November 11, 2013

Rolling Stone needs a large type edition

For the last few months, I find that I have a subscription to the venerable Rolling Stone magazine in print, which helps me stay up to date on what kids these days are into. For example, currently on the cover of the Rolling Stone is Lou Reed. It sounds like this promising young man has a great career ahead of him. 

The only drawback is that the magazine is no longer printed on oversized paper, so the font is tiny. Surely, though, the average Rolling Stone reader must be about as presbyopic as I am, so isn't it about time for a Large Print version of Rolling Stone, just like Reader's Digest long put out?


By the way, here's a 1968 photo of a panel discussion at a mandatory school assembly at Beverly Hills High School following a performance by the Velvet Underground, which had been arranged by student body president Mickey Kaus. From left to right: young Mickey, the school psychiatrist (how many public high schools besides Beverly Hills had a school psychiatrist in 1968? I imagine he was a Freudian, with a couch and everything ... ), a school music teacher, and Lou Reed, who appears less fascinated by what the student council leader is saying than are the two older gentlemen.

By the by the way, this is a good illustration of how male sitting styles changed during the 1960s. The older men have their legs tightly crossed, the way women cross their legs today. Lou and Mickey have their knees splayed wide apart. If they were to cross their legs, it would be by putting one ankle on top of a knee.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lou Reed, Lou Reed, Lurid.

Personally, I only like his work with Nico. I never liked Reed's reedy voice and after Velvet Underground, he seemed to fade pretty fast.

Loaded is a great album, but Reed's whiny presence throughout gets to me.
Nico wasn't a great singer but she was a great beauty had an odd persona. And her German accent added Euro-decadent ambiance to the album.

In a way, Velvet Underground and Nico may be the first real case of 'art scene rock'. While Dylan's albums prior were works of art, they were still grounded in the 'humble' traditions of American folk and pop music. Dylan was inspired by fancy poets too, but he didn't deviate much from the essence of American folk/popular music.

VUAN, in contrast, almost has a European sensibility. It's where was happening in European cinema intersected with the Rock scene. Nico was in a bunch of films by Fellini and other directors. And songs like Femme Fatale, All Tomorrow's Mornings, and I'll Be Your Mirror invoke images from European cinema and fashions of the 60s than anything happening in America. Even as NY was becoming the center of the Art Scene, the art world still paid great attention to what was happening in Europe. And this was no less true in cinema-as-art.

Reed was best when using Nico as his mirror, I guess sort of like how Hitchcock used his women as mirrors of his hidden desires and fantasies. And Nico's album Chelsea Girl--with some songs by Reed--are fascinating too.

But Reed on his own never much interested me. Talented yes, but whiny and even annoying like Byrne.

Anonymous said...

He looks like the Terminator.

I wonder if Graham Parker consciously borrowed his image and style.

Anonymous said...

Lou Read.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZH82l_ie9M

There She Goes Again.

A song with great cinematic vibes. It's like audio version of cinema verite. You can almost see it unfolding before your eyes as visual storytelling.
Generates the same kind of excitement as Godard's first film BREATHLESS.

http://youtu.be/LOEztp5v6QQ

-----

Nico's counterpart was prolly Marianne Faithfull, but accents matter. Being British, Faithfull sounded part of the Anglo/American pop scene.
Nico's heavy continental accent and stark chiseled features invited a wholly different cultural outlook that seemed to exist outside of perimeters of the Rock scene.
Even when she's singing something as mild as These Days, it sounds from another world:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_z_UEuEMAo

Too bad she lost herself to drugs. What a waste of a great beauty.

Anonymous said...

Maybe English is more a smoother and flowing language, even with the British accents.

French and German may be characterized by stronger and more colorful sounds. French language may be more painterly, and it's hard to imagine an English singer like Edith Piaf who could paint with words.

German is thicker and harder, and Nico's singing--like that of Hildegard Knef--is like carving(or sculptural). Nico's singing adds so many angles--some almost cubist in nature--to her songs, the kinds of angles and shades that are generally missing in English/American singing.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

OT, but I donated some money to you via VDARE in early October. I saw the charge deducted on my credit card statement. However, today I noticed that the amount had been returned from VDARE.

Do you know what is going on? It seems that after a month, the donation has been returned.

Anonymous said...

Is there much worth writing about these days in Rock?

Maybe there are lots of good stuff but happen to be eclipsed by stuff like Kanye West, Smiley Circus, Katy Perry, etc.

I accidentally discovered Cady Groves, and she's really good. But I fear she will be swallowed up by the industry and become just another airhead idol.
TWILIGHT series actually informed me to some cool indie songs that I didn't know about.

But compare now to 1967:

http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/bg_hits/bg_hits_67.html

http://www.besteveralbums.com/yearstats.php?y=1967

http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/rs/albums1967-07.php

Tons of great songs and great albums.

http://youtu.be/jUd2LBy2QfM?t=10m5s

Compared to then, most rock/pop stars seem to be treading water.

I can understand someone wanting to write about Whiter Shade of Pale or Light My Fire or Van Morrison but some dumb rap song or Katy Perry crap?
And most indie stuff is pretty sucky too.

Maybe rock culture was self-defeating. The great stars of the 60s grew up in a society whose goal was still to turn young people into adults.
But with the triumph of rock culture, it's like our society expects young people to stay 'young' and stupid forever.

Smoky Robinson and Holland-Dozier-Holland may have written songs for young people, but they wrote as adults. But rappers seem to be perpetually 15. I mean how old is Eminem? And he still acts like a teen punk.



Anonymous said...

"For example, currently on the cover of the Rolling Stone is Lou Reed. It sounds like this promising young man has a great career ahead of him."

