27 May 2007

The Second Time I saw Lou Reed

The second time I saw Lou Reed was in the Dope City Opera House. Sonja phoned and phoned as soon as tickets went on sale. When she got through she bought us tickets on the front row of the balcony. It had been over fifteen years since I saw Lou play in London with my old buddy Hank. I like to have something to look forward to in life; was I ever looking forward to the show.

I had only ever seen one show in the Opera House before. Sonja and I were stuck in the back of the place to see the Psychedelic Furs many years earlier. I prefer to see bands in smaller places, where a good seat is near the bar and you can lean your head out the back door into a putrid alley to vomit should the need arise.

It was the Magic and Loss tour. I knew ahead of time Lou would be playing his whole new record and a few from his incomparable past. The drugs kicked in, like everyone else's in the house, as Lou and his band faced a Dope City crowd for the first time since his Rock 'n' Roll Heart tour.

Lou, who was supposed to die from drugs in the 70s, looked every one of his years from the neck up. But he had the body of a much younger man. I knew then he was going to be with us for many, many years to come. I learned later that his secret, when he was really giving her, was to try and counteract his substance taking with healthy eating and exercize. It is the very same formula I have used to good effect in my life. If you cannot keep it clean, eat your green beans and get on the exercize machine.

Lou and his band were much quieter than when I saw Lou play in '77. We were so close we could hear his pick on his guitar strings on all but a few songs. The dark material of the songs lifted my spirits like all Lou's songs do. All Lou's fans love it when he turns his guitar way up so Warrior King was probably the highlight of the night.

At the end of the show Lou played Sweet Jane, a song I have listened to many thousands of times. It is one of rock 'n' roll's perfect songs. And if Lou ever gets tired of playing it you sure could not tell. It is a treat to hear live, and, if it was not already, became a part of the Canadian rock 'n' roll heart after the Cowboy Junkies hit it out of the park.


jen said...

Anyone who ever had a heart and wouldnt turn around and break it....

sigh. lou.

Nicole said...

Hey you.

Long time!

So, who are you cheering for to take Stanley?

maybe we'll have a friendly little wager...I do have to earn back a little something, since I do owe you a case from when your Lions won the Grey.
I believe you were going to buy me a bottle of some creme de mint something or other.

Ps..how's the Hammer? We have some disgusting creep going around throwing poisoned meet around Wascana Park... 8 dogs have been poisoned so far. It just makes me sick , how cruel and pathetic some people are.

anyway, hope life has been treating my favourite eccentric curmudgeon well! :)

Anonymous said...

‘Anne Murray’ Adult Contemporary pop rock singer of the seventies with probably one loyal fan left in her club...... an erudite genius mill worker in western Canada

‘Lou Reed’ Hard Rock (some think punk rock), train wreck, stoner of the seventies with a loyal and amazing following that would rival Dylan (to include the above mill worker)

I think my head is going to explode

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Whoa! Nobody commented when I wrote about the first time I saw Reed.

I ought to know better but I have made a small wager or two on the Ducks winning the Cup. I think they are going to rip the Senators a new one and jam a few pucks in.

So long as no one starts poisoning homeless people's shit the Hammer should be ok.

It's Monday, my head exploded several hours ago.

If Anne Murray were an aging star anywhere in the world but Canada she would have her own clothing line, parts in movies playing somebody's sexy great-grandmother and be playing for the troops in some far off country nobody really gives a fuck about.