Norton Records Remembers Lou Reed

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In 2000 eclectic New York label Norton Records released Lou Reed's seldom-before heard earliest recordings. All Tomorrow's Dance Parties was a 7", Norton Records EP 097, and it featured two songs from Reed's high school band, the Jades and some of his earliest solo work. The Jades' "So Blue" and "Leave Her For Me" were recorded in 1958, and Lewis (Lou) Reed's "Your Love" and "Merry Go Round" were from 1962. "He had this reputation as being very aloof in interviews," said Miriam Linna, co-founder of Norton, when we reached her by phone yesterday after news broke of Reed's passing. "But that was never the case when I was around him. He was very giving of his time, even when he had no reason to be."

Linna remembers Lou Reed after the jump.

See also: Lou Reed, Legend, Dead at 71

I first met Lou what I was a teenage ragamuffin in Cleveland in 1972 -- I had hitchhiked through a blinding snowstorm to get his autograph. I believe he was playing at the Music Hall, and had done an interview on WMMS. I had brought along every Velvet Underground album for an autograph, having been duly indoctrinated by my big sister (and fellow Velvets nut) Helen. Anyway, Lou was kind as can be, and as he signed records, he asked about my own likes and dislikes and what life in Ohio was like, and suchlike. I was stunned by his warmth and kindness.

The next time I saw him was with my sis in Glasgow, Scotland, the following year. We were there with a mob of teenage locals, and there was a true love for Lou in the audience. Years later, at a Velvet Underground retrospective, I saw him again, and said to him, "You were so nice to me when I was a kid," and he raised his eyebrows, and said, "I was nice?" He was with some big shot-looking older people, but I knew he knew that I knew that he was the greatest. His music and his attitude have never let me down. We ended up issuing his earliest sides with the Jades on our record label, Norton. Lou was happy about the picture sleeve packaging, which showed him as a handsome teenage idol, almost. He will be exactly that for me, from now into forever.

- Miriam Linna, co-founder, Norton Records



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