Best Bathroom Anecdote: Patti Smith Inducts Lou Reed
While Miley Cyrus spoke of smoking pot with Joan Jett in a hotel bathroom, we have to give a slight edge to Patti Smith, who opened her poignant, thoughtful speech inducting Lou Reed by sharing the details of an intimate conversation the two shared in — you guessed it — a hotel bathroom.
"I found him in the bathtub dressed in black," said Smith, who also inducted the Velvet Underground into the Hall in 1996. "So I sat on the toilet and listened to him talk. It seemed like he talked for hours, and he talked about, well, all kinds of things. He spoke compassionately about the struggles of those who fall between genders. He spoke of pre-CBS Fender amplifiers and political corruption. But most of all, he talked about poetry."
Smith nimbly danced between personal details ("If I did something good, he would praise me; If I made a false move, he would break it down") and passages that explored the musician's broader cultural impact ("His consciousness infiltrated and illuminated our cultural voice"). When Smith momentarily teared up reciting the words to Reed's "Perfect Day," it served as a reminder how much the world lost when the groundbreaking musician died in 2013.