The kids today LOVE Lou Reed.

Didn't you ever see that movie that came out a few years ago, Adventureland?

A big part of the plot is wrapped up with this guy trying to impress chicks at a carnival by telling him that he once played guitar with Lou Reed.

Now. If your experiences of 1987 are anything like mine, the average chick who went to a carnival would respond to that with "Who the hell is Lou Reed?", causing the would-be Lothario to start making up stories about playing guitar with Jon Bon Jovi or Axl Rose or the like.

But not in this movie.

Incidentally, in the world of this movie, anti-Semitism was a big problem in 1987 too.

Also incidentally, all the even partially sympathetic characters are Jewish, while all the Gentile characters appear to have pretty significant brain damage.

Make of all of that what you will.

jody said...

rolling stone has been irrelevant for years. and, i wasn't gonna comment, but you made another post for this guy. this minor, barely relevant guy wasn't a major figure in music. in the first thread about lou reed, another poster summed it up perfectly. lou reed sold about 1000 albums. every one of them to a music critic.

this guy wasn't important, and that music critics had to, every couple years in the 80s and 90s, try to bring up the velvet underground and pretend they were important, eventually illustrated to me what a large disconnect there was between the critic establishment as opposed to the public.

nobody listened to velvet underground or lou reed. nobody cared about velvet underground or lou reed. nobody bought velvet underground or lou reed. nobody talked about velvet underground or lou reed. their mere existence as a thing was limited STRICTLY to the dreadfully uncool, no talent having 'music critics' in a few big cities. these guys are like canadians talking about the tragically hip as if they were the biggest, most important underground band ever. no, wrong. the tragically hip are nothing all that important, and neither was lou reed.

that NOBODY CARES about lou reed could not possibly be more illustrated by how his sales increased, or rather, didn't increase, following a national news media blitz upon his death.

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/5770705/lou-reeds-album-sales-rise-607-following-death

3000 units for his entire catalog? so a 600% increase in sales means he went from basically selling nothing all the way up to...selling nothing. (in case you don't follow the music industry, every single number listed in that article is PATHETIC.)

never before has there been such a glaring example of the vast gulf between what the media intelligentsia thinks and what the average music fan thinks. an establishment favorite dies, and for once, the public correctly yawns.

and no, lou reed wasn't a big influence on other major bands either. and no, he wasn't some major, unheralded writer of hits for other musicians, either. there are dozens of bigger hit writers who nobody will care about when they die.

Auntie Analogue said...


In the 1968 photo the two men in the center appear merely to be considerate of one another, crossing their legs to accommodate one another in a confined space, hemmed in by the two men flanking them who enjoy greater space in which to splay their legs.

If you look at photos from, say, World War II, you see men sitting as splay-legged as the two flanking men in the 1968 photo you posted. I have family photos from the Depression and from WWII that show plenty of men, who have the space in which to so sit, seated splay-legged.

All that said, since the end of WWII Americans' posture has relaxed, become undisciplined and often inconsiderate of others nearby, and this parallels the decline in courtesies, and in demeanor that was aspirational to admission and inclusion in refined higher culture, that were once common. Today higher culture is impugned as being elitist and aping the lowbrow has, even for today's upper crust, become de rigeur.

Today, women's posture and comportment have obviously retrogressed, have become increasingly unrefined, undignified, slovenly, slatternly. Observe many of today's women walking in high heels and you see them sway and totter willy-nilly, unlike women prior to the late-1960's who walked in high heels with considerable self-assurance and aplomb.

carol said...

I dunno, I know plenty of old guys who sit splay-legged, even elderlyk gentlemen types, as well as old rednecks. It's nothing new, just cultural.

Anonymous said...

In Elysium, those out in space must make way for those on the ground.

In Ender's Game, those on Earth must make way for those out in space(the space aliens).

Wherever you are, just be overrun by hordes.

Power Child said...

I'm not yet 30 but I sit the way those old guys are sitting. I think it's more comfortable. But sometimes if I'm feeling self conscious or want to project masculinity (like at an office meeting, or in the waiting room at my daughter's pediatrician) I'll sit like the young guys.

josh said...

wasn't his music junk? The only song of his I ever heard was the obvious one.it seems he made junk that inspired other low-talent guys that they could make junk and get girls and drugs.Which they did.

Darwin's S-list said...

I recently subscribed to Rolling Stone using frequent flyer miles.

If I recall, the covers I've received so far have been Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain, Andrew Lincoln - the lead actor from "The Walking Dead," Michael J. Fox, Paul McCartney, and Reed. The only one most notable for his current work is Lincoln, followed by Cobain in a distant second at 20 years ago.

Yep, it's a fogey's magazine.

But as we get further removed from the classic rock era, I'm struck by how reactionary the standard narrative of rock history is. You had a golden era beginning with Elvis and ending with the Beatles' breakup. After that, a fall - self-indulgent progressive rock, vapid disco and hair metal. Only the punks (the Goldwater wing of rock) and Grunge (the Reagan era) have come close to recapturing the True Spirit of the Founders.

MonroeFicus said...

How come the men had more testosterone, yet sat like they were eunuchs?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The Stones next tour is being sponsored by Depends.

Anonymous said...

http://www.vdare.com/articles/jared-taylor-on-carleton-putnams-race-and-reason

Maxwell Power said...

Adlai Stevenson in repose

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous:

I think you're right about the VU and their European sensibility. I think some of this may be due to founding member and violist John Cale, not just Nico. Cale was originally from Wales.

I also don't care for Lou Reed post VU. He peaked with VU and it was all down hill after; kind of like Eric Clapton after Cream.

elvisd said...

This picture is so filled with Sailerbait, I don't know where to begin.

