Lou Reed, the Music Snob

Sea Devil

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I met Lou once. I had given him a couple super-rare tapes of him from 1972-3 (since "discovered" by a musicologist, to much fanfare) via a mutual friend. I told him I was the source, and he said, "Wow! Thanks!" I promptly excused myself, having had a totally positive experience with a notoriously difficult character.

None of the multiple friends who've met him had a bad experience either, for whatever that's worth.

(I was the archivist of Andy Warhol's audio tapes, which is how I came across them.)
 

Larry F

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Michael Bloomfield said the same thing about the San Francisco bands – at the time when they were most popular. I’m inclined to say the same thing about Lou Reed.
Steve Miller said the same thing.

I played in some bands with guys who went to school with the Dead roadies. Ken Kesey was from Eastern Oregon, and I suppose that was the initial connection.

The bass player in my bands at the time was very enamoured of Phil Lesh, and the electronics that the Alembic guys developed for his bass. It inspired my friend to do some cool experiments of his own.

Two things I came away with: a profound hatred for the song Casey Jones. Once the song began, it seemed like there was no end in sight. The other thing is that my friends and I were convinced that the acid they brought up from San Francisco was Owsley's. Some of it was called Window Pane.
 

boris bubbanov

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Always warms my heart when my views are 180 degrees from Lou Reed.

Just like the Beatles told people "Bo Didley" when they asks for sources of influence (and not skiffle), so a lot of busy people without time to waste describing their influences would just say "Velvets" to get the interview over with or avoid hurting the kinds of people whose feelings are most easily hurt.

I was born in New York, for Goodness Sake. But I think NYC, when it comes to non classical music, is totally overrated. Especially during the Lou Reed/Ramones era. Gimme Leonard Bernstein, please.
 

Edgar Allan Presley

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Great thread.

FWIW Lou Reed was the kind of musician who would wrap up a set and as people in the front rows were leaving he'd invite the folks with the cheaper tickets to come fill their seats for another encore. I appreciate every time I had the chance to see him live and the couple times I met him he was engaging and genuine.
And I don't doubt for a second he'd tell Dylan to shut up at a party.
I think Dylan is one of the 20th century's greatest artists in any medium or genre, and I think he's the only genius popular music produced in the rock and roll era. And I'd probably tell Dylan to shut up at a party.

Those four real Velvet Underground albums are just about perfect, and each perfect in a wholly different way. If Lou Reed did nothing else, he'd still have been a legend. I wish I could have seen him perform.
 

David Barnett

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I was born in New York, for Goodness Sake. But I think NYC, when it comes to non classical music, is totally overrated. Especially during the Lou Reed/Ramones era. Gimme Leonard Bernstein, please.

For the country's most cosmopolitan city, NY can be surprisingly insular.

I remember Syd Straw, she was supposed to be "the next big thing" for quite some time, but never gained any traction outside NY.

And then there's Broadway - does anyone outside of Manhattan really care anything about musical theater?
 

Mark617

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I get it, it’s his opinion. Once again Lou wanted to be relevant, he wanted to be the smartest in the room. But as usual, he fails. Pete and the Kinks don’t do it for him ? Lol ok
Quadrophenia
The Preservation Society

Or Sweet Jane…lol the first 3 chorder most of us learned
 

57joonya

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The word narcissist gets thrown around a lot these days….. but Lou was a true one it would seem. And he seemed to enjoy saying things just for the shock value .I don’t agree with all he said here , it’s Hilarious though
 

57joonya

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Few more for you –

30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire “I get really tired of their pompousness [sic]… We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like sh*t. People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it… They have good tunes, but they’re pr*cks, so f*ck ‘em.”

29. Christina Aguilera on Lady Gaga “I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.”

28. David Lee Roth on Elvis Costello “Music journalists like Elvis Costello because music journalists look like Elvis Costello.”

27. Lily Allen on Cheryl Cole “Taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying. Your mother must be so proud. Stupid b*tch.”

26. Trent Reznor on Marilyn Manson “A malicious guy [who] will step on anybody’s face to succeed, and cross any line of decency.

25. Mark E Smith on Mumford & Sons “There was this other group warming up … and they were terrible. I said, ‘Shut them c*nts up!’ And they were still warming up, so I threw a bottle at them … I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers.”

24. Courtney Love on Dave Grohl “As for that drummer, well, he’s hit on me so many times. He’s just a very very conflicted guy about me, which is why he continually writes songs about me to hear he ‘hates’ me more than ‘anyone else.’ Kurt loathed HIM more than anyone else (except a journalist) … He’s just sub-mediocre kind of [guy] who does this ‘nice guy’ nonsense.”

23. Dave Grohl on Courtney Love “She’s an ugly f*cking b*tch.”

22. Kathleen Hanna on Courtney Love “Where’s the baby? In the closet with an IV?”

21. Paul Weller on Freddie Mercury “He said he wanted to bring ballet to the working classes. What a c*nt.”

20. Richey Edwards on The Levellers “You could go to any Levellers concert and stand in the middle and shout, ‘Jeremy!’, and 75% of the audience would turn round.”

