Many moons ago J introduced me to the music of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, early Bowie and even Sandy Denny. A time of late nights, smoke filled rooms, angsty teenagers and much laughter. Now a responsible mother of tall teenagers herself, J knew how to lead us all astray. There’s not so many late nights now, but still we laugh.
Years later a group of friends and I went to Barcelona. We revelled in being the most pale people for miles. We were overwhelmed by cathedrals, mosaics and art galleries. Gaudi, Miro, Picasso- awe inspiring, headache making, amazing. We walked for miles around and round the Barri Gotic in delight at every windy street, pokey shop and unexpected church. We took many photographs at the Nou Camp.
As luck would have it, our visit coincided with La Merce- a 5 day festival in September. We leaned out of the bedroom window to watch the Giants’ Parade, we watched a bizarre but brilliant ‘musical fountain’ display and we got to a free concert in the cathedral square-a three minute walk from our hostel. I climbed on wee ledge, leaned on a stranger and sang along at full volume with Lou Reed. It was a wonderful experience (though possibly not for the stranger).
That’s why now, when I feel like I could sleep for a thousand years and sing this, I don’t think of his drug addled darkness- I think of Barcelona, and laughs, and I smile.