27 responses Add your response
Played the first and last Velvets albums today in his honor and memory. Will spin a couple of favorite solo records tomorrow -- "New York" and "Magic and Loss," probably. When he was good -- which was often -- he was amazing. When he was maddeningly odd -- which wasn't infrequent -- he was still worth paying attention to.
I have always had a soft spot for Lou, and not sure why, in that I really do not know that much about him or his music, beyond the obvious. Maybe for the reason related by Airegin. Definitely a guy who influenced many and that retained a special place in their hearts and minds accordingly. That says a lot.
He was, for better and worse, an amazingly influential artist.
He definitely inspired a lot of the 70s artists who wanted to play with the idea that momentum was the key to r'n'r rhythm. Reed abstracted that into a laconic simmer that resonated with everyone from Brian Eno/Roxy and the prog guys that followed them to David Byrne and many, many more.
As Hodu noted, his catalog included a lot of questionable choices but also a lot of fantastic music. His first solo record remains a personal favorite. As Airegin noted, he consumed a lot of heroin over the years and that had to take a toll. I can't say that his stuff has been in regular rotation at my home recently, but I still hear echoes of his work in so much of the music that I do enjoy these days.
brian eno famously said that the velvet underground only sold 30,000 of their first record, but everyone who bought one started a band. works well as a eulogy. as noted above, his solo work is uneven--he made too many records--but still full of classics. perfect day, legendary hearts, kill your sons et. al. are as among the best songs ever written.
Lou was dining in a Northern Californian Pub with David Grisman and I was astonished to be waiting on them.
I left them alone and did not even act like I was star struck at all. I was however humming "Foggy Notion" to my self all throughout the evening. Any way a few minutes after serving him his salad he called me over. "What type of dressing does this salad have on it" sweet Lou asked. I said "red wine vinigrette". Lou flipped and said in a very pronounced manner, "I do not eat anything with alcohol in it" and promptly sent it back in a rage. Grisman was very embarrassed, I was confused.....but I still love Lou... RIP
Red wine vinegar is produced by the metabolization of alcohol to vinegar. There may be trace amounts of residual alcohol remaining (also true of many other products), but to suggest that a restaurant needs to announce that as alcoholic is a bit of a stretch. Do retaurants need to describe the vanilla ice cream as alcoholic if it includes vanilla extract? Give the place a break.
I'm hoping that Lou Reed misunderstood what the product is. (Maybe his server should have explained! ;-). He had a serious liver condition and a history of substance abuse, so I understand the sensitivity to consuming alcohol, but - even tho I'm not an MD - I'm guessing that the salad dressing wasn't going to be an issue for him.
I was a big Lost In Space fan as a kid and whenever I hear 'rest in peace" I think of that stupid head in a box from the episode "Treasure of the Lost Planet" saying "too bad, too bad, rest in peace , rest in peace" whenever one of the guest characters snuffed it hunting for the "treasure". Any one besides me remember that one?
Another of my early rock 'n roll heroes gone. Very sad! Lou and I didn't correspond but I was glad to know that artists like Lou were in the world. My wife and I saw him perform in 1972 at the Santa Monica Civic. About the time of "R&R Animal" and "Transformer". Many were dressed in transgender clothing and makeup (not us, actually). Lots of fun! I really liked his early works, "Sally Can't Dance" and "Berlin". Kind of lost interest after "Dirty Boulevard". He was an original, a legend in many circles. He will be missed!