One or two of my friends have expressed surprise that I haven’t commented on the sad death of Lou Reed. Clearly I was as influenced by his music as anyone else of my generation. But I wonder, what can I say?
Recalling my distant youth, The Velvet Underground arrived like a bolt to the brain. Dirty, subversive and directly connected to the late sixties counter-culture. It was compelling stuff.
There was a great turnout for the opening night of the new exhibition of paintings by my good friend, drummer-turned-portrait-artist Gilson Lavis, at the weekend. Self-taught painter Gilson specialises in black and white acrylic studies of many of the famous musicians he plays with in the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Painted backstage, in hotel rooms and at his home studio, the works on show feature some great performers – Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, Paul Weller, Doctor John, The Rolling Stones, the list goes on.