Lou Reed + Laurie Anderson “Halloween Parade”

On October 31, 2014 by Will Hermes

Lou Reed died this week last year.

The exact date he passed was before Halloween. But I’ll always associate him with this holiday of masks, dress-up, creativity, play-acting, and finding pleasure and unlikely beauty in horror and death because they’re part of the deal of being human.

I’d feel that way even if he never wrote “Halloween Parade,” my favorite song from his great mid-period LP New York. But he did. Here’s an interview he gave around that album’s release, in 1989, to Jonathan Cott of Rolling Stone, published here in full for the first time.

And here’s very touching version from a Paris concert in 2009 with his wife Laurie Anderson. It reminds me of the music he made with another string player, John Cale, back in the ’60s — especially the gorgeous-spooky, free-form part at the end. It’s the sound of two souls speaking to one another in a language all their own.

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