Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Lou Reed fans attend impromptu wake

Fans have attended an impromptu wake for Lou Reed

"Heroin, it's my wife and it's my life," a woman reads to a crowd of about 100 fellow mourners at a wake in north London.

It is not something you would normally hear at such a sombre event, b ut those gathered at the Newington Green Unitarian Chapel were not at a typical wake.

They had gathered to honour American singer-songwriter Lou Reed, who last week died aged 71.

The impromptu event, dubbed Wake On The Wild Side in honour of Reed's greatest hit, was born after his British fans came together while mourning his loss on social media.

Organiser Stefan Simanowitz said free tickets to the wake had been snatched up in less than 48 hours.

The event was held in the stylings of the former Velvet Underground frontman as well.

A band replaced a choir, his own lyrics were read as eulogies and images of Reed watched over his fans as they cycled through a projector cast on a chapel wall.

Simanowitz said famous musicians like Nick Cave wanted to attend, but their schedule could not work with the hastily thrown together event.

He said it was a celebration of Reed's music for his fans, by his fans.

"The overwhelming response to this celebration of Lou Reed's life is an indication of how important a figure he was to millions of people in the UK and around the world," he said.

The wake was streamed live over the internet.

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