TAKE ME OUT INTO THE LIGHT
I was thinking about the late Lou Reed this morning. This year will mark the fifth anniversary of the legendary rocker's death.
In 2012, I had an opportunity to meet Lou Reed at the FINGERPRINTS music store, in Long Beach, California. He was doing a poetry reading and record signing to support the release of his album collaboration with Metallica. The name of the recording was "Lulu." The music was loosely based on the Jack The Ripper murders.
Lou Reed did a vinyl and CD signing at Fingerprints (he also signed extra items.) Following the signing, he stepped behind a podium and recited his poetry to the small crowd of fans who had gathered at the store. I was just expecting to collect a few signatures. I wasn't even going to stay to see him read poetry - but I am so glad now that I stayed. This would be Lou Reed's final public performance in Southern California. Little did I know that I would never again get the opportunity to see Lou Reed "perform."
I thought back today about all the amazing experiences I've had collecting autographs over the years. We get to meet some of the greatest minds and artists of our time. I think sometimes collectors forget just how lucky we are. We're getting access to see and hear things that most people in the world only dream about doing. It's good to take a moment to step back and absorb those experiences. There's more to life than just a scribbled signature on a piece of paper.
Did I know that this would be Lou Reed's last performance in Southern California at the time? No. I wished I'd seen him do a concert but I never had that opportunity. Everyone talks about David Bowie, but Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground are equally as influential in my opinion. I read a while back that Laurie Anderson claimed Lou Reed's last words were "Take me out into the light." How cool is that? A poet even at the end. I'm just really grateful that I met the man and saw him doing that reading.
My advice to collectors: when you have the chance to meet an artist, or President, or movie star, or author - just take a moment to step back and really absorb the situation. You never know what will evolve from the experience. If you're going to be collecting autographs, try to see the movies the celebrities are in. Listen to the music of the singers and musicians. Go to see a play where the celebrity is performing. Read a book written by the author. It will make collecting signatures so much more rewarding for you.
As for Lou Reed's autograph -- well, he actually had kind of a horrible worm-like signature. I remember stepping up to the table with my items. I had a rare 1st edition book of "The Raven" that had been autographed by Reed and artist Julian Schnabel (not the easiest autograph to obtain.) I said, "Mister Reed, I have a rare book here. It's already signed by Julian Schnabel -- I was wondering if you would please do a really nice full-signature in the book for me?" Lou Reed seemed kind of confused but nodded and agreed to do the best he could. He proceeded to do the same squiggly worm signature he always did. I was hoping to see an 'every letter' autograph but that didn't happen. Maybe I should have been more clear? I don't think Lou Reed was trying to be funny -- that WAS his "good" signature.
I've attached a few images from the event. You can see Lou Reed's "good" signature in the book as well. Hope you enjoyed this little memory flashback.
I live in Los Angeles, California and have been collecting and selling quality autographs for over twenty years. During this period, I've worked in the television broadcasting industry. I'm also a published writer, my articles and celebrity interviews have been featured in national magazines. As a collector here in Los Angeles, I've had first-hand access to some of the biggest celebrity names of our time.All author posts
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