Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lou Reed (1942 - 2013)

An excellent Lou Reed performance on Saturday Night Live Nov 15, 1986.

Note at the end when it almost sounds like booing but is actually people yelling "Louuuuuuu!"

Lou Reed is dead, Sam Kinison is dead, who knows who else in the video is dead. Someday there will probably be an app that will mark everyone in a video who has died with a little tombstone and the date of death.

Lou Reed was one of my all time favorite musicians. His singing style is close to spoken word but it is a style of singing.  My theory is that he sang that way on purpose to focus the audience's attention on the lyrics. There is an honesty in his way of singing that can be subtle.

I think in the 90s, Lou was interviewed by a very earnest Charlie Rose and was asked why the Velvet Underground reunion didn't stay together (specifically John Cale) and tour the US. Lou responded with something like "Uh, that's because we hate each other." Refreshing honesty and straightforwardness.

His volume of work is extensive and between the Velvet Underground and his solo career there are a huge number of songs I like. I don't think I'd recommend Metal Machine Music to anyone who likes his lyrics.

There is a difference between Lou solo and Lou with the Velvets performing the same song.

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