There was a last-minute, private musical tribute to Lou Reed on Monday night at the Apollo Theater. Widow Laurie Anderson organized the event so it would take place on the 50th day after Reed's death, at the end of what Tibetan Buddhists call the bardo, a transitional state after death. She was joined in celebrating Reed by, among others, Paul Simon, Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, Antony Hegarty, Debbie Harry, John Zorn, Philip Glass, Julian Schnabel, Emily Haines, and former Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker. Below, watch Simon perform a beautiful rendition of "Pale Blue Eyes."
"He lived for beauty," Anderson said. "Lou knew what he was doing and what he was going for. His incredible complexity and his anger were part of his beauty." Among other things, Tucker read a message from John Cale: "Regardless of our differences, we never really drifted too far from what initially brought us together. I guess that's what real friendship is, and I miss my friend."
Toward the end of the night, before Smith led all the musicians in a roaring version of Velvet Underground's seminal "Sister Ray," Anderson talked about her marriage to Reed: "Almost every day we said, 'You are the love of my life,' or some version of that, in one of our many private and somewhat bizarre languages. We knew exactly what we had, and we were beyond grateful." She added that Reed's last words before his death were, "Take me out into the light!"
You can watch the entire event in full below.