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R.I.P. Lou Reed – My Remembrance

October 28, 2013

glam lrold loulou reed

A few years before I “discovered” Lou Reed, I “discovered” his fellow Velvet Underground cohort John Cale via Cale’s Sabotage/Live (recorded in 1979 at the CBGB – doesn’t get more rock and roll than that).  I played that album gray.  I didn’t have a clue who John Cale was – I just read a review that sparked my interest.  I have never owned another John Cale LP or Velvet album for another 30 years.

I knew who Lou Reed was, “Walk On The Wild Side” was one of the most arresting singles I have ever heard on the radio.  But I did not become a fan until  I fell in love with his brilliant mid-80s classic LP New Sensations.  I saw Lou live in Minneapolis when he was touring that album.  I was struck by New Sensation’s simplicity, humor, New Wave feel, but most of all Lou’s irresistible cool.

I started to explore his catalog with a wonderful compilation, the double LP: Rock And Roll Diary 1967-1980.  That album had Velvet songs and Lou solo.  One of the coolest part of that album was the quote on the back: “Record One of this two album set was assembled from various sources and the sound quality is less than state of art.  The music more than compensates for any loss in fidelity.”  Amen to that!

It took me a few years to “get” The Blue Mask, but what an amazing album that is once you are ready to hear it.

Lou did me a major favor when he covered Dylan’s “Foot of Pride” from a Dylan album I never understood – Street Legal.  Lou managed to find a gem in one of Dylan’s most under-appreciated albums.  The cover was the standout track from a 29 track all-star Bob Dylan tribute album/concert: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.  Ironically Street Legal was the first Dylan album I ever bought and I hated it.  Lou elevated Street Legal to one of my top-5 favorite Dylan albums.

I am one of the handful of people who actually liked Lulu – Lou Reed and Metallica together at last.

And how cool was it that Lou was married to Laurie Anderson – whose “O Superman” was one of the most offbeat hits of the 80’s (if not all time). What a cool couple they must have been.

So Lou I will miss you – a true rock and roll icon.  I will use your death as reason to truly study your catalog.  Just today I “re-discovered” two absolute gems: “Pale Blue Eyes” and “Street Hassle.”  R.I.P. Lou Reed.


From → Music Reviews

  1. I like your blog post. I too really liked Lou Reed’s performance at the MSG Bobfest. I’ve never heard anyone else (but you) talk about it so fondly.

  2. Saw Lou in 1991 in KC for the New York tour. The opening band was the Feelies, who have been my favorite band since (along with all their side projects).

  3. Lous been on the record pile for a long time and so has Cale. Have most of Cales albums and they are consistently good. In fact a few faves. Good piece.

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