Radio personality, rock and blues writer, Giovanni "Gio" Pilato, shares his personal thoughts and memories on Lou Reed.
I have grown up surrounded by any sort of music in my life but nobody has been able to touch the most remote chords of my soul more than Lou Reed. I was born in 1968, therefore I had to work retrospectively to get to the core of Lou's musical philosophy, until reaching The Velvet Underground discography.
The epitome of rock'n'roll anti-hero, Reed has been a true example for me of somebody that believed so hard and deep in what he did, although it might have been taken almost as sheer arrogance by many. When he once said that his songs were the "Book Of Great American Novel", he was not far away from the truth; a sort of contemporary John Steinbeck, although most of his lyrics were at their utmost crude and tough most of the time but certainly a true mirror of 5 decades of American History.
One of the greatest rock photographers of the last half century of music, my fellow Italian friend Guido Harari (who created Lou's cover of Animal Serenade) once said of Lou: "I lived my friendship with Lou with extreme simplicity; Lou said to Harari once "If people just knew how normal I am in my everyday life, all the fascination about me as an artist would vanish".
I truly believe in this statement; behind the mask of an introvert and almost rude-sounding person that the press has depicted as such for almost the entirety of Lou's career, there was a honest, genuine man that loved art in all different shape and form, life and love for life.
Most people say they will always remember the day John Lennon died... I don't, I shall always remember the day Lou passed, instead, for all that he provided to me through all these years; my music formation, understanding and appreciation of Abstract Art, both visual and musical, in his case and most of all, the idea of keep on walking on my side, doesn't matter whether a wild or an ordinary one.
I figured that if I would be able to ask Lou today what life meant for him, he might have said "... I guess I just don't know", just like he did in Heroin, in my view, the most underrated rock and roll masterpiece of the last 50 years.
Look after yourself up there, Lou, thank you always to save some old music souls like myself from being an "Average Gio".
Thank you, to all at Bluebirdreviews.