my standard line on LR is –
this is the man who, for several generations of music-lovers, was New York. Representing that particular city more than anyone before or since. It’s hard to fully imagine that city having ever existed without him in it – as the poetic voice of, and physical embodiment of, its collective subconscious. And it’s hard to believe the city is still standing without him in it.
Some people have already suggested erecting a monument to him.
I’ve been saying the same thing for years – but it shouldn’t be a statute, it should be an enormous waxwork…
hidden down a dark alley, with garbage blowing around its ankles and rats racing between its legs. Wrapped in immense blue jeans and black leather jacket, immense shades on its face, with a guitar strapped on its back, and a pocket knife in one hand (while the other hand clutches a pocket-size book of Delmore Schwartz’s poems).
That’s the image we have of him – and it may be lazy cultural shorthand but it matters.
I put a personal LR playlist – with a focus on lyrics that are autobiographical (directly or “veiled”) – on YouTube. If it’s still standing when you read this…it’ll be here.