When I was living at the Pratt Institute dormitory in the early 70s I would play this song every Sunday morning after waking up. Actually I did it after lighting the first cigarette of the day and going to the bathroom, of course.
Probably while the coffee was brewing on my roommate’s Mr. Coffee machine, and while I was deciding whether I should shower or not. It was that way then.
Listening to that song always brought to mind another Lou Reed song, “Beginning to see the light.” A little wine in the morning, and some breakfast at night.
It was what I had done just hours before, usually.
After a Saturday night at Max’s Kansas city and then to whatever after hours bar everyone went to when Max’s closed at 3 AM we would head off to Ratner’s deli on Delancey street for what for me was dinner.
As I listened to the song I would think about my wasted years so close behind, and it was a sad thing to know I was only 20 at the time and thinking that.
And I did have a restless feeling right by my side.
I was looking for the light but was afraid to open the door.
It was much easier to drink the wine in the morning.
When I first heard the Velvet Underground sometime in the winter of 1970 I was very drawn to the chaos of songs like Sister Ray and I Heard Her Call my Name, the dark humor of the Gift and the atonal mystery of Black Angel’s death song.
But I was also calmed by the beautiful Melodies of Sunday Morning and I’ll be your Mirror.
Lou Reed was a songwriter that reached into my viscera, all of the love, hate, fear and turmoil that churned inside me.
I bought in to the despair of Heroin and the insanity of White Light/ White Heat and lived my life that way for a long while.
It would really be trite to say I saw the light, it’s more of I’m set Free.
It took some time.
In that time I stopped playing Sunday Morning every Sunday morning, I lost that and all the other records I owned, among other things; I stopped going out to listen to music, stopped going to the movies and whatever else people do.
My world grew small, just me and no one else, not my wife of 16 years, or my child, or any friends I might have made along the way.
It has taken some time, and Sunday mornings now I spend with other like-minded people looking to fill that space in my soul that the song once filled.
It feels good and sometimes I go out for coffee with them afterwards, breakfast for real this time, since I’ve had a good night’s sleep and have lost the restless feeling inside.
Today I love the sun, the wind, and the rain. And the feeling inside.