Rolling Stone is paying homage to the late Lou Reed in its latest issue, which hits newsstands today. The magazine offers a variety of heartfelt tributes to the groundbreaking singer/songwriter, including essays from his widow, avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson, U2's Bono and Mick Jagger.
The issue also will include new interviews veteran Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke conducted with ex-Velvet Underground members Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule, Patti Smith and her longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye, and producers Tony Visconti and Hal Willner.
Anderson's tribute is especially poignant, poetic and enlightening. She shares how she and Reed met, how they fell in love and how they decided to get married. She also reveals details about Reed's health problems. During the last couple years of his life, he underwent interferon injections to treat hepatitis C, developed liver cancer and battled diabetes before finally undergoing a liver transplant.
Anderson also touchingly shares what Lou's final hours were like, writing that "he didn't give up until the last half-hour of his life, when he suddenly accepted it." She says, "I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou's as he died…His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn't afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life -- so beautiful, painful and dazzling -- does not get better than that."
She adds, "At the moment, I have only the greatest happiness and I am so proud of the way he lived and died, of his incredible power and grace."
As for Bono, he writes eloquently about what Reed's music meant to him, shares several humorous stories recalling of his interactions with the rocker, toasts his deadpan and sarcastic sense of humor and expounds on how New York City served as Lou's ultimate muse.
"New York City was to Lou Reed what Dublin was to James Joyce, the complete universe of his writing," the U2 singer writes. "He didn't need to stray out of it for material, there was more than enough there for his love and his hate songs."
Reed died on October 27 at his home in the Hamptons section of Long Island, New York. He was 71.
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