Lou Reed created music that will live on for as long as songs are sung – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted by Google News | Industry News | lunes 28 octubre 2013 1:53 am

Lou Reed (bottom left) with The Velvet Underground and Nico (front,

As a young man growing up in relatively affluent circumstances in New York in
the Fifties and Sixties, he had a very difficult relationship with his
family and suffered incarceration in mental institutions and
electroconvulsive therapy supposedly to cure him of bisexual tendencies.

He poured all his energies into rock and roll, concocting a literary street
style that was distinctively contemporary. With the Velvet Underground in
1966, Reed struck out against the prevailing mood of flower power by
creating urban tableaux mired in the dark appeal of hard drugs,
sadomasochism, prostitution and gender-bending, matching the complexity of
his lyrics with a bold, dark sonic palette.

The Velvets only released four albums before breaking up in 1971, radio
ignored them and not many people bought them, but with their Warhol endorsed
chic, poisonous attitude, atonal vocals, shuddering rhythms and thrashy
distorting guitars, they became godfathers of art rock, punk, indie and

Cited as inspiration by David Bowie, Roxy Music and The Sex Pistols, the
Velvet template can be detected in every band who have favoured noise,
attitude, experimentalism (and perhaps the vampiric appeal of wearing
sunglasses at night) over ordinary commercial criteria.

It is probably fair to say that no other band ever achieved so little success
in their time and yet exerted such a vast influence on those who followed.

Reed’s solo career was enormously varied and wildly erratic, from the glam
rock meets music hall triumph of 1972’s ‘Transformer’ (produced by David
Bowie) to the freeform heavy metal operatics of Lulu
(made with Metallica
in 2011). He divided critics but declared himself unmoved.

“Who cares?” he snapped, when I mentioned the confused critical response
during an encounter in Paris in 2011. “I could give two s—-. I never wrote
for them then, I don’t write for them now, I have no interest in what they
have to say about anything. I write for me.”

Reed was a notoriously difficult interview subject with a reputation for being
insulting, evasive, and sometimes just monosyllabic. But the last time I met
him, I got a surprising sense of the vulnerability underpinning Reed’s
surliness, as this now rather frail, bespectacled old man reached out to ask
me to champion his unloved latest album.

“I was trying to escape the simplistic form, and find a different kind of
melodic form, but still rock … All this stuff is about emotion, I mean, why
else do it?” Gripping my arm, tightly, and staring into my eyes, he started
to recite Macbeth’s famous monologue in a low drawling voice.

“Out, out brief candle, life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that
struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”

He wanted me to understand that what he was aspiring to was the very highest
form of timeless art, that he wanted to be Shakespeare rather than Elvis.

“Hey, if I could get there, climb that particular ladder. It would be a
bitch,” he told me. “You have to pass through blood to get there, wherever
it is.”

Source Article from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/10407808/Lou-Reed-created-music-that-will-live-on-for-as-long-as-songs-are-sung.html

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