DEBBIE HARRY, PAUL SIMON, PATTI SMITH, LAURIE ANDERSON + FRIENDS & FAMILY HONOR LOU REED AT APOLLO THEATER MEMORIAL IN NYC
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He was the poet of New York and on Monday night, friends and family gathered at an invite-only memorial at the Apollo Theater to hear Lou Reed’s words one last time.
The show honoring the Velvet Underground front man was put together by Reed’s management, and his widow Laurie Anderson. A number of stars turned out on the night to give their thoughts and sing some of Reed’s most well-known songs.
Among them was Paul Simon, who sang a solo version of “Pale Blue Eyes,” which was preceded by a brief clip of the forgotten 1980 film “One Trick Pony” in which Simon plays a washed-up folk singer and Reed is his producer. “I never could act,” laughed Simon.
Patti Smith and guitarist Lenny Kaye added their take on “Perfect Day,” which Smith described as one of Reed’s most “poignant” lyrics. Fellow New York punk veteran Debbie Harry of Blondie also led a robust rendition of “White Light, White Heat” while Antony Hegarty from Antony and the Johnsons gave a more contemporary perspective with a tender interpretation of “Candy Says.”
Reed’s sister Merrill, producer Hal Wilner and director Julian Schnabel paid personal and professional tributes. Even Reed’s doctor Charles Miller – who treated the singer during the liver transplant he underwent this past spring – was on hand to add his memories of Reed in his last years.
Also prominent during the tribute were several demonstrations of Tai Chi. Reed was a master of the art and was practicing it on the morning of his death on October 27.
The night started and finished with eulogies from Anderson who requested initially that there be no crying, but tears inevitably fell throughout the evening. “I never had a single doubt that we loved each other beyond anything else from the time when we first met, until the moment he died,” she said in closing. “Almost every day we said ‘you are the love of my life,’ or some version of that in one of our many private, and somewhat bizarre languages. We knew exactly what we had, and we were beyond grateful.”
NEW YORK POST