Mr. Anon said...

Droll observation, Steve. That was funny. What kind of ads does Rolling Stone have now? The same kind one sees on FOX News ("Ask your doctor about....", reverse mortgages, gold, diabetes supplies, etc.)?

Anonymous said...

"Another poster summed it up perfectly. lou reed sold about 1000 albums. every one of them to a music critic."

LoL. I was wondering at the all the hoopla about a guy I'd never heard about, and whose music - judging by the Youtubes - seemed pretty mediocre. Now, I know.

dsgntd_plyr said...

Off topic, but the WaPo has a look at America's future as envisioned by Tyler "Cheap Chalupas con Frijoles" Cowen http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/11/09/too-much-of-too-little/

heartiste said...

Steve, power poses, such as sitting with the legs spread, will lower cortisol, raise T levels, and actually alter one's behavior toward dominance (and sociopathy):

http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/study-power-poses-can-change-your-behavior/

Biofeedback is real, seduction artists have been aware of this for a long time. Some very dominant men may have dominance to spare and, operating a kind of handicap principle, can afford to sit cross-legged.

Anonymous said...

The WaPo story that dsgntd_plyr provided needs a real link.

That article is iSteve bait for sure. It is long, but worth skimming. In trying to point out how poor people face tough choices in trying to stretch their food dollars, it also shows our future thanks to the immivasion.

The lady in the piece is 40, has diabetes, 5 kids, and is on disability. I am surprised the WaPo ran this. Maybe they think it paints a bad picture of Texas culture, or points out the need for more government workers to coach these poor souls in how to eat right. But it also shows what a burden the masses of Mexican peasants are, and will be, on the tax base.

Of course that is my opinion. Reading the comments to the WaPo story, one would gather its readers did not connect those same dots.

Anonymous said...

"nobody listened to velvet underground or lou reed. nobody cared about velvet underground or lou reed. nobody bought velvet underground or lou reed. nobody talked about velvet underground or lou reed."

Art is not a popularity contest. No one saw 13th Warrior, everyone saw LOTR. 13th Warrior is the much greater work and time will tell.

I first came to attention of VU in 1981 in highschool as I was perusing through a book in the school library about the top 200 albums of all time by Paul Gambaccini. I was surprised by its ranking at 14. I mean I never heard of the band, so why was it so high on the list?

I eventually bought the album and didn't know what to expect, but one thing for sure, it was strange. It defied expectations, oddly both more experimental and far-out than expected yet also more 'square' and conventional than expected(albeit in an ironic way). And it was different from other kinds of rock that strove for art, sophistication, or experimentalism. It seemed to exist in its own space. It had elements of psychedelia but not quite. (When Beatles and Beach Boys were trying to be 'different', you could also sense the 'trying'. They were pop bands trying to be arty. But VUAN sounded genuine in its artiness and experimentalism, as if Reed, Cale, and others breathed that stuff 24/7. It was intrinsic to what they were: bohemian decadents as interested in the art scene as pop/rock scene. If Stu Sutcliffe had formed his own band, it might have been like VU. Brian Jones of the Stones was VU-like and something of an odd fit with the Stones, which may be why, like Sutcliff with Beatles, his days were numbered with the band. Sutcliff and Jones were more visual than musical whereas VU had genuine musical knack and talent.)

VUAN opened up with a sweet song called Sunday Morning. The album generally alternated between lush romantic melodies--decadent musical opiates--and hard-nosed street rhythm. It was as if one song was about hitting the streets to get the dope and the next song was about the drifting into opiate fantasyland.
It was like a film that alternated between cinema verite documentary and romantic reverie. Thus, there's an element of escapism even in the gritty songs and an element of nightmare even in the beautiful dreamy ones. Even purity and innocence are drug-fueled, and even the toughest reality promises another escape into fantasy. Maybe its most famous song is Heroin, possibly a great song, but I never cared for it. Like Doors' The End, it is a bit too much. Also, never having used heroin, I have no way of knowing how it compares with a real heroin freakout.

But VUAN is really is a singular achievement, one that couldn't be replicated as it was the product of so many contradictory and competing forces and ideas that all coalesced at just the right time and place.

VUAN was a total flop upon release, but as word got around, it became legendary and highly influential, though maybe not for the right reasons. Some argue VU was the main inspiration for punk(which I don't care for). I guess the hard-assed gritty side of the album influenced punk and etc. And the romantic lush side surely had an influence on the development on Bowie and New Wave, which I prefer, but then New Wave isn't really my thing either.
VUAN is great because it defied categorization. It was rich and varied enough to inspire all sorts of possibilities and entire genres but it belongs in a category all its own. All genuinely new and different things have that quality.

Anonymous said...


It is one of the few rock albums that could be considered a genuine work of 'art', i.e. it has value outside and apart from the rock scene and its conventions/expectations.

That may explain why so many people didn't get it upon its release. 1967 was the year of psychedelia and summer of love, but VUAN, while druggy enough, played by its own rules. It was autumnal and decadent than summery and naive. And its darkness better anticipated the things to come.

In the 80s, everyone who really loved rock knew about VU, but we must take this with a grain of salt. While some people really honestly love that stuff, a whole bunch of people will pretend to(or fool themselves to) like something because it just happens to be a sacred cow of the special community they wanna join.
Within such a community, 'schools of thought' develop and appreciation turns into a matter of dogma, and I suspect the reputation of Patti Smith had something to do with that.

The joke about 1000 critics buying VU albums only goes so far. Initially, yes, but time has proven the worth of VU. But Patti Smith was really a creation of critics; she was supposed to be like the new Lou Reed, but it was all really just posturing and a sham. When VUAN came out, even most critics didn't get it or like it. In contrast, the likes of Smith were the darlings of the critical scene from the beginning. They built her up and insisted on her greatness, indeed enough that a good number of rock fans pretended to like her stuff in the 80s and 90s. But who really cares about her stuff today?

