Farewell to Lou Reed

Rest in peace, Lou Reed.

Here’s the legend himself, appearing in Wim Wenders’ film Faraway So Close, the sequel to my favorite film, Wings of Desire. In this scene, a fallen angel named Cassiel wanders into a club where Reed is performing the song “Why Can’t I Be Good?” Cassiel’s played by Otto Sanders, whose passing I noted here just a few months ago.

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Here’s another clip from that film.

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UPDATE: If there’s anybody out there wondering “What’s the big deal?” … read Sasha Frere-Jones’ remembrance of Reed at The New Yorker

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Ryun Malick

    For my 18th birthday, my dad sent me to NYC with a bunch of college kids from the Baptist university where he worked (the old version of Grand Canyon University). We were there to look at art, but I immediately noticed the Lou Reed concert posters for an upcoming show at Radio City Music Hall – this was May 1992, so he was promoting the Magic and Loss album. Even though the other students hadn’t heard of him, they thought it would be fun to see a concert at Radio City Music Hall, I guess, so most of us went to see him. I don’t think they had as much fun as I did. Reed played the entire Magic & Loss album start to finish, I believe, to start the show, and the album is pretty morose in parts. The rest of the low-attendance crowd in this huge venue seemed underwhelmed, too, so after one of the songs when clapping was minimal, Reed deadpanned hilariously, “Thank you…you’re very kind.” Second half of the show included more of his better-known work, though it’s a bit of a blur. I appreciated his New York album first, but I also get Songs for Drella tracks stuck in my head, like the one recalling Reed’s conflict with Warhol:
    “I fired him on the spot; he got mad and he called me a rat; it was the worst word that he could think of; I’d never seen him like that; it’s work – I thought he said it’s just work!”


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