It’s the morning after the day he died and already I’m sick of hearing a whole series of creepy crawlies claiming the late Lou Reed as one of their own.
Really? Why don’t they piss on his corpse while they’re at it?
The whole point about Lou Reed was his refusal to compromise. He would not play the integration game; not for all the heroin in China. In his hands, uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll became as relentless as Rothko; minimal (three chords and it’s already jazz, he complained) to the max. In his mouth, ‘Perfect Day’ became the romance of alienation; because love is for someone else, someone good.
There are only two moments in your life when you can legitimately listen to Lou Reed.
As a teenager, to whom he represents the New York City / Big Apple version of all that angst which you, in your suburban mediocrity, can only dream about. And all the weird sex and drugs which you, still in your suburban mediocrity, can also only dream about. (I first heard Transformer the day I also saw Cabaret and was approached on the way home by a rouged up old roué; of course I didn’t.) But when you’re still a teenager you might still actually do some of it, in which case it’s fine to lay claim to the songs which Uncle Lou is singing for you.