19. Kurt Cobain on Guns N’ Roses “They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.”

18. Nick Cave on Red Hot Chili Peppers “I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the f*ck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

17. Noel Gallagher on Kaiser Chiefs “They play dress-up and sit on top of an apex of meaninglessness. They don’t mean anything to anybody apart from their f*cking ugly girlfriends.”

16. Alan McGee on Coldplay “Coldplay are the dictionary definition of corporate rock. The singer is about as weird as Phil Collins. They are career rock personified. EMI should’ve signed Otis The Aadvark instead. At least he only sucks his thumb rather than corporate c*ck.”

15. Elvis Costello on Morrissey “Morrissey writes wonderful song titles, but sadly he often forgets to write the song.”

14. Noel Gallagher on Jack White “He looks like Zorro on doughnuts.”

13. Rick James on Prince “A little short ego-ed f*cker who I had a feeling didn’t like people of his own race and wanted to be white and taller.”

12. Mark “E” Everett on The Beatles “John Lennon sings about peace because he’s a woman-beater. Hippies are so full of sh*t.”

11. Richey Edwards on Slowdive “We hate Slowdive more than we hate Hitler.”

10. Ian Brown on Bono “He’s such a fake, isn’t he? When he did Live Aid, which made them a worldwide group … he looked out and [saw] that black girl in the middle of all them people, and she’s from Hackney or something, and he was like, ‘Here’s a great shot for me around the world to show I’m Mr Africa.’ It’s like colonialist times with a big white hat.”

9. Robert Smith on Morrissey “If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I’ll eat meat — that’s how much I hate Morrissey.”

8. Morrissey on Bob Geldof “Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Band Aid was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.”

7. Noel Gallagher on Liam Gallagher “He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”

6. Boy George on Madonna “A vile, hideous human being with no redeeming qualities.”

5. Boy George on Elton John “All that money, and he’s still got hair like a f*cking dinner lady.”

4. Elton John on Keith Richards “It’s like a monkey with arthritis, trying to go onstage and look young.”

3. Morrissey on Brett Anderson “He’ll never forgive God for not making him Angie Bowie.”

2. Anton Newcombe on Eric Clapton “People talk about Eric Clapton. What has he ever done except throw his baby off a f*ckin’ ledge and write a song about it?”

1. Tupac on The Notorious BIG All of “Hit ‘Em Up,” really, but particularly this: “I f*cked your *****, you fat motherf*cker.
Great stuff!
 

Killing Floor

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I think Dylan is one of the 20th century's greatest artists in any medium or genre, and I think he's the only genius popular music produced in the rock and roll era. And I'd probably tell Dylan to shut up at a party.

Those four real Velvet Underground albums are just about perfect, and each perfect in a wholly different way. If Lou Reed did nothing else, he'd still have been a legend. I wish I could have seen him perform.
Yeah. I love Dylan and I love a lot of Lou Reed and VU. I also think it’s amusing when celebrity dirty laundry comes to light. I could see Reed being opinionated. I could see Dylan not worrying about it. Both are brilliant.
 

Lockback

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Pretty much my take too.
I never understood Lou Reed's appeal. Never thought he had a lick of talent. So I read his comments with interest. I was pleased to see he loved the Beatles. And that he didn't care for Zappa, who I take as grossly overrated. But I disagree with as many as I agree with. Or vice versa.
Or something.
P.S. Can't stand Dylan either. Ugh.
 

bottlenecker

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Few more for you –

30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire “I get really tired of their pompousness [sic]… We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like sh*t. People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it… They have good tunes, but they’re pr*cks, so f*ck ‘em.”

29. Christina Aguilera on Lady Gaga “I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.”

28. David Lee Roth on Elvis Costello “Music journalists like Elvis Costello because music journalists look like Elvis Costello.”

27. Lily Allen on Cheryl Cole “Taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying. Your mother must be so proud. Stupid b*tch.”

26. Trent Reznor on Marilyn Manson “A malicious guy [who] will step on anybody’s face to succeed, and cross any line of decency.

25. Mark E Smith on Mumford & Sons “There was this other group warming up … and they were terrible. I said, ‘Shut them c*nts up!’ And they were still warming up, so I threw a bottle at them … I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers.”

24. Courtney Love on Dave Grohl “As for that drummer, well, he’s hit on me so many times. He’s just a very very conflicted guy about me, which is why he continually writes songs about me to hear he ‘hates’ me more than ‘anyone else.’ Kurt loathed HIM more than anyone else (except a journalist) … He’s just sub-mediocre kind of [guy] who does this ‘nice guy’ nonsense.”

