Once upon a time, artists and poets roamed Greenwich Village streets without a care; no TMZ, etc.
Lou lived in and around the Village during his adult life. He was just a neighbor to many who would see him out and about. To the rest of the world, he was a rock god, a poet, and the principle songwriter for the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol’s favorite band. I knew Lou since 1964; always a neighbor, usually a friend. His music is part of the soundtrack of my life. In his later years, he softened I think because Laurie (Anderson his wife) treated him as a fellow artist and not just a rock’n’roll god. Yes, he could be difficult. He could also be generous (championing Antony Hegarty). He risked new expressions (photography etc.). He mocked me for being political in the late 60s (he refused to play a Boston gig until everyone who came to see the MC5 the opening band, had left the room) and waved to me the last time I saw him with Laurie at Judson Church earlier this year for a WIKILEAKS teach in. I smiled at him silently when I saw him put his name on the stack to speak when Occupy went to Lincoln Center (at Philip Glass’s request); he waited with Laurie for his turn to come. The liver transplant was iffy and over the summer he looked tired, very tired. Good bye Lou. Send a signal, make a noise if you wake up somewhere. I loved you, but it was hard to tell you.