A lot of people, especially young gullible ones, want so much to be part of the inner circle of the knowing-hipster-intellectual world that they often mindlessly pretend to like something they really don't care for or even understand.

Just consider the clowns who list Jeanne Dielman as one of the great films of the 70s, if not of all time. There is no way all of them really like the movie. But it has become 'one of those movies' you must flash on your list as shortcut to proving your radicalism, intellectualism, and commitment.

I'd say Patti Smith is JEANNE DIELMAN. There is no there there.
But VUAN is like BLADE RUNNER, a genuinely great work that was unappreciated in its initial release but has passed the test of time.

Steve Sailer said...

Patti Smith is an interesting personality, but she had more talent in other areas than in music. She was finally getting up to the level of being semi-okay at making records when she got married and had three kids in the suburbs of Detroit and took a decade off from music. An interesting career ...

Matra said...

this minor, barely relevant guy wasn't a major figure in music. in the first thread about lou reed, another poster summed it up perfectly. lou reed sold about 1000 albums. every one of them to a music critic.

I believe the saying went that most of them started bands of their own but that's from the 60s when they came out. That the VU continued to sell albums for decades and influence new generations is what matters not their initial popularity. You sound like a certain poster who claims Mad Men is irrelevant because it gets a lower Nielsen rating than some cheesy soon to be forgotten sitcom on network TV. Many bands sold more than the VU but the vast majority of them are not remembered.

nobody listened to velvet underground or lou reed. nobody cared about velvet underground or lou reed. nobody bought velvet underground or lou reed. nobody talked about velvet underground or lou reed. their mere existence as a thing was limited STRICTLY to the dreadfully uncool, no talent having 'music critics' in a few big cities. these guys are like canadians talking about the tragically hip as if they were the biggest, most important underground band ever. no, wrong. the tragically hip are nothing all that important, and neither was lou reed.

As someone who lived in Canada during the Tragically Hip's "glory days" I don't know what you are talking about. In Canada the Hip were popular but in a mainstream suburban middle of the road kind of way - the total opposite of the more culturally aware VU/Lou Reed fans.

and no, lou reed wasn't a big influence on other major bands either.

REM, U2, and Bowie would fit most people's idea of major. The VU sound influenced them and lots of non-mainstream bands from punk to the British music of the mid-80s.

None of this is important but it's interesting that Jody is so bitter about it and that numerous posters, especially in the last thread, seemed to take pride in having never never heard of VU/Lou Reed. I'm guessing that like Whiskey they'd also prefer Starship's We Built This City to Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit.:)

Anonymous said...

"and no, lou reed wasn't a big influence on other major bands either"

@Jody

So Nirvana, REM, David Bowie, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the White Stripes, etc., aren't "major artists"?

@Anon #28

Finally, someone who shares my disdain for that abortion of an "art" flick! Jeanne Dielman is little more than tedious trash that critics throw into their "best of" lists to meet their female director quotas.

Anonymous said...

jody said...

rolling stone has been irrelevant for years. and, i wasn't gonna comment, but you made another post for this guy. this minor, barely relevant guy wasn't a major figure in music. in the first thread about lou reed, another poster summed it up perfectly. lou reed sold about 1000 albums. every one of them to a music critic.


lol. DAS KAPITALS, ardent pop culture critic of the Sailersphere turns out to be one of those 1000 album owners.

Steve Sailer said...

One thing to keep in mind about Lou Reed is that he wrote five or six catchy songs: Sweet Jane, Heroin, Waiting for the Man, Rock n Roll, and [fill in your own picks]. His 1974 live album Rock n Roll Animal serves up his biggest Velvet Underground should-have-been hits with a first rate glam rock band backing him (the guys who became Alice Cooper's band). This live album was a standard on FM radio in the 1970s, so (although current taste favors the more ramshackle Velvet Underground originals) Reed's songs were broadly popular three dozen years ago.

Ted Plank said...

The first two Velvet Underground albums are as great as any album ever made by anyone - IF that's what you're into. I am, and as someone who's floated around the scenes of Punk and Grunge for the past three decades, Lou's work with the Velvets is considered the lode star of All That Is Awesome.

Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles, said "The Velvet Underground With Nico" was the album he couldn't stop listening to, right before he died. The Stones paid tribute with "Stray Cat Blues", Hendrix was a fan, Morrison stole his entire look from the Velvets and their Warhol entourage, etc. It wasn't just the critics who raved about The Velvets.

I agree that Lou ran out of gas after the band broke up, though David Bowie (who stole a lot of his schtick from Lou, along with ripping off Iggy Pop and Scott Walker) pumped some life back into him with "Transformer", and Richard Hell's guitarist Robert Quine pushed him into a couple decent records in the 80s.

With roughly 600 plus friends on Facebook, about 100 of my friends went apeshit like the Pope died, and the other 500 had barely heard of the guy.

Lou took the outsider characters of Genet, Bukowski, Selby and his mentor from college Delmore Schwartz, and mixed them with Doo Wop, Free Jazz and John Cale's avant noise edge (Cale studied and mixed with musical figures as diverse as Copland, Cage, Terry Riley and La Monte Young), and created something uniquely different, discovering an entire continent and laying out most of the boundaries. Listen to the first song on Side 2 of "White Light/White Heat" (which I like better than "With Nico"), a song called "I Heard Her Call My Name". The tune is about a dead girlfriend who keeps haunting Lou, sort of a Shangri Las doom ditty, with a Doo Wop chorus and, the kicker, Lou squalling noisy sheets of Albert Ayler or Pharoah Sanders like guitar over the top, peaking out the tape machine meter, all instruments leaking into each other, while Cale plays this wild, inverted bass line underneath. And that's just the lead in to the 17 minute long "Sister Ray", a tune that channels "Querelle" come to the New World.

