Saturday, November 02, 2013


It must have been the autumn of 1982 when my pal John D. S. introduced me to a peculiar rock artist by means of showing me an LP cover with a banana on it, and exposing me to some songs on cassette. That album, it turned out, was the debut album of an alternative rock band, the Velvet Underground, with vocal assistance on it by the then as now obscure German singer Nico (that's a she, btw). The two main characters in VU were, so I learned from my friend, John Cale... and a fella by the name Lou Reed. I HAD to know them to be cool.

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And right he was. Back in those days, I was a rock illiterate, having to rely on mainstream radio to reconnoitre the musical landscape of the day. Needless to say, if that's your only source of information you'll indeed stay pretty much a novice re the real stuff. Occasionally some good music would come my way, like The Police's De do do do de da da da (from the 1980 album Zenyatta Mondatta), or The Clash's Rock the Casbah. Heck, I'd rate even The Buggles' Video killed the radio star as acceptable. But most of the time it was crap like Bucks Fizz with Making your Mind Up, Super Trooper by ABBA and stuff like that.

In that faraway autumn John all of a sudden changed that, and before long I was acquainted with Rush (Moving Pictures!), Steve Winwood, The Kinks, Uriah Heep, VU and... Lou Reed. Amongst others.

Anyway, here's a triplet of quintessential Lou Reed songs. No, I won't include Walk on the Wild Side, which I do consider his signature song btw. It's just that I figure you'll come across that one on more than enough eulogies. Caroline Says is good, but not accessible enough for this occasion - plus I'm not in the mood for it. Sweet Jane sounds a bit inappropriate for the moment. So here's Real good time together instead.

From Street Hassle (1978).

Satellite of Love comes second:

From another iconic album, Transformer (1972).

And to top it off, what better song than Perfect Day?

The very first Lou Reed song I got to know. From the same album.

Thanks Lou. As I grow older, you learn to acknowledge and appreciate the influences in life that shape, inform, and amuse you. You were one of those man. Thanks again, and RIP.

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God bless.