Lou Reed / Roathbud 2013
It’s always odd when one is affected by the death of someone one has never met, or indeed, never even particularly wanted to. But the passing of Lou Reed, news of which emerged gradually on Sunday, affected me strangely. I suppose it’s because his work has impinged on me at several key points in my life: being bemused and entranced on hearing “Walk On The Wild Side” on Radio 1’s Top 20 show at an impressionable age; finding a vinyl copy of the Velvet Underground’s “Live 1969” double album in Lewis’s department store in Hanley (surely ordered in error), having read about their influence on the then-burgeoning Punk Rock movement, and playing it over and over again on my rudimentary record-player; later buying “Loaded” on cassette, and discovering it to be full of pop gems and remarkably intense vocal performances; his various TV appearances, whether as a curmudgeonly interviewee, or a performer, e.g. the film of his “Songs For Drella” collaboration with John Cale, which languishes in my recorded-off-the-telly VHS pile, or his startling “Later" performance, accompanied by a pre-fame Antony Hegarty, and a bloke doing Tai Chi…
Perhaps it need simply be said that without Lou Reed, most of the music I’ve enjoyed over the past forty years simply wouldn’t exist.
As part of Made In Roath 2013, there was a special screening of short films, Roathbud Film Discoveries, at the G39 art workshop, introduced by Tom Betts of Chapter Moviemaker. A full house, and a mixed bag, as might be expected – some of the films weren’t quite short enough – but it was good to see some familiar faces onscreen. Offerings included the slickly intriguing La Morta E Bella and Punk’s Not Dad’s star-studded pop video “Monkey Boots”.