Monday 28 October 2013


Impossibly over-rated poltroon, Professor Lou Reed, has died, aged 71, shortly after a dreadfully bourgeois liver transplant.  Reed was famous twice-over, firstly with 'sixties New York druggie band the Velvet Underground and then for his 1972  LP, Transformer, produced by David Bowie;  Bowie, a screaming bisexual, was the Danny la Rue de nos jours, a female impersonator who transfixed many, most of whom should have known better. 

Bowie had a hit with novelty record,  Space Oddity, in the late 'sixties and then forced his way into youth consciousness with a series of invented and pharmaceutically fuelled camp personalities,  all the young dudes and dudesses loved  Bowie's screeching, his make-up and his hairstyles and his Transformer collaboration with Reed shoved the latter into make-up and black nail varnish.  


Transformer, amongst other trash, contained the atrocious Perfect Day, the ghastly Walk On The Wild Side and was redeemed only by the hypnotic ooh-oohing of Satellite of Love.

Reed couldn't sing and claimed that one chord was good, two chords were bad and three chords were jazz.  Much is made, nevertheless,  of the protopunkness of the Velvet Underground, who were little more than a warring, musically disparate  quartet which was wheeled around by fellow non-artist, Andy Warhol, to his various Happenings at which they would play, sort-of, while acting as a screen for his precious movies.  It was all shit.  I have the early Velvets' records and, y'know,  there's the odd funky track -Waitin' for the Man, Sweet Jane, All Tomorrow's Parties, Pale Blue Eyes - and all of them, Reed compositions, are infinitely better performed by others.

Like many others, however, with too much front - people like Morrisey, whoever he may be -  Reed lived long enough to become a grande dame and a weepy, once-counterculture-now-mainstream music press laments his death as though he were Shakespeare, instead of a sublimely lucky prat.

No, the true avant-gardeistes of the 'sixties and 'seventies were Frank Zappa and the incomparable Captain Beefheart, love them or hate them and I do both,  they were soaring, inspired maniacs;  Reed was, throughout his overblown and irrelevant career nothing more than - in the proper gobby, worthless sense of the word - just a punk.

Pete and Lou;  no business like show business.
There is a YouClip of Reed being hosannahed  by  the boy-obsessed Pete Nose, of the Oo.  Pete claiming, as they haltingly duet, that he loves Lou.  Takes one to know one, she smiles.  I'll try to post it, it's simply the worst version  of Pale Blue Eyes, although even the best versions don't amount to much



Anonymous said...

I seem to recall Sweet Jane by the Cowboy Junkies wasn't bad...

call me ishmael said...

It WAS, mr rwg, a good, if commonplace chord progression, D-A-G-Bminor repeated and absolutely nothing wrong with that but it wasn't, as Lou would have it, literature. Don't know the Cowboy Junkies but it sounds like a more apposite name for the Velvets that the Velvet Underground.

Verge said...

Isn't google wonderful? the following search ("please kill me" + "shit in my mouth") will take discerning readers to a scan of a page in an oral history of 70's New York music where darling Lou tries to chat up some poor cow in a bar. The wit, the panache, the derring-do. (OK, maybe they made it up so we don't have to, but still...)

Didn't he sing "I wanna be black" once? He is now.

mrs narcolept said...

bom-bom-bom satellite of love
bom-bom-bom satellite of love
bom-bom-bom satellite of love
Sa tel lite of
oo -wee-oo
Of lo-o-o-ove

Now on a loop inside my head until something else takes its place.

Liversalt said...

I wasn't to keen on Julie Andrews.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, you wrote it better than I, mrs n. I got my ooh-oohs and my bom-bom-boms mixed up. but Hey, it's only rick'n'roll. Or not.

You worry me, sometimes, mr verge; worse than me, I often think.

Verge said...

A compliment graciously given and gladly received...