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Sunday Morning reflections on Lou Reed lyrics – things you may not know

Since Lou Reed‘s death last week – hundreds, maybe thousands, of articles have been written about his life and his contribution to music and art.

Of course, on the day Lou died I listened to his music as I went about my busy day – standing on the corner, briefcase in my hand.

Last night (Saturday) I finally had time to dedicate the night  and many of the early morning hours (after the kids went to bed) to really listening to his music through headphones and studying his lyrics.

Yeah, I’m a real word nerd and lyric nerd!

My first “exposure” to Lou Reed’s music  was when I was a squeaky clean schoolboy watching the Hot Gossip Dancers on Kenny Everett Video show.

The dancers performed to “Walk on the Wild Side” As Kenny would say: Naughty bits!.

I didn’t understand the lyrics – but from then on, for me, Lou Reed’s music would always be associated with that “naughty bits” dancing of that Hot Gossip video!

What was YOUR first introduction to Lou Reed’s music?

While I love that song (especially the bass parts)  – Lou Reed’s art is far more than just that song!

lou reading

Last night I listened closely to his music –  the musical arrangements – the unusual combinations of instruments.

I remembered the first time I fell in love with the production and arrangement of Sunday Morning(especially the innocent and child-like Celesta)

Sunday morning

Then there are the powerful lyrics!

You may know Lou studied journalism and creative writing and even film making – and he had a way with words and images.

velvetunderground

I loved his clever and often “naughty” word play and ambitious rhymes.

Some of my favourite lyrics are in:

The Power of Positive Drinking

“Some people drink to unleash their libidos 

and other people drink to prop up their egos”

Then there’s the savage word play of: Dirty Bldv.

Give me your hungry, your tired, your poor I’ll piss on ’em

That’s what the Statue of Bigotry says

Your poor huddled masses

Let’s club ’em to death

I’d always thought Lou’s musical style had a primitive power and a punk-ish rebellion – but apparently he was not a big fan of punk.

Reed was dismissive of punk, and rejected any affiliation with it. “I’m too literate to be into punk rock.’ 

And, speaking of literate, I love how his songs are almost like novels or even films – with the visual contrast and great characters and settings.

Here’s another of my favourite Lou lyrics from Dirty Blvd. :

And back at the Wilshire, Pedro sits there dreaming

He’s found a book on Magic in a garbage can

He looks at the pictures

And stares up at the cracked ceiling

“At the count of 3,” he says,

“I hope I can disappear.”

Reflecting on this first Sunday Morning after Lou’s death, last night alone with his words and music was a night well spent!

———————

word nerd CU

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tony biancotti

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