The Other Faces Of Lou Reed Transform
Lou Reed has passed away at the age of 71. He is a tall figure who was credited faces with creating 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico, one of the most influential rock albums in history.
He was also instrumental in preparing the ground for punk and glam. Reed was the grumpy center of a zeitgeist throughout his entire life.
Oddly enough, Lou Reed’s first memory is of him riding a Honda scooter and saying “Hey. Do not settle for walking. I first saw Lou Reed on television as a teenager. He was there on American suburban television, and then he vanished. It almost seemed like nothing had happened.
As I viewed the video again on YouTube this morning it struck me how normal Reed looked. He was so healthy and well-respected when he was riding his red scooter, while Walk on the Wild Side, which accompanied jump cuts of New York at night, played underneath.
One of the comments below the video was a simple, confused wail from daveny1979, which was posted a few month ago. THIS HAPPENED.
It was Great Artist Faces
Many Reed’s obituaries seem to feel the need to make him the Great Artist that we knew he was. His band was his most influential, his work most daring, and his feelings were his most felt. It seems to me, however, that Reed’s life, and the facts of his biography alone, should make it difficult for any superlatives to be attributed. His portraits are merely laudatory, but he was an interesting artist.
Coney Island Baby Faces
A recently reissued copy Up-Tight: The Velvet Underground Story contains a passage that captures something about Reed.
The book is mainly a collection of long quotes from people who were in New York at the time all these events were taking place.
Tony Conrad is now widely regarded as an important artist but was only a member in good standing of a pseudo-rock-and-roll group. Conrad notices something about Reed that is crucial for explaining many of the events that followed.
Conrad relates how John Cale, a founding member of The Velvet Underground, lived with him at 56 Ludlow Street in Manhattan.
We had worked for a while with LaMonte Young doing extremely strict, regimented tasks that were quite intense.
Conrad recalled that he used to love to go home after a long day of work in avant-garde aesthetics. He would play Hank Williams, and blast songs from his huge 45 collection. Conrad says that Cale and he found “something very liberating” about rock music.
Their next-door neighbour knew some men who owned a Coney Island record label and said that they were looking for long-haired guys to start a rock band. They met Pickwick Records, the label’s owners, at one of their neighbour’s parties.
They agreed to go during what Conrad calls an interview. This strange cinderblock warehouse pack with records from floor to ceiling. These sleazeballs, weirdos in polyester suits, had a small hole in the wall room with some Ampex tape recorders.
Conrad continues, They had gone back to the office with one of their writers. And gone insane one night recording a few of their songs. They had decided to release them but need a cover band because they were being listen to by executives and creepos.
Conrad and his bandmates heard The Ostrich and decided to play some gigs to promote it. He recalls that the next weekend Conrad and his bandmates. Listened to The Ostrich and agreed to play some gigs to promote the record.
They discovered that the car had a fourth member. The guy who actually wrote and recorded the song was Lou Reed. He was 22.