The second annual Lou Reed Tai Chi Day is taking place today (October 25), marking the late New York musician’s 30-year study of the practice.
Anderson hosted the event and was joined by several guests throughout the webinar, including producer Tony Visconti, Reed’s Tai Chi instructor Master Ren Guang Yi and more.
Pop joined the stream towards the end for an interview about his own experiences with Tai Chi and writing ‘We Are The People’ from a poem by Reed. The track appeared on his 2019 album ‘Free’.
“Along came the book of Lou’s poetry and I opened it and it was right there in the front,” he said of the poem. “I just got a lot of emotion because it was just how things are and it still makes me angry. I don’t want to spend all the time being angry but that was what I saw.
“I thought, ‘Well, I understand – I believe – most of what he’s saying’. Of course, I had 42 years to catch up or whatever. I was surprised because when you’re writing songs within the popular song genre, to a great extent it’s all about throwing out words – unless you’re Bob Dylan whose the only one who’s good at going on and on. I’d always heard Lou express himself minimally and suddenly here’s all this.”
Watch the full Lou Reed Tai Chi Day webinar above now. Pop joins the conversation around the 55-minute mark.
Last year, a previously unknown collection of songs Reed recorded for Andy Warhol were unearthed on a cassette tape from 1975.
Judith Peraino, a professor of music at Cornell University, found the tape in 2017 while doing research at Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum. “This tape is Lou Reed working out what he does best,” Peraino said, “which is figuring out the character of his song, telling the stories, being as brutally honest as he is in many of his writings.”