Laurie Anderson on her loving relationship with Lou Reed:
“Lou and I played music together, became best friends and then soul
mates, traveled, listened to and criticized each other’s work, studied
things together (butterfly hunting, meditation, kayaking). We made up
ridiculous jokes; stopped smoking 20 times; fought; learned to hold our
breath underwater; went to Africa; sang opera in elevators;
made friends with unlikely people; followed each other on tour when we
could; got a sweet piano-playing dog; shared a house that was separate
from our own places; protected and loved each other. We were always
seeing a lot of art and music and plays and shows, and I watched as he
loved and appreciated other artists and musicians. He was always so
generous. He knew how hard it was to do. We loved our life in the West
Village and our friends; and in all, we did the best we could do.
Like many couples, we each constructed ways to be – strategies, and
sometimes compromises, that would enable us to be part of a pair.
Sometimes we lost a bit more than we were able to give, or gave up way
too much, or felt abandoned. Sometimes we got really angry. But even
when I was mad, I was never bored. We learned to forgive each other. And
somehow, for 21 years, we tangled our minds and hearts together.”
Yesterday I went to Laurie Anderson’s studio in Tribeca. I got to talking to her assistant. Super nice guy from New Orleans. He also worked with Lou Reed. He was telling me about his experience and how he’s planning on writing a book about his time with Lou.
Fascinating stuff. But I’ll always hate myself for not following up my initial “What was it like working with Lou Reed?” question with “Was it a walk on the wild side?”