Wednesday, 30 March 2016

My first encounter with Lou Reed... and last.


John Zorn himself was counting us in with an old small palm held counting device. John. Zorn. The punk jazz avant-garde performer and great saxophonist. In flesh.

Running directly from school with laptop and all I got my 10 pm ticket at the very last second. The first show at 8 pm was naturally sold out by then. After me just three others got in and already over the limited number. I couldn’t believe I was going to experience a performance of Lou Reed in such an independent atmosphere like taken directly from the 70s of NYC. C'mon, Lou Reed in NYC in the most underground and experimental place you could possible imagine! I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the whole world!
The quintessence of NYC rock and roll was right there. Something surreal for this era, something so special that someone like me born so much later could never ever experience. But there I was.

It wasn't even a ticket, just the normal stamp on my wrist plus a red circle around it. The most expensive ticketless stamp of my life but for sure the most handsome of them all.
I needed to go back in line soon enough for the second show at 10 pm if I wanted to take a good look at Lou. I left my backpack at home just a couple of blocks away, and went for a quick beer at a nice bar nearby.
The venue place, The Stone, is incredibly small, no sign, no bar, no nothing. Just a few rows of chairs aligned with the performance being at the same level. Do you see it? It's like they're all only boys just starting the whole revolutionary movement of Warhol freaking pop culture! Holy moly guacamole! And I’m right here in the city where everything happens. I don't want to leave. Ever.

While waiting in line, the people from the first show were leaving the place with big smiles spread all over their faces. The thrill of anticipation was rising to the point of no return. Excitement was the word of order in that line of ours.

I got front row for I was the third to enter the room.
The first sound tripped down the spine while Lou seated right next to me. Laurie was already seated at her place. At first it was hard to concentrate on the young musicians but they were good so I gave them all my attention. Buke and Gass, he played a guitar-bass hybrid and she a modified baritone-ukulele plus ankle bells. She sings high but softly, a kind of prog-punk anthems and has a sweet presence radiating a constant smile. Comprehensible as she told us how dreadful excited they were to be there with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

And then it was time for the Valentine’s special duo to play. Experimental prog-jazz music with Laurie’s electric violin, Lou’s keyboard and guitar, a pianist with long smooth fingers and with Buke and Gass joining later along too.

Like John Zorn was the new Warhol, that tiny space the new Factory and Lou Reed was simply jamming. And I, a mere rock and roll lover in trance.

Pictures of the performance: