October 27, 2013. It’s one of those days, one of those moments I’ll probably won’t forget that easily. I just arrived at Philadelphia’s international airport to switch flights, destination Orlando for a week of fun in the Disney parks. The first news that reached me when I stepped out of the plane was through a text message by my best buddy: “Hey man, your big hero Lou Reed just passed away.”
Suddenly, the earth stood still. My throat got dry as a desert. In my head I yelled: Goddamn! Not Lou! I knew it when I saw those last media images of him during the Transformer photobook presentation in New York. The jaundice colour, spindly thin, looking so frail. That wasn’t a good sign. Not at all.
My trip through the Disney parks that week was weird. Even though I had fun times, I was also sad and confused about Reed’s passing. My stay in Orlando was surrounded by a black shadow. But you know… that shadow… that shadow never left. It was the shadow of the man who influenced and inspired me and many of us with his words, music, image and vision.
Lou Reed lit my fire for an intense and endless passion for music, writing, journalism and guitars. One of my biggest inspirations. I remember when I was still in my early teens getting so hooked on him, I had this unpleasant thought: What if Lou Reed will no longer be here? How will I feel? Will my passion end? And what to do when there will be no more new music from Lou?
Those questions have been answered more than ever since he left. My passion for music remained and it’s here to stay. It’s here for life. As is my passion for writing and journalism. This past year I discovered a huge amount of new music and rediscovered things I hadn’t heard for ages. And Lou? Lou was there everytime. He was there at unexpected times and during moments I wanted him to be there. Because just like Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, John Coltrane and Muddy Waters to name a few icons, Reed’s work lives on and will continue to touch and inspire new generations to come. He’s been there all the time and he’ll be here always. His body might be gone from the surface, but his spirit is very much present. Lou Reed is very much alive!
“And I said, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling.”
Photo by Mick Rock
Dit stuk schreef ik voor de Facebook-groep Let’s Talk About Lou Reed, naar aanleiding van de eerste verjaardag na het overlijden van Reed op 27 oktober 2013.