I knew Lou Reed was coming to the Feltrinelli (a music and book store) in Piazza Piemonte, Milan. I had a class at the university, but since I never excluded to take a chance on anything I like I brought to uni my cd of The Velvet Underground and Nico. I sat in the big woody auditorium among other students, up in the back, on the right side of the room, waiting for some professor to get there. One of my friends at Uni, with whom I used to go to gigs with, got in and was quickly sitting on my left, jumping over the seats from behind. I just turned and said “Hey, there’s Lou Reed at the Feltrinelli, He’s signing his poetry book and stuff.” “Let’s go?” He said before letting his butt on the seat, just holding up on his arms. “Yep” I said, collecting everything quickly. We got there early, really early in the morning, and I was sure we were about the first ones but we didn’t find the scenario I was expecting. There was a huge line, people slept in front of the store the night before and tickets for queuing were being distributed. I got mine and I was almost the very last person on the line: my friend was just before me, and didn’t swap his ticket with mine since He told me He had to get his stuff autographed also as a present for his girlfriend that was doing a study program in Spain. Anyways. We waited for hours, I just remember it was afternoon when it was about to be our time in the line. When we were almost there, Lou Reed’s team started to hurry the whole thing, saying there was no time to sign all the stuff of all the numbered people. They started to move things, talking with an anxious attitude to him and the bodyguards and we were just like yeah, awesome. When I was almost in front of the signing table I could hear him telling them He wouldn’t have left till He was done with everyone, but they looked totally not of his advice. In this pretty confused and confusing situation, my friend got there and He dished literally a whole bag full of books, vynils, cds, and any kind of memorabilia to sign. And everyone was telling him, hey, just one item, you can have just one item signed, and He was all in his trip, saying -yes man- back, and continuing putting in front of Lou Reed every kind of stuff, like an efficient cashier that must pass all that stuff over. Whn he was done, he also shooked Reed’s hand and started to talk about this and that with many compliments like a music critic. And I was there, just standing. And then it was it. It was my turn. I took two steps smiling toward him, and like it was all happening in a dream, I saw all the management guys doing closures gestures with their hands, and I felt something grab my shoulders, and before I had any time to react, Lou Reed’s bodyguard lifted me and was moving me in the air toward the bottom of the stairs. But then something happened. While I was totally confused up in the air, Lou Reed lifted his hand and said Hey! And everyone stopped. My feet were still not on the floor. “Let her here”, he said to the bodyguard that was holding me. The guy brought me back in front of the table, and finally I felt again the floor under my feet. “Thank you!” I said with a big smile, holding my cd tightly with both my hands. “No, thank you, and sorry for that” He said, while signing my cd. “What’s your name?” He said, looking into my eyes with a warm smile. “Chiara” I said. “Thank you for waiting here Chiara, I’m Lou, nice to meet you” He said standing, and he kissed me. I remember then turning toward the doors of the store that were wide open and fulfilled by the sunlight. I was a bright and warm spring day.
(Italian translation coming soon right here!)
[Photo by Inez and Vinoodh]