He had a very brief peak, but Lou was absolutely a big deal, to a certain kind of person. I put him up there with Elvis and Bing Crosby. I like the point made by Anonymous that the Beatles and Who were TRYING to sound "out", but the Velvets really were out there. Same with Iggy Pop and The Stooges. Both bands have a cult that won't die, and youngsters I know are as enamored as I was, on hearing both for the first time.

Good on Mickey Kaus, that warrior for Closed Borders, for tossing the impoverished band a few extra bucks, back in the day. As if I didn't appreciate Kaus enough!

Anonymous said...

>[...]student body president Mickey Kaus. From left to right: young Mickey[...]

In other news in '68 18-year-old boys looked like today's 28-year-old men.

Steve Sailer said...

On the other hand, Reed didn't compose all that many great songs, either.

On the other other hand, he wrote a bunch of fairly good songs in the early 1980s (e.g., I Love You Suzanne) when most people would have assumed he'd be dead already.

Ted Plank said...

I think Reed's magic ticket was John Cale, then Warhol to make the social connections. Both men seemed to bring the best out of him, a feat Bowie would semi sorta pull off a few years later.

Once Cale was out of the band the Velvets could still coast, college chum Sterling Morrison appeared to save Lou from indulging in some of his worse instincts (let's be honest, he was a complex, difficult personality), but after that he was left to find his own way, and the paydays were never as lucrative for the listener.

I'd say Lou had about 30 great to good songs in him. Even throwaways from the post Cale VU ("I Can't Stand It", "Foggy Notion", "The Ocean", "One Of These Days", etc.) sound as good as anything else going on in the late 60s.

Anonymous said...

I love the lush dreamy opening of Sweet Jane than the streetwise main body of the song(though very good). The two sides of Reed: escapist and realist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkumhBVPGdg

--------

My favorite song on Loaded is
New Age.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKwvC9IK8N4

I just wish Nico had sung it.

It sort of sounds like Because by the Beatles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bNTLjWFi0M

Maxwell Power said...

There is also the Clinton Esquire cover

Dave Pinsen said...

Why do you try to "project masculinity" at the pediatrician's office?

Maxwell Power said...

Of course for the Los Angeles convention Bill actually had a camera tracking in front of him, trained at crotch-level, as he went down the hall to the DNC floor. This would have happened before Youtube so you'll just have to imagine the splendor

h/t 'Westside Toastmasters' said...

"How The Legs Reveal What The Mind Wants To Do"

There're cross-cult example pics in there; includes Bizarro Don Draper in the "American Figure 4"

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvIU6VQAWpo

Johnny Cash - God Bless Robert E. Lee

Anonymous said...

VU is all very good but sometimes you need something like this to clear the sinuses. And Russians do it best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr_UMhNMSOI

Chinese not so well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo82aevjRAI

Anonymous said...

If Lou Reed was selling @1000 albums a week before he died and VU another 1000 a week we can assume these sales had been bubbling under for many years. 2000 a week for a long time. Say 30 years?

2000 x 52 x 30 = 3.12 million

Its not massive but its a lot more than many people manage.

Steve Sailer said...

I think it's been sort of forgotten in all the talk about how few records the Velvet Underground isold n 1967-1970 that Lou Reed was a mainstream rock star on-and-off throughout the 1970s. "Sweet Jane" has been one of the more famous songs in rock music for the last 40 years. There are a whole bunch of songs that sound kind of like it, such as Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and Bob Dylan's son's "Three Marlenas:"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBOVu1hP2lE

Peter the Shark said...

Steve is right - Lou Reed actually was a mainstream rock and roll star throughout the 70s and early 80s. When I was in high school in the early 80s I would have considered Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Bowie all about equally famous - with Iggy Pop being the least important. "Walk on the Wild Side" used to be played on FM rock radio constantly even in rural New Hampshire. If you haven't heard of Lou Reed it doesn't mean you have avoided being suckered by elitist media critics, it simply means you are ignorant about a significant chunk of rock history.

BB753 said...

Nico´s voice was pretty obnoxious, as bad as Lou Reed own voice was, it prefer the latter. Her rough, grating junky voice with the German dominatrix accent to boot was too much for me.
And Steve is absolutely correct: Lou Reed was big- especially in Europe- after Rock´n´Roll Animal came out.

Anonymous said...

Pitchfork is what the kids are reading these days.

chucho said...

The VU have always been the archtype of the gritty, urban rock ensemble. But their very first gig was at Summit High School in suburban NJ.

I always thought it was funny how Reed mentions to the crowd on the "Live 1969" LP that he was watching the Cowboys game earlier that day.

James Kabala said...

I'm honestly getting kind of sick of this guy. I believe even most people in the Baby Boom, let alone out of it, have never heard of him. At least when McCartney and Jagger and Dylan die, the endless and over-the-top media adulation will be connected with genuine popularity.

(The one exception is that I wonder if Dr. Thomas Fleming, one of the most erudite men alive and supposedly a personal acquaintance of Reed back in the day, will ever have a comment.)

Anonymous said...

Having a few songs on the radio does not necessarily make you a "significant chunk of rock history".

Uriah Heep had a few songs on the radio in the seventies. So did Molly Hatchet and Golden Earring. I wouldn't call them huge stars either, and if someone told me they'd never heard of Golden Earring, I wouldn't really call them ignorant.

