This year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held in April 18, which was held in Cleveland. Lou Reed, who died in 2013, was honoured with his inevitable induction. Punk icon Patti Smith gave a fantastic speech in his name, describing their first meeting, and a fascinating conversation they once had whilst simultaneously touring and staying at the same hotel. Enjoy the story within Patti’s speech below.
“I made my first eye contact with Lou, dancing to the Velvet Underground when they were playing upstairs at Max’s Kansas City in the summer of 1970. And then somewhere along the line, Lou and I became friends. It was a complex friendship, sometimes antagonistic and sometimes sweet. Lou was sometimes emerge from the shadows at CBGBs. If I did something good, he would praise me. If I made a false move, he would break it down”, Smith said about Reed.
She continued, saying, “one night, when we were touring, separately, we wound up in the same hotel, and I got a call from him, and he asked me to come to his room. He sounded a little dark, so I was a little nervous. But I went up, and the door was open, and I found him in the bathtub dressed in black. So I sat on the toilet and listened to him talk. It seemed like he talked for hours, and he talked about, well, all kinds of things. He spoke compassionately about the struggles of those who fall between genders“.
“He spoke of pre-CBS fender amplifiers and political corruption. But most of all, he talked about poetry. He recited the great poets — Rupert Brooke, Hart Crane, Frank O’Hara. He spoke of the poets’ loneliness and of the poets’ dedication to the highest muses. When he fell into silence, I said, ‘Please, take care of yourself, so the world can have you as long as it can’, and Lou actually smiled“, Smith concluded about Reed.