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Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

(Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.)

(Just clic on the pic to play the video on youTube.)

I saw Laurie Anderson when I was a young man, it must have been
something like 1984 or early 1985. She played at a theater in downtown
Dallas, a rather small place. Given what Anderson did back then I don't
know if "concert" would be the right word for it. "Performance" would
have been what it was called — performance art.

In subsequent years the term performance art was dropped and basically
replaced with a line of question marks. And then, eventually and finally,
nobody really cared what it was called. It was creative, it involved words
and sometimes music, who cares.

In any case it was a great experience seeing her. I left both uplifted
and a little bit numb in the brain.

After that I don't know what happened, but I didn't listen to her again
until the 90s when Bright Red came out. It was/is an outstanding album.
And then I forgot about Anderson for another long while.

Until today.

"Tightrope"

(L. Anderson)

Last night I dreamed I died and that my life had
been rearranged into some kind of theme park.
And all my friends were walking up and down the boardwalk.
And my dead grandmother was selling
cotton candy out of a little shack.
And there was this big ferris wheel
about half a mile out in the ocean,
half in and half out of water.
And all my old boyfriends were on it.
With their new girlfriends.
And the boys were waving and shouting
and the girls were saying "Eeek!"

Then they disappeared under the surface of the water
and when they came up again they were laughing
and gasping for breath.

In this dream I'm on a tightrope
and I'm tipping back and forth trying to keep my balance.
And below me are all my relatives
and if I fall I'll crush them.
This long thin line. This song line. This shout.

The only thing that binds me to the turning world below
and all the people and noise and sounds and shouts.
This tightrope made of sound
This long thin line made of my own blood.
Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.

Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.
This long thin line. This long thin line.
This long thin line. This tightrope.