23. Dave Grohl on Courtney Love “She’s an ugly f*cking b*tch.”

22. Kathleen Hanna on Courtney Love “Where’s the baby? In the closet with an IV?”

21. Paul Weller on Freddie Mercury “He said he wanted to bring ballet to the working classes. What a c*nt.”

20. Richey Edwards on The Levellers “You could go to any Levellers concert and stand in the middle and shout, ‘Jeremy!’, and 75% of the audience would turn round.”

19. Kurt Cobain on Guns N’ Roses “They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.”

18. Nick Cave on Red Hot Chili Peppers “I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the f*ck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

17. Noel Gallagher on Kaiser Chiefs “They play dress-up and sit on top of an apex of meaninglessness. They don’t mean anything to anybody apart from their f*cking ugly girlfriends.”

16. Alan McGee on Coldplay “Coldplay are the dictionary definition of corporate rock. The singer is about as weird as Phil Collins. They are career rock personified. EMI should’ve signed Otis The Aadvark instead. At least he only sucks his thumb rather than corporate c*ck.”

15. Elvis Costello on Morrissey “Morrissey writes wonderful song titles, but sadly he often forgets to write the song.”

14. Noel Gallagher on Jack White “He looks like Zorro on doughnuts.”

13. Rick James on Prince “A little short ego-ed f*cker who I had a feeling didn’t like people of his own race and wanted to be white and taller.”

12. Mark “E” Everett on The Beatles “John Lennon sings about peace because he’s a woman-beater. Hippies are so full of sh*t.”

11. Richey Edwards on Slowdive “We hate Slowdive more than we hate Hitler.”

10. Ian Brown on Bono “He’s such a fake, isn’t he? When he did Live Aid, which made them a worldwide group … he looked out and [saw] that black girl in the middle of all them people, and she’s from Hackney or something, and he was like, ‘Here’s a great shot for me around the world to show I’m Mr Africa.’ It’s like colonialist times with a big white hat.”

9. Robert Smith on Morrissey “If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I’ll eat meat — that’s how much I hate Morrissey.”

8. Morrissey on Bob Geldof “Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Band Aid was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.”

7. Noel Gallagher on Liam Gallagher “He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup.”

6. Boy George on Madonna “A vile, hideous human being with no redeeming qualities.”

5. Boy George on Elton John “All that money, and he’s still got hair like a f*cking dinner lady.”

4. Elton John on Keith Richards “It’s like a monkey with arthritis, trying to go onstage and look young.”

3. Morrissey on Brett Anderson “He’ll never forgive God for not making him Angie Bowie.”

2. Anton Newcombe on Eric Clapton “People talk about Eric Clapton. What has he ever done except throw his baby off a f*ckin’ ledge and write a song about it?”

1. Tupac on The Notorious BIG All of “Hit ‘Em Up,” really, but particularly this: “I f*cked your *****, you fat motherf*cker.

#26 would seem to have been an accurate observation.

#14 is funny. I wish noel could write a song as good as this comment.
 

Larry F

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And then there's Broadway - does anyone outside of Manhattan really care anything about musical theater?
I can't tell if this is meant to be joke. Apologies if I missed this. To answer your question, "hell, yeah!"

The audience for this may be too far removed from the OP's info stream. The cool thing about our country is its artistic pluralism. There's a world of people who know zip about rockabilly, but gets off on Baroque music. Or the 19th-century German Art Song audience whose boat isn't floated by the Grateful Dead.

I taught at a university that has a large and active Musical Theatre department. They put on a summer series of staged musicals and operas. These attract audiences from around the state. Musical theatre lovers are interested in how a particular show is staged.

Anyway, it's just another form of art that has been around for centuries. Rockabilly has a much shorter lifespan and the audiences are smaller and have many other musical interests (blues, surf, folk music, etc.)
 

maxvintage

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I suspect a lot of those lou reed quotes are fake. He was a cranky jerk, for sure, and for example I've seen interviews where he's really contemptuous of the Beatles.
 

maxvintage

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Also I imagine one of the worst parts of being a famous musician would be having to do interviews. You get the same questions over and over, and they're usually dumb questions. If the interviewer is good, he or she is trying to get you to say something controversial or something that can be a headline. You both know it's the machinery of publicity:the common sense thing to do would be go alng, play the game, and both you and the interviewer get paid. It would get really really tedious.

Lou seemed to be a guy with little willingness to go along, like Bob Dylan who was often a dick to interviewers. I can understand how you'd get like that. It was especially true for him because he was basically a pet project of Andy Warhol, who was really smart and had figure out how to make a kind of art out of the machinery of publicity. Reed could never manage that
 
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JIMMY JAZZMAN

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Take a Walk on the Wild Side, you know down that Dirty Boulevard. Lou Reed
to some, was taken way to seriously. He who lives in a "glass house", should
never throw stones.
 

JIMMY JAZZMAN

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If you bought one of his albums, he stole your money. If you went to one of his shows,
he sole your money. That's the way Lou wanted it to be, and that's the way he is/was.
 




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