Posts Tagged ‘Lou Reed’


Encouraged by Andy Warhol, photographer Leee Black Childers captured Rock and Rollers, celebrities, and the interesting characters that passed through The Factory, various rock clubs, and down dirty alleyways. Originally a tour manager for rock acts, he had rare access to a cool creative class of the 1970’s and 80’s, but wanted to be a photographer. Andy Warhol said to him, “Say you’re a photographer, and you’re a photographer”, so he was a photographer.

Sadly he passed away last week, but will be remembered for his (mostly black and white) portraits of Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and The Sex Pistols. His 2012 book, Drag Queens, Rent Boys, Pick Pockets, Junkies, Rockstars and Punks captures this amazing underground society that few got to see in person.

Above: Photograph of Iggy Pop by Leee Black Childers


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When I heard that Lou Reed passed away yesterday at the age of 71, his playlist quickly played through my mind. I found myself needing to play his music quickly, or it might too disappear.

The Velvet Underground brought me so much pleasure as a young man, and  I can remember the first time I heard that first album with Nico… the needle on the plastic turntable had to be replaced twice in one day, I played the life out of that record. On the way to school one day I heard my friend’s mother, who car pooled me to school, singing the song Walk on the Wild Side with the radio, I knew that Lou Reed was a subversive genius. I wondered if this middle aged woman even knew what she was singing, but I knew the secret.

Heading off to art school showed me that, of course, I was not the only person who knew of Lou Reed. I finally felt at home with kindred spirits.

Many years after leaving school, I had stopped painting and felt satisfied enough with my job and life as I knew. But, then I heard the album Songs for Drella. I had forgotten until yesterday how it sparked something in me, and I remember painting one weekend listening to this album about one hundred times. I have never stopped painting since.

I thought I would always have his music around, and he would be making more of it for years to come. I should be satisfied. But, like a true friend leaving, there is always a want for more time together. I have no doubt that his music will be part of the soundtrack of my life.

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