as a kid i would get “Walk on the Wild Side” confused with the Kinks’ “Lola” and Barnes & Barnes’ “Yoda”
but after working a few months in the West LA record store in college i soon learned lots about Lou and his band the Velvet Underground.
one good thing about being as old as i am is i was working at that record store when Polydor/Mercury decided to re-release the Velvet catalogue because cds had just come out and they wanted all the boomers to feel cool again.
because of that we were flooded with all these mysterious records, one of them was VU. no idea why that one attracted me but i took it home and played it over and over.
especially Stephanie Says.
people call her Alaska?
ITS SO COLD IN ALASKA
when i told my cohort Willie Aron he was all, “Lou Reed is Godhead” and told me i needed to get all of the Velvets’ work, immediately, otherwise why bother with anything else.
and as usual, Willie was right on the money.
not only did i get to see Lou Reed play once, at SXSW, i got to meet him.
the day after he took the stage with Moby to do Walk on the Wild side, he was walking across the street from the venue.
i walked all the way over to where he was so i could walk along with him. this was 2008, a little more than five years ago. and even then, upclose and personal he looked frail.
i said, hey Lou i saw you last night over there, and pointed to the building. you were amazing.
he looked at me. didn’t smile.
but said thanks.
was very much looking forward to seeing him play this spring in downtown LA.
and when the show was canceled i was all uh oh. and remembered our lengthy chat.
if i was Obama i would have gotten on tv and said, we’re gonna have the flags at half mast today
and if anyone wants to come over and play some old records, we’ll be streaming it on whitehouse.gov
dude wrote maybe 40 super great songs. if you’re lucky you can write 2. lou wrote 40.