Walk on the Wild Side was defining moment for town

The poster from when Lou Reed came to Aylesbury
The poster from when Lou Reed came to Aylesbury

Aylesbury businessman and promoter David Stopps, the man behind Friars Aylesbury music club, has paid tribute to legendary singer, songwriter Lou Reed who died on Sunday, aged 71.

Mr Stopps met the American musician back in the 1970s when Reed first played the old Market Square Assembley Hall.

Mr Stopps said: “Lou Reed was a huge influence on the way that Friars Aylesbury developed in the early years.

“When Bowie first played Friars on September 12th 1971 he encored with the Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ and included the song in his set for both subsequent performances in January 1972 and July 1972 saying that it was Friars Aylesbury’s song.”

The Velvet Underground themselves played Friars on 12th November 1972 but without Reed.

Reed’s one and only Friars Aylesbury performance took place on 29th July 1972 the week after Bowie’s famous Friars Ziggy Stardust gig and the week before that Roxy Music played Friars.

Mr Stopps added: “The summer of 1972 was a magic time for Friars and Aylesbury.

“All these classic gigs happened at the Borough Assembly Hall in the Market Square.

“One of the enduring moments of Lou’s performance in Aylesbury was when a famous and well liked Aylesbury town dog affectionately known as ‘Sailor’s dog’ after its owner came in to the Borough Assembly Hall during Lou’s set.

“The dog perused the situation and observed that everyone seemed to be looking at the stage.

“The dog then made its way on to the stage, sat down at Lou’s feet and looked out in to the audience as he played. Lou looked down and thought he was hallucinating.

“Lou Reed with his association with David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Andy Warhol provided the compass for 20th Century music in the Western world….and particularly in Aylesbury.”

Friars returns to the Waterside Theatre on Friday, November 8, with a sell out gig from Aylesbury based band Marillion. See next week’s Bucks Herald for interview and story.