Then again, it is true that Lou Reed was more popular than a lot of people let on. And yes, he was a lot more influential too.

James Kabala said...

Oops - I guess I missed the last few comments arguing that he was more popular than generally believed. On the other hand, I think average Middle Americans have never heard of Iggy Pop either. (Bowie they probably have heard of.) They might know "Walk on the Wild Side" without knowing who recorded it.

Anonymous said...

"In Hookups, Inequality Still Reigns"

"Young women are less likely to experience orgasm during uncommitted encounters than in serious relationships, studies show."

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/11/women-find-orgasms-elusive-in-hookups/

Anonymous said...

Who cares about "rock history"?

It's all corporatized pap marketed to consumers to land profits like fishermen land lunkers.

Since the 1970s my music cosmos has consisted entirely of real people making real music with real instruments in the same venue with one another. Yeah, we'll never appear On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone, nor have some skinnyjeaned undescended-nads hipster or overaged hippie extend his Internet Content Supplier avocation while standing on our necks.

But we're in it to make music and tell stories. Not be part of the consumerist propaganda machine that rock and the recording industry have always been.

Power Child said...

@Dave Pinsen,

Why do you try to project masculinity at the pediatrician's office?

It was a half-joke. But I do feel a bit out of place there, a dad with his baby surrounded by all these moms with their kids. Maybe it's a reflex or a subconscious defense mechanism, reassuring myself that what I'm doing isn't emasculating.

What's funny is that if I'm there with my wife, I cross my legs like the old guys--especially if there are other dads there. That's covered by the "Masculinity to spare, nothing to prove" theory.

@Anonymous:

In other news in '68 18-year-old boys looked like today's 28-year-old men.

I've noticed that too, but on a tangential note, I wonder if a lot of Hollywood casting directors are old guys whose dogged nostalgia for, and memory of, facts like this compels them to continually cast actors who look like they're pushing 30 in high school roles. (When's the last time a movie about high schoolers featured actors who actually looked like high schoolers?)

Then again, there are also practical reasons to cast older actors, such as laws about working with minors (you have to provide an on-set tutor, you can only work them for so many hours at a time, etc.) and it's a lot harder to find younger actors with much experience or developed talent. Production people also like to feel comfortable talking to actors like normal people between takes, and a lot of those production people, being Liz Lemon types or the male equivalent, are not used to interacting with kids.

Marc B said...

I just noticed Rolling Stone in a display last week and even mentioned how odd it was to see in such a small format. Even weirder was that anybody still read it. We had ditched the very out of touch Rolling Stone for outdated Spin magazine by the mid-1980's, but CREEM never got old.

Lex said...

Some real music for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lF8US2rKshE#t=859

[14:19]

James O'Meara said...

"How come the men had more testosterone, yet sat like they were eunuchs?"

Because ... they had nothing to prove. The kids in the photo are immature "punks" (in the original meaning -- Lester Bangs pointed out that to Iggy Pop 'punk' mean he wanted to be a man but failed, not a lifestyle choice)

Tom Wolfe somewhere in the 60s commented on lower class types sitting with their legs spread "as if they had beer kegs between their legs.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

"I Heard Her Call My Name".

The other day I claimed that Helmet was conducive to work. That is NOT.

And I used to listen to Velvet Underground, and mentioned that Sweet Jane is a fun, simple progression to play. But I don't have any memory of this song. My initial, admittedly knee-jerk, reaction is that, yes, sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.

Anonymous said...

Mickey Kraus who write some immigration articles that a picture of him as a teenager. Anyway, I was in grade school in those days at 153 rd school the school was mainly white but the classes I was in had lots of tough blacks from Compton. I was happy to escape La County because I would have had to go to Peters Jr High which had a lot of tough blacks. I landed at Fritz Jr high in Santa Ana when the student body was mainly white with about 15 percent Mexican, a lot better than La County. Fritz today is only 3 percent white and about 70 plus Hispanic and 16 percent Asian.

Anonymous said...

Well, looking older, the longer hair and facial hair came in and depending upon the school dress code. In fact most of the free sex was with post-high school kids. If a boy got a girl pregrant in the late 1960's they usually had to marry the girl or she gave the kid up for adoption. In fact kids today take just as many drugs and the height of kids having babies out of wedlock among whites was in the 1980's and 1990's. Today's kids are a little more picking or use better birth control. In the 1960's they still might marry young if the girl was knock up.

Anonymous said...

My dad crossed his legs in the "old fashioned" manner and so did my brother, although I did see him at times put the heel of one foot atop the other knee if the sofa in which he was sitting was really low.

I always thought they crossed their legs the "old way" because they were long legged and their thighs were thin enough to make it comfortable. It seems that guys with short, stubby legs guys with thick thighs couldn't cross their legs in that way so either didn't cross them at all (except at the ankles) or did it the other way, if possible.

I must say, both my father and brother were quite manly guys too.

Anonymous said...

Why do you try to "project masculinity" at the pediatrician's office?
_________________________________

I thought the same thing when I read that post. I wonder if guys today are more self-conscious about their masculinity, what with gayness being so "out" and all?

Yes, my dad and brother sometimes sat with legs splayed, but I think they did so at home, not when they were out. I think manners were involved, in the same way we girls were taught that it was not lady like to sit a certain way when out in public, and we were careful not to open our legs whether we were wearing skirts or the pants we came to wear often in the Sixties.

There is a certain dignity for both men and women not to be "splayed" all over the place.

There is very little left of dignity in the American public square, unless it's in the Midwest which, admittedly, I haven't visited in a very long while.

DPG said...

