14 August 2008

Sweet Jane

Too bad the Beatles never wrote a song as good as Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane." There are a few songs I like better. Just about all of them are by the Sex Pistols. (By the way it was Johnny Rotten who turned my ear back to Neil Young's music after I had been ignoring him, like all the old hippies, for a short while.)

A lot of Canadians were sure proud when Lou Reed said he figured the Cowboy Junkies' version of Sweet Jane was better than the Velvet Underground's. It was like we had won the Stanley Cup of Cool. I hear the Junkies' version occasionally on the radio and in elevators. The Junkies are one of the few bands from eastern Canada that measure up to their superior western Canadian competition.

I like the version of Sweet Jane on Lou's Rock 'n' Roll Animal record the best. The song sweats amphetamines. Rock 'n' Roll Animal was the Everest I climbed my every waking moment.

I heard an mp3 of Lou doing the song much later in his career that I really liked too. I think the performance was recorded at his induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. He uses the word "motherfucker" like few others. The tears Lou shed when he was inducted were every bit as meaningful as the Sex Pistols not bothering to show up.

1 comment:

ib said...

"The hero's gone, but he's not forgotten..."

Yes, it was "Rust Never Sleeps"/"Live Rust" which got me listening to Neil Young again too.

"Rock n' Roll Animal" has one of the best sleeve images of Lou ever. I will have to listen to the version of "Sweet Jane" on it again, although - blind (?) - I really can't concede it comes close to "Loaded" or "1969 Live".

I like your line "The song sweats amphetamines", motherfucker. Nice.