Lou Reed was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night for the second time, after previously being included in 1996 as a member of Velvet Underground. His longtime partner, composer and experimental music pioneer Laurie Anderson, was present to accept the honor on his behalf.
She spoke eloquently and evocatively about their relationship, and Reed’s life as an artist—a more-than-fitting tribute to the legendary musician. Watch the entire speech above, and read an excerpt from the transcript below (the full text is available at Rolling Stone).
“…suddenly I remember one of his phrases or some random words or songs he made up, and I’m reminded also the three rules we came up with, rules to live by. And I’m just going to tell you what they are because they come really handy, because things happen so fast, it’s always good to have with you, like patchworks to fall back on.
And the first is, one: Don’t be afraid of anyone. Now can you imagine living your life afraid of no one? Two: Get a really good bullshit detector. And three: Three is be really, really tender. And with those three things, you don’t need anything else. For people with experience when their partners die, you’re compelled into a magical world where you fully understand many things that were complete mysteries up to that point. And so funnily, I see how people can turn into legs, and turn into music, and eventually turn into other people, and how fluid these bones are. And that’s what the Hall of Fame to me is all about, the transformation of people who took names that stand in beauty and style.
They say you die three times. The first is when your heart stops, and the second is when you’re buried or cremated. And the third is the last time someone says your name. I am so happy that Lou’s name is added to the list of people who will be remembered for the beautiful music that they made. Lou, my sweet lover, I love your last song, “The Power of the Heart.” You know me, I like to dream a lot. Of what there is and what there’s not. But mainly, I dream of you a lot. The power of the heart, the power of the heart. I accept this in your name. One more Lou.”