LOU REED–A TRIBUTE

When I think of Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground, John Cale, Nico, Maureen Tucker, etc., I think of Pale Blue Eyes, and not only because that was the song sent to me as part of a mix tape in the late 1980s by a boyfriend (what I thought was true love, actually) who was breaking up with me, breaking my heart (cliche, but true!), but also because the song’s lyrics have lived with me from the time I first discovered Lou Reed, first understood who “the man” was for whom he was waiting and why, until now, this very moment of really knowing what it is, what it means, to have the kind of relationship that becomes thus defined:  “It was good what we did yesterday.  And I’d do it once again.  The fact that you are married, only proves, you’re my best friend.”

I remember a time, which seems so very long ago, in college, after listening to a friend’s band play (and most likely experimenting with a substance or two), being unable to sleep, though too tired to do anything but stay curled up on my futon beyond the cacophony of Saturday night in Berkeley’s infamous co-op, Barrington Hall, and using The Velvet Underground’s eponymous third album as my insomnia companion. Every song on that album seemed to be its own vision of love and what it could be and what it wasn’t or hadn’t been yet for me.  But as I listened to the gospel of Lou Reed’s melodic vision, set on repeat as night became late night and then morning, I believed in the possibility, it seemed, at least a little bit…

And so, through his music, Lou Reed made the world as pure and as strange as what he saw, and allowed us, his grateful listeners, a small portal to his greatness.

PALE BLUE EYES

Sometimes I feel so happy,
Sometimes I feel so sad.
Sometimes I feel so happy,
But mostly you just make me mad.
Baby, you just make me mad.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.

Thought of you as my mountain top,
Thought of you as my peak.
Thought of you as everything,
I’ve had but couldn’t keep.
I’ve had but couldn’t keep.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.

If I could make the world as pure and strange as what I see,
I’d put you in the mirror,
I put in front of me.
I put in front of me.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.

Skip a life completely.
Stuff it in a cup.
She said, Money is like us in time,
It lies, but can’t stand up.
Down for you is up.”
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.

It was good what we did yesterday.
And I’d do it once again.
The fact that you are married,
Only proves, you’re my best friend.
But it’s truly, truly a sin.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.
Linger on, your pale blue eyes.

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3 thoughts on “LOU REED–A TRIBUTE

  1. I am truly digging this post! my favorite velvets song is penned by lou, but ‘sung’ by john. the gift. number two is probably who loves the sun. most everything else is tied at three.

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