Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ten O' Clock Classics

Entering senior year of LaGuardia "Fame" high school in post 9/11 New York, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground were my smoky voiced survival soundtrack. Lou's stark lyrics conjured an alluring boozy bohemian side of the rough streets I was raised in. Five years later, I've drunk my way through countless degrading downtown dramas to emerge not too badly singed in time to meet Lou for Ten O' Clock Classics brilliant benefit.

(Dr. Dan Richman, Dominic Chianese, Actor/Singer & Carrie Waible)

(Fern Jelen, Ben Jelen & Ailyn Perez, World Renowned Opera Singer)

(Yannick Noah performs)

(Ronen Segev, T.O.C. founder, Michelle Suna, Artist)

T.O.C. was founded by Ronen Segen in 2000 in an effort to bring classical music to untraditional venues with celebrity hosts in order to raise funds for the finest young musicians in NYC public schools. Appropriately hosted off Union Square ("Run Run Run"), the evening brought together a slew of charitable stars including Yannick Noah, Ben Jelen, Dominic Chianese and native New Yorker artist Michelle Suna.

(Lou Reed with the T.O.C. kids)

(Lou and his guitar)

I eagerly awaited Lou's arrival, excited to meet someone whose songs I felt reflected my own hurt. When Lou walked in, his assistant immediately demanded a Diet Coke, while Reed hid from photographers. Though I never got to greet the elusive legend, the real rock stars of the night were T.O.C.'s musical prodigies who performed with Ben Yelen to wild applause. Though Lou--and sometimes I--might be over the downtown scene that wore us ragged, it's nice to know that a hopeful young generation is still making music.

Photos, Jakes


Anonymous said...

LOve the Velvets. Cool Lou is doing music with kids even if he is a mystery man

Anonymous said...

Lou Reed is just always going to be shrouded in mystery, that is just how he lives. They should turn him into a muppet for the new muppet movie! Whose with me on that?!?

Anonymous said...

He was actually a total asshole, screaming at photographers in front of the kids--inside scoop--just sayin

Anonymous said...

Lou should totally be asshole walk on the wild side muppet!