all tomorrow's parties ...

"I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine."

[Lou Reed]

The delicate scent of the Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow's carried in the breeze...  Over the last few weeks these flowers have decorated the garden - a visual reminder of life's ephemerality...  Often their presence has been accompanied in my mind by the distinctive sound of The Velvet Underground and Nico's melancholic refrain All Tomorrow's Parties...

This morning I woke to hear on the radio that Lou Reed is no more... Hopefully the legacy of his extraordinary creative output will continue to weave its way through our lives indefinitely - leaving us all the richer for it... 

After 'discovering' The Velvet Underground and Reed's solo releases The Blue Mask and Transformer as an art student, a friend introduced me to his collaboration with John Cale, Songs for Drella - a reflection and a confessional about their lives and times amidst Andy Warhol and The Factory... I played it on vinyl, on high rotation; so taken by Reed and Cale's unflinching reflections - that in fifteen songs became a succinct and intensely personal musical autobiography of a time that was both prolific and volatile... 

In the decades since first hearing these songs, this album has become part of my own history.  Revisiting it today I am met with my own memories and stories, the scent of coffee and spent cigarettes, Melbourne streets after summer rain...

Hello It's Me was always my favourite track on the album; because to me this song encapsulated the difficultly of the relationship between Reed and Warhol - the admiration and the resentment, the ideal and the reality, gratitude and regret... it was an song that came years after Reed and Warhol had parted ways, penned after Warhol had died; where Reed tries to put The Factory daemons to rest - to make peace with that part of his past...

Here is the link to Reed and Cale's incredible performance of this song live, with the lyrics below... 

Hello It's Me

Words and music: Lou Reed & John Cale
Andy it's me, haven't seen you in a while
I wished I talked to you more when you were alive
I thought you were self-assured when you acted shy
Hello it's me
I really miss you, I really miss your mind
I haven't heard ideas like that in such a long, long time
I loved to watch you draw and watch you paint
But when I saw you last I turned away
When Billy Name was sick and locked up in his room
You asked me for some speed, I though it was for you
I'm sorry that I doubted your good heart
Things always seem to end before they start
Hello it's me, that was a great gallery show
Your cow wallpaper and your floating silver pillows
I wish I paid more attention when they laughed at you
Hello it's me
"Pop goes pop artist," the headline said
"Is shooting a put-on, is Warhol really dead?"
You get less time for stealing a car
I remember thinking as I heard my own record in a bar
They really hated you, now all that's changed
But I have some resentments that can never be unmade
You hit me where it hurt I didn't laugh
Your Diaries are not a worthy epitaph
Oh well now Andy - guess we've got to go
I hope some way somehow you like this little show
I know it's late in coming but it's the only way I know
Hello it's me - goodnight Andy...
Goodbye, Andy

Vale Lou...