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Friday, April 13, 2012

Lovely Day 2 (Lou Reed revisited)

I wrote earlier about the chimes of Groningen's main church playing Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day' on a sunny afternoon in february. Of course that was a lie. The chimes were not playing, the chime-player was.

I met him this week by coincidence. I had to teach a guest lesson to pupils of my old secondary school, and their music teacher happened to be the chime player of Groningen's chimes (and of many other chimes across the region). He decsribed himself - as being involved with huge sets of huge bronze bells - as the only real heavy metal fan of the school, and admitted he had played `Perfect Day' when hearing that Lou Reed would be in town accompanying his wife Laurie Anderson for a concert. I went to that concert, which I really liked; Lou Reed happened to sit on a chair right behind me, a nice discovery when you turn around for the first time just to check who's also there and look into Lou Reed's grin; he also sang a song, and the culmination point was a small solo played by Anderson on her violin which left the hall silenced - a solo which was solemnly described afterwards by one of the main music connoisseurs of the town as infantile and artistically worthless, one more reason for me to turn away from any form of music connoisseurship whatsoever.

But back to the chime player. He said that not only I had heard `Perfect Day' chimed all over town, but that within a couple of minutes Lou Reed's management was on the phone, and an hour or so later Reed was in the tower and spend some hours having the chimes explained and demonstrated to him.

Sometimes people wonder if chimes still have a reason for existence in our age. I think they have a-reason; it is called Lou.

1 comment:

  1. Erg grappig verhaal. Gelukkig dat zijn management niet de royalties kwam claimen, dat dacht ik even. Ik heb Anderson hier in Taipei gezien vorige maand (zonder Lou, die hier als ex-man in het programmaboekje stond). Ik vond haar hele voorstelling (of liever: vertelling) iets ouderwets-magisch hebben, en toch volstrekt eigenzinnig en origineel.
    Maar ook voor mij een volkomen onbegrijpelijke, kinderlijke toegift op de electrieke viool. Waarschijnlijk net zoiets als bij jou in Groningen dus. Het ding klonk echt belabberd hier en door het in de toegift te spelen zakte de magie van het verhaal voor mij meteen weg. Maar het was wel het ultieme ontwapenende moment, omdat ze daar opeens als een soort kind stond zonder al die techno-poespas en zonder verhaal.