A hoard of celebrities, some of whom knew the late rock legend Lou Reed, who passed away on Sunday in Long Island after battling liver disease, and some who didn’t, have tweeted and blogged kind words acknowledging his legacy.
Out of all those words, including some by Morrissey, David Bowie and Reed’s bandmate, The Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale, the ones written by Metric’s Emily Haines and journalist Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk) touched me most.
“The first time I sang ‘Perfect Day’ for him, Lou said, ‘You have to bring more pain to it. You’re not singing about a fucking picnic,'” Haines, who collaborated with Reed on her latest album, wrote in a piece featured on Rolling Stone.
“In his last message to me, Lou wrote, ‘I’m so sorry Emily I would’ve if I could have but I’m a little under the weather but I love you,” she concluded in reference to a cancelled duet at Coachella.
As someone who knew Reed in the ’70s and didn’t exactly get along with him, McNeil shared a different perspective. Fondly referring to Lou as “an asshole,” he reveals that they shared a deep, mutual respect for each other.
Titled “What Lou Reed Was Really Like,” via The Daily Beast:
Lou never even acknowledged that I existed. I didn’t care, because Lou once paid me the highest compliment of my young, skinny, insecure life. Of course he didn’t tell me but mentioned to Holmstrom one time, “He may be an asshole, but he can write…”
Now that compliment got me through almost as much as his music.