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Patti Smith: 'Lou Reed Was a Very Special Poet'

Smith tells David Fricke that Reed's live process was a 'revelation'

Patti Smith and Lou Reed.
Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
October 28, 2013 5:25 PM ET

Over the last 24 hours, there's been an outpouring of tributes to rock pioneer Lou Reed, who passed away on Sunday at age 71. Today, David Byrne shared a memory of his time with Reed during his band's early days. Punk rock icon Patti Smith, who ran with Reed in the same downtown New York City scenes in the Seventies, spoke to Rolling Stone's David Fricke about his passing — and specifically how he still inspires her live performances:    

Look Back at Lou Reed's Incredible Life in Photos

Lou was a very special poet – a New York writer in the way that Walt Whitman was a New York poet. One thing I got from Lou, that never went away, was the process of performing live over a beat, improvising poetry, how he moved over three chords for 14 minutes. That was a revelation to me.

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Song Stories

“Don't Dream It's Over”

Crowded House | 1986

Early in the sessions for Crowded House's debut album, the band and producer Mitchell Froom were still feeling each other out, and at one point Froom substituted session musicians for the band's Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. "At the time it was a quite threatening thing," Neil Finn told Rolling Stone. "The next day we recorded 'Don't Dream It's Over,' and it had a particularly sad groove to it — I think because Paul and Nick had faced their own mortality." As for the song itself, "It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on — don't dream it's over," Finn explained.

More Song Stories entries »
 
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