31 October 2013
My Lou Reed
Memory checked my time with Lou Reed.
Lester Bangs, who tipped me off to so many great things, introduced me to Lou in Creem. Before then listened mainly to British hard rock. I liked Status Quo, Free, Hawkwind and Humble Pie best.
Bought Lou's first solo record. I would get stoned at night and fall asleep listening to "Ocean."
"Berlin" was next. Bought it at Fred's Records in St. John's. Played it the first few times on my grandparent's kitchen console stereo. They must have loved me because they did not rip it off the turntable and smash it to bits. Lou Reed is no Rufus Guinchard or Art Scammell.
"Coney Island Baby." Worth being a Lou Reed fan a thousand times over all by itself. Black nail polish at the dinner table. My dad weighing the possible consequences of murdering a son surely gone queer.
"Transformer," which I bought a used copy of from an electonic fix-it shop that also sold a few old records, could not have cost more than a few bucks. I would later buy a used copy of "Metal Machine Music" in the same store. (Come to think of it, that is where I bought my first Status Quo, Free and Electric Prune records.)
The next I may have bought in England. "Sally Can't Dance." The boys in my school, astonished I had not heard them, introduced me to the Velvet Underground. Bought the four VU records while I was there. England fucking rocks. (Or should I say used to rock?)
"Rock 'n Roll Heart" was released when I was in England. Bought the record, saw the show. The third of three sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon, a Thursday. Two hours. Twenty minutes. Lou's guitar was ten times louder than anyone else in his band. Always loved "Chooser and the Chosen One."
Playing two chord compositions in British basements fueled by blonde hashish from Lebanon and cheap English bitter.
Nearabouts the same time saw the Pink Fairies play. They played a 15 minute long version of "Waiting For the Man." I had never heard anything quite so motherfucking grand.
"Street Hassle" entertaining my neighbours and I in my first punk rock apartment. "You'd eat shit and say it tasted good/If there was some money in it for you." My favourite couplet of all time.
You getting the idea of how much Lou Reed meant to me? Always preferred his solo records to his Velvet Underground shit. And his very best record is his last one: "Lulu." Loud and proud. My Lou Reed, motherfuckers. Took no prisoners to the bitter motherfucking end.