Update: I just found some photos made at the concert I am talking about and my God how sad he looks in these photos.
I remember Lou Reed. It was 1974 and I was only 18. I was at my most IT girlish and had made my way into the music hall in my usual fashion; with the help of a musician who took pity on me (and thought he was in with a chance) and helped me through the backstage door ( a method I was so confident about that I even had my parents pay for a Roxy Music tickets for themselves and took me and my sister the backstage door route on my birthday one time!).
I was positioned backstage when Lou Reed made his exit after just a couple of songs from his only Amsterdam/Holland gig ever. He was so out of it and so addicted at the time he was just dipping his fingers in his jeans pockets to get the shit he was snorting out and take a hit on stage whenever he felt like it.
The audience accepted his early retreat in silence and with a measure of relief too because watching him kill himself was like having a wake for the guy while he was still alive.
I watched him stumble past me to his dressing room carried by his minders and I remember it as one of the most shocking moments of my misspend youth.
It was his Berlin phase and some of his best work was yet to come but from that moment on I felt he was living on borrowed time and it came as no surprise to me to hear he needed a liver transplant nor that he died as a result of complications.
His was a case of living full speed and sliding in the coffin sideways while hollering “WOW, what a ride!”
He was a genius artist and musician but also a troubled soul growing up in one of the most exiting but also destructive times in the art scene in New York.
Rest in Peace Lou or, as the case may be, may you be reborn again into an easier life than the previous one (mind you from what I gather you’d be happy to come back a rebel and artist again to just piss everybody off)