Anti-racism makes people really, really stupid.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/richard-cohen-racist-interracial-marriage-lesbian_n_4260471.html

Richard Cohen writes a column ascribing racist views to the tea party, and calls their views "conventional" as a euphemism for old-people-being-racist. Then half the world turns around and accuses Richard Cohen of being racist.

Stories like these make me despair. As a person under 30, Zurich looks better and better.

Anonymous said...

The lady in the piece is 40, has diabetes, 5 kids, and is on disability. I am surprised the WaPo ran this. Maybe they think it paints a bad picture of Texas culture, or points out the need for more government workers to coach these poor souls in how to eat right. But it also shows what a burden the masses of Mexican peasants are, and will be, on the tax base.
The Rio Grande area been like this for years. In fact, its the right that is more dishonest about Texas since they like to paint it as the successful whites in the suburbs with big houses and good jobs. Both tend to be true but while the right is honest about the problems of Hispanics in California they are dishonest about the problems of Hispanics in Texas. Also, Joe Arpaio of Arizona was harder on the illegal Mexicans than any of the sheriffs in Texas but the right recently has put Arizona down. about immigration not everyone in Arizona is Jeff Flake. The US Census claims that the only Mexicans that went home that got caught and stayed home were in Marcpoia County because of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The others just changed states.

Anonymous said...

(The one exception is that I wonder if Dr. Thomas Fleming, one of the most erudite men alive and supposedly a personal acquaintance of Reed back in the day, will ever have a comment.)

"One of the most erudite men alive" is quite the euphemism for an insufferable, whiny blowhard.

Bert said...

"Stories like these make me despair. As a person under 30, Zurich looks better and better."

Wow, I though I was the youngest guy here. I'm 28, and most of the time I'm feeling like my youth is completely gone, but around here I feel spry because there's so many middle-aged guys.

Anonymous said...

"Nico´s voice was pretty obnoxious, as bad as Lou Reed own voice was, it prefer the latter. Her rough, grating junky voice with the German dominatrix accent to boot was too much for me."

She wasn't a good singer and her reading of lyrics can even be said to be ridiculous.
But there is a flowery sultriness there, along with melancholy and yearning.
She was no Joan Collins or Karen Carpenter, but VUAN is a work of 'modern art' pop. Her accent and off-key intonations add color, nuance, and angles. It has an abstracting effect, a sense of emotions as kaleidoscopic fragments. It it this broken mirror quality of her singing in VUAN that elevate it from mere prettiness to haunting beauty.
But her voice alone couldn't have done it. It was the combination of the song-writing, arrangement, mood, sensibility.

I would not want to hear Nico sing most kinds of songs. I don't her doing Dancing Queen or I Will Survive or or Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or I Can't Wait. But only she had the right voice and look--and the Look was crucial to the art of VUAN--for the album.

Sometimes, it's not so much ability as peculiarity. And VUAN is a very peculiar album, inimitable and unrepeatable(despite so many attempts to create something like it).
It's like some actors aren't all that talented but picture perfect for certain roles. Melanie Griffith for SOMETHING WILD for instance. And Anthony Perkins for PSYCHO.

Anonymous said...

"Steve is right - Lou Reed actually was a mainstream rock and roll star throughout the 70s and early 80s."

Depends on how you define 'mainstream'. He attained something more than 15 min of fame, but he still wasn't anything like the Bee Gees, Journey, or Bruce Springsteen.

The very nature of his shtick precluded true mainstream-ness. Rather, he was an underground 'hero' who had cross-over appeal to certain segments of the mainstream without really breaking through.

I suppose John Cassavetes was like this. He became well-known enough for his films to be reviews in all the major papers and he even made a commercial film with GLORIA. But he wasn't truly mainstream-mainstream.

Anonymous said...

"Anti-racism makes people really, really stupid."

In America, individuals are free to mix with other races. But some people don't like that and want to preserve their own race. What is wrong with that?

It's like Americans are free to change religions, but what's wrong with Christians wanting most Christians to remain Christians, with Jews wanting Jews to remain Jewish, with Muslims wanting Muslims to remain Muslim?

Must all religious people welcome inter-relgionism?

I don't see anything wrong with people preferring to preserve the integrity of their race or religion.

Dave Pinsen said...

You're the Twilight fan. There was a good 20-year-old Collective Soul song in the first one.

Why the hate for Katy Perry? She's written more catchy songs than Lou Reed, and her music videos are great. She joins the Marines in one, becomes a girl Tarzan in another...

Dave Pinsen said...

Jacob Dylan is interesting - for about a year in the '90s he was bigger than his father.

Anonymous said...

"Her rough, grating junky voice with the German dominatrix accent to boot was too much for me."

I never met a dominatrix so I wouldn't know what they sound like. But I don't detect aggression in her voice. It drips with passivity and resignation. Like a quiet afternoon sipping tea(but maybe spiked with odd chemicals).

But I think Reed really needed someone like Nico.
Was Reed homo or not? Maybe he was, or maybe it was just an act. Whatever the case, I think he was man of different personas. If anything, that idiotic film 'I'M NOT THERE' should have been about someone more like Reed. As much as Dylan changed over the years, there was a powerful persona called 'Dylan' at the center.
Reed was somewhat different. Sometimes, he sounds very Dylanesque on VUAN. Sometimes, he sounds like one of the early garage band singer. And some of the songs he wrote, especially I'LL BE YOUR MIRROR, seem to be from a feminine persona(and the vantage point of privilege--that he prolly witnessed among the rich hangers-on at the Warhol factory), as if he wrote them imagining himself as a beautiful woman. (No wonder Bradley Manning wants to be Chelsea Manning. Maybe 'Chelsea' is an allusion to Nico's CHELSEA GIRLS.) So, there wasn't a central core of Reedness like there was with other artists. He had a problem of identity: cultural, sexual, social, etc.
It was a strange kind of 'radicalism'. Usually we associate radicalism with commitment, but Reed's was uncommitted. VUAN taps into psychedelia without fully going there. It taps into lots of things without joining the school or party. A kind of dilettante eclectic radicalism. And yet, there is genuine hidden passion that smolders, which sets Reed apart from the sunny-happy-sappy David Byrne who, for all his real talent, makes me sick. Reed's lack of commitment--at least in the 60s--made him a figure difficult to pigeonhole. Billy Idol(the 80s star) had a very definite look and persona. Reed sort of attained it in the 70s but during his VU years, he was like a man without a face.

