HOMAGE TO LOU REED
The death of Lou Reed on the 27th of October 2013 sparked a unanimous human wave of grief and mourning for the musician, poet and storyteller, whose work radically redefined the limits of form and content of rock, and who infinitely influenced the generations of musicians following him.
Velvet Underground’s sound profoundly influenced other equally influential characters such as Can, Patti Smith, Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, Joy Division and Sonic Youth, up until Nirvana, Beck and David Bowie: but the lyrical aspect was no less innovative, with lyrics that for the first time, without poetical thrust but with a blunt and empathetic language, spoke about drugs, homosexuality, transvestites, sadomasochism and prostitution. Managing to reach the charts with these themes (thanks to then radio station managers’ ignorance of New York slang), with the epochal case of Walk on the Wild Side and the whole album Transformer, a concept album dedicated to Andy Warhol and his milieu, where Reed cites a slogan of the newly forming gay liberation movement: “We’re coming out, out of our closets, out in the streets”, from Make Up).
Gender Bender pays homage with a collection of archive materials, interviews and witness accounts form Reed himself and friends and collaborators who accompanied him during his career, such as David Bowie, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Maureen Tucker, Joe Dallesandro, Holly Woodlawn, Nan Goldin, Gerard Malanga, Thurston Moore and others.