment I was transported to a different era, so I had to buy it. Lou Reed was one of my secret crushes growing up in Burbank in the 70’s. He was a bit scary and a little too much on the wild side for my conservative parents. Plus, I was in love with Edie Sedgewick and wanted to be her. Literally. I wanted to move to New York, hang out with Warhol and wear ermine and pearls with combat boots and a cropped blonde pixie. I wanted Lou Reed to write songs about me and Andy to make fabulous lithographs of me. I wanted to go to Harlem and wait for the his man with him. I wanted to meet Candy and Holly.
Alas, that was not even close to what my life turned out to be. It was probably for the best as I think the glamour was actually gritty and dirty and ugly. But even in my 40’s I still longed for a glimpse.
So, yesterday on my twitter feed when I saw that Lou Reed was trending, I just knew. One of my iconic famous first loves was gone. Gone, but of course, his music, his image, his persona is still a part of me forever.
Here is his last tweet that led to his official Facebook fan page. So far 35K likes. I’m just happy to be one of them.
- Lou Reed (thedramshopact.com)
- My Eulogy of Lou Reed (thevinylwarhol.wordpress.com)
- David Bowie & Iggy Pop’s statements on Lou Reed’s death (brooklynvegan.com)