Veteran rocker Lou Reed accepted a bizarre honour in New York on Saturday (19Jun10) - when he agreed to rule as king over the annual beachfront Mermaid Parade.
The singer and his wife Laurie Anderson took to the boardwalk at the kooky Coney Island event in his native Brooklyn to preside as king and queen over the ceremony, which celebrates marine life.
But the devastating effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was not far from people's minds - many parade participants, who dressed up as mermaids and sea creatures for the annual party, marked their skin with black body paint to represent the disaster's impact on local birds and sea life.