Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson’s three-step guide to living a good life
Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson were much more than just a romantic couple, they were each other’s creative muse and soulmates in every sense of the word. At a particular time when we’re reflecting on how we live our lives in lockdown, we have unearthed a wholesome clip of Reed and Anderson as they set out their easy three-step guide for life which.
With a plan to outline steps for everyone to follow in order to live a blissful existence, we think it’s more appropriate than ever at the moment to reflect on and take their advice on board.
Their relationship was largely private for the 21 years they were together before Reed’s death in 2013. Following their first chance meeting at a festival in Munich in 1992, and in an interview with Rolling Stone, Anderson describes how she was surprised that Reed didn’t have a British accent because she had thought The Velvet Underground was an English band. That, in itself, proved just how different their two worlds had been until their first romantic encounter.
The couple ended up getting married in 2008 and, following The Velvet Underground man’s death, Anderson spoke in detail about their relationship when he was posthumously added into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 as a solo artist—he was, of course, first inducted in 1996 as a member of The Velvet Underground.
In Anderson’s speech, she said that Reed “was my best friend and he was also the person I admire most in this world.” Reflecting further, she says that her husband understood that pain and beauty are often intertwined and that this energised him. She spoke of how he died in her arms, and even in his death still taught her something.
It’s heartwarming to go back and take a look at an interview the pair conducted with the acclaimed American journalist in 2003 and, in it, a fascinating chance to see Reed speak about his new record at the time, NYC Man, as well as reflecting on his relationship with Andy Warhol.
However, the most poignant moment in the conversation is when Rose asks the couple to explain what the key to their relationship. Anderson, taking the lead, beautifully lays out her easy three-step guide, saying: “I’m reminded also of the three rules we came up with, rules to live by. And I’m just going to tell you what they are because they come in really handy. Because things happen so fast, it’s always good to have a few, like, watchwords to fall back on. And the first one is: One. Don’t be afraid of anyone. Now, can you imagine living your life afraid of no one? Two. Get a really good bullshit detector. And three. Three is be really, really tender. And with those three things, you don’t need anything else.”
Check out the full interview below and take Anderson’s advice on board for a more blissful existence.