By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Once or twice when he was a teenager he got phone calls late at night, and he wouldn't tell us who it was. Years later I wound up working in New York for Andy Warhol, and one day after I'd been there about three years, Andy turned to me and said, "How's your brother? He used to send me letters as a kid, and he was the only fan whose letters I loved. One time he sent a letter saying he was going to run away, and I got worried so I called him at night and told him not to run away." I think Lance had lots of secrets like that because he was so different from the rest of the family.
Delilah Loud (sister): One of my earliest memories of Lance is of a night when the whole family learned to do the twist at a country club in Oregon. Lance was a total natural and I can remember his energy and physical prowess. He was always ready to kick it up and be silly. He kept his creative magic going throughout his illness too, and, as sick as he was, he never stopped wanting to go places. You couldn't keep him out of thrift stores, and I think that goes back to his roots in Santa Barbara, when he discovered that thrift stores were a way of learning a kind of social history that really interested him. Nothing made him happier than finding a wacky pair of plaid pants.
Victoria Galves (artist): One night in 1977 Lydia Lunch and I went to CBGB when the Mumps were playing. I saw Lance onstage in black leather pants and a bright red shirt, and said, "Who's that!" Lydia said, "That's Lance Loud. He's gay. Forget it." I said, "I don't care! He is great!" So we went backstage and I met him and wound up dancing onstage with him during their next set. Our relationship was confusing because he was gay, but we were kindred spirits and fell in love. One night we dressed as Sonny and Cher and went to the Mudd Club, where Lance wound up doing a duet with Joey Ramone on a completely punked out version of "Helter Skelter." He was always fun, and he could really zone in on what was cool about a person. Lance saw people the way they wanted to see themselves.
Margy Rochlin(journalist): Lance went through a period where he was acting in a lot of plays, and I remember going to one of them and rushing in at the last minute only to discover there was just one other person in the audience. The play began and the cast was grimly marching through it, when out comes Lance. He said a few lines, then turned and looked at me and said, "Hi, Margy." Throughout the rest of the play he would address me directly.
Rob Sheiffele (television producer): Last summer I took him to a hospital, and the nurse was running through her list of questions as she admitted him. She asked him if he had any religious beliefs, and he replied, "Baked goods." The nurse said "What?" And he said, "Yes, baked goods. When I got off drugs, I didn't turn to God, I turned to baked goods." The nurse immediately loved him.
Debbie Trent (nurse): As all his friends know, Lance had a serious relationship with drugs, but I understood why he took them. Life was so big for Lance that he wanted to soak it all in at once. There was always more to do, more to read, more people to talk to. He had such a jack-rabbit mind. He was also very kind. When my husband left me after 20 years, it was Lance who came and brought boxes and packed up his stuff. It was Lance who picked me up and dropped me off at the airport, and Lance who painted my bathroom. He was an incredibly giving friend.
Bryan Rabin(nightclub impresario): Lance was a hurricane of a human being. He took me under his wing and in his crazy way really guided me. When you were with Lance, he made you feel like you were the most important person in the world, but Lance blew in and out quickly so you had to grab everything you could when you were with him. I think he moved fast because he was afraid he'd be discovered as a big fraud -- which, of course, he wasn't. He was able to move from high society to the most downtrodden filth in town with great elegance.
Jeff Spurrier(journalist): He had a sharp tongue and wasn't afraid to turn it on himself. Given his condition, he spent remarkably little time feeling sorry for himself, and regardless of how self-absorbed he sometimes seemed, he was always extremely loving to the people around him.
David Keeps(journalist): Lance imprinted very strongly on an entire generation, particularly people struggling with issues of sexual identity. I regarded Lance as an absolute hero when An American Family aired. Here was someone who was not only unashamedly gay but extremely attractive. I had a huge crush on him. When I was an editor at Detailsin the early '80s and found out he was a writer, I had an opportunity to work with him. I was really excited. He had a great grasp of language, and his critique of pop culture was brilliant, but writing was hard for him. When you become a television celebrity, especially the way that he did, all you have to do is show up and talk, and Lance was good at that. But getting Lance's stream-of-consciousness genius down on paper is another story.