In case you missed it, Lou Reed died this week. This is sad but we still have his music!
I’d been fascinated by music and words since I was a young child. One of my heroes was Lou Reed, whose lyrics I admired as much as I really didn’t understand them. I still don’t understand how my parents didn’t even blink when I kept screaming around the house: “You’re so vicious!”
Anyhow, I always had an idea that he was an important artist and that’s why I did even more my best to understand him. I mostly failed at this, because Lou Reed’s world of cross gender, hard drugs and the “glamorous” club of fringe artists in New York was hardly like mine.
Lou Reed never became hugely popular because of his “difficult” way of expressing himself. Parents just didn’t think his music was good for their kids, the music industry didn’t think his music would sell millions of CDs and listeners were put off by the depressing vision in his songs and on top of all that the noisy guitars made you deaf.
So why do I still like his songs and hope you like them too?
1 Humour and shock is a good combination. The content can be a bit mean, but it’s still funny.
When I see you coming
I just have to run
You’re not good and you certainly aren’t
very much fun
This is from “Vicious.”
The lyrics are here.
Another (crude) gem is:
But when someone turns that blue
Well, it’s a universal truth
And then you just know that bitch will never fuck again (From “Street Hassle”)
2 Because of the poetry.
Just a perfect day
you made me forget myself
I thought I was
someone else, someone good (From “Perfect Day”)
way up to Mars
Soon it will be filled
with parking cars (From “Satellite of Love”)
She screamed in her jeans as he picked up her knees
From off of the formica topped bar
And cascading slowly, he lifted her wholly
And boldly out of this world (From “Street Hassle”)
I’m sure you know “Walk on the Wild Side,” which is one of his most famous hits.
3 Simple guitar tunes but beautiful.
Nothing wrong with ridiculously long guitar intros in “Sweet Jane.”