by Dr. Margie Nichols
When Lou Reed’s New York album came out in 1989, many friends and I related instantly. It was hard, harsh and gritty. It expressed the anger, cynicism and mistrust of the government that we all felt. Although only one song, ‘Halloween Parade,’ explicitly referenced gay people and AIDS, it was easy for us queers who were surrounded by the disease and faced with society’s hatred of gay men and the government’s homicidal negligence to identify with Reed’s polemical songs about classism, racism, xenophobia and environmental plunder. They also expressed pain, hopelessness, despair – and yet, in addition, a shred of hope and mysticism. And some songs did all of this in one, like ‘Busload of Faith.’ One of my most vivid memories of that era, one that makes me smile and cry at the same time, is of IPG therapist Curt Schulze and me singing that song together at the top of our lungs. Curt died a couple of years later, of AIDS.