Patti Smith spoke about Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground in an interview with the Associated Press today (October 28, 2013).
“I was so taken with their [the Velvet Underground] music. I made it my business to study him. His process completely spoke to me, the process of merging poetry with these surf rhythms, this pulsing loop. You could get into a trance listening to 12 minutes of Sister Ray.”
Smith said Reed brought “the sensibility of art and literature” to rock music. Smith and Reed often spoke about poetry, and such poets as Hart Crane or Walt Whitman or Federico Garcia Lorca.
Smith said that “Pale Blue Eyes,” a song she often performed at the beginning of her career, is a favorite, and that it reminds her of her late husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith.
“I never fail to think of him and his gaze when I’m singing that or hear that song. Lou had a gift of taking very simple lines, ‘Linger on, your pale blue eyes,’ and make it so they magnify on their own. That song has always haunted me.”