Nearly three years have passed since quintessential New York City rocker Lou Reed died, and today, Lincoln Center, one of his favorite destinations in the city, has been hosting “The Bells: A Daylong Celebration of Lou Reed” in his honor. The event’s evening programming – streaming live here beginning at 7 p.m. EST – is performances of the Velvet Underground frontman’s love songs. Performers will include Laurie Anderson, Anohni, Emily Haines, Mark Kozelek, Victoria Williams, John Cameron Mitchell, John Zorn and many others.
Anderson put the event together with Reed’s longtime producer and friend Hal Willner, who recently collaborated on the upcoming Reed box set The RCA & Arista Album Collection. Other events that took place over the day included lessons with Reed’s tai chi master, an installation of six of Reed’s guitars playing feedback drones in one of Lincoln Center’s theaters, screenings of Reed-related films and daytime performances by Reed’s peers and artists whom he influenced.
Video of those daytime performances – which featured a house band that included Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley and Chavez frontman Matt Sweeney, among others – is streaming below. Guest artists during that set included Lenny Kaye, Jesse Malin, JG Thirlwell and Tammy Faye Starlite, among others.
In November 2014, two weeks after his death, Lincoln Center hosted New York City’s only public event celebrating his legacy, playing his music for throngs of fans gathered in its plaza. “The event didn’t feature any large signs, banners, photographs of Reed or any other markers indicating it was a memorial,” Rolling Stone reported at the time. “For three hours, it was just about letting the songs speak for themselves.”