Patti Smith: ‘Lou Reed was New York City’

The punk poet pays further tribute to the late Velvet Underground frontman

Patti Smith has paid further tribute to late Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed, in a new interview with Mary Anne Hobbs.

Speaking on the DJ’s BBC 6Music show, the punk poet opened up about how she heard of the icon’s death and her last moments with him.

“I was at the ocean that day. My daughter called and told me. I was standing by the sea and immediately I thought of the lines he wrote in ‘Heroin’ – “I wish I was on a clipper ship”, she said. “I was imagining Lou on this clipper ship ascending the sky. It was very moving to lose Lou. He was New York City. I’m not a natural new Yorker but Lou, just his music and his countenance and his presence… I saw him just days before he died on the street, he and his wife. And I could see that he was quite at ill but he was very loving and my last moments with Lou were very nice.”

The musician, who has contributed a song to the soundtrack of Hollywood movie Noah, also discussed her plans to follow-up her book, Just Kids. “I’m working on a couple of book projects,” Smith told Hobbs.

She continued: “When I was touring the world with Just Kids, I was asked literally hundreds of questions so I decided to work on a parallel book – which I’ll be doing in the next couple of years – answering the questions that people were curious about or wished I would have spoke about.”