A song like NEW AGE is weird as a song by a guy identifying a bit too much with an over-the-hill actress. There seems to be some musical cross-dressing here, albeit with far greater subtlety than Bowie's silly over androgynous antics in the 70s.

So, there are songs on VUAN that called for Reed's streetsmart singing. But there was another side to Reed that yearned to be 'different' and that was expressed by Nico in the dream-songs.

People are funny that way. Who, in the 1970s, would have thought that the snubby nosed kid Michael Michael Jackson really wanted to be Mickey Mouse crossed with Elizabeth Taylor? But that side of him had always been a part of Jackson, and when he made enough money, he realized his dreams, which turned into nightmare. Over the hill right now and looking for love. Granted, Jackson owes nothing to Reed, but maybe Prince does.

For most men(who aren't artists) with sexual issues, I say squeeze your balls once in awhile to let the juices flow to remind yourselves what you really are. Otherwise, it's gonna get weird.

PowerChild said...

@Dave Pinsen:

I thought that "One Headlight" song was better than any of the nasally spoken rambling I'd heard by Bob Dylan.

As I've insinuated before, the alt rock of the early 90s was probably the best popular music there's ever been.

Anonymous said...

"You're the Twilight fan. There was a good 20-year-old Collective Soul song in the first one."

Most Twilight songs may not be great but most are perfect matches for the images.

Consider the scene where Bella stares into the mirror in Breaking Dawn part 1 soon after she discovers she's pregnant. Until then, it was all about her and Edward. And Edward fears the baby might kill her and the only objective on his mind is to find some way to remove it. But something strange happens. A rift with Edward develops and Bella finds herself bonding with the kid , and the moment is handled beautifully through suggestive movement and music. It couldn't have been done any better and the song's melodies and lyrics are perfect.

http://youtu.be/S4JRgvoO1Ag?t=3m35s

"Slow, we paddle through the lake
Straight to the very center of the darkest water
Where we can embrace the shadows on the surface
The eyes that look up lifeless from our twins below
And though your arms and legs are under
Love will be the echo in your ears when all is lost and plunder
My love will be there still"

Lyrics are suggestive of the child as a reflection of Bella's hidden anxieties and hopes. She mysteriously finds herself bonding with the kid, even more powerfully than with Edward or need for self-preservation.
The whole premise of Twilight may be loopy, but this is first-rate filmmaking, and it's too bad so many critics and moviegoers are blind as a bat.

Dave Pinsen said...

I thought it was awesome to see a liberal accusing others of racism get hoisted by his own petard.

Anonymous said...

Greil Marcus wrote a book called LIPSTICK TRACES.

Reed was a guy who wrote some of his songs with a lipstick.

New Age sounds like it was composed while Reed was staring into the mirror putting lipstick on his face while dreaming of Hollywood.

Whiskey said...

OF COURSE "We Built This City" is a far better song than "White Rabbit." Of course. How could anyone think differently? Starship was far superior to Airplane.

And that gets to the heart of the matter. Do cult guys like Reed matter in a time when "quantity has its own quantity" as Stalin used to brag?

I'd argue no. Because Reed's stuff just got lost in the Kultursmog of mass music. Particularly the effect of technology on music-making.

Yes. Autotune. So what matters is how well a former Disney tweener can twerk her behind, not sing. Alison Moyet is in the news, her record company wanted her to go on reality shows to drum up interest, she ended up releasing her own new stuff.

Reed's edgy, ultra-bohemian, drug-endorsing stuff from Velvet Underground becomes irrelevant with mass-market hymns to designer drugs by Disney Twerkers. Since actual musical ability is no longer required given autotune's ability to "fix" nearly any vocal defect.

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre believe inferior headphones and the MP3 format are responsible for massive music sale declines. IMHO, it is simply bad music that most people feel no emotional connection to and decline to buy.

And that is where I'd call Reed an artistic failure. His work largely does not stand up to the criteria of time the way Starship does, because his music is neither beautiful nor is it emotionally moving. It does not make you feel. You can appreciate the edginess of it in 1968, but its like watching a kid in the neighborhood ride a bike for the first time. You appreciate the effort but you don't FEEL.

Anonymous said...

As was pointed out above, critic's darlings like Lou Reed, Dylan, Patti Smith can often leave young people who are both somewhat self-conscious and also culturally ambitious to question themselves if they like some esteemed artist because of a natural personal attraction or just because it is a marker of good taste to like them.

I know when I started getting into rock music and eventually heard that Dylan was somebody you should like if you were with it and I bought one of his albums,it was jarring to hear his voice and I can't really say for certain if my later appreciation of him would have occurred naturally if I hadn't known I was supposed to like him.

But I can still recall the first time I heard Walk On The Wild Side in the mid 80's as a Senior in high school drinking and cruising around with a group of friends and someone had it on a mix tape. It really kind of blew me away. I hadn't really heard anything like that before and I was the one of the group who was most into music and knew the history of rock way more than any of my peers (Kind of weird that I hadn't heard of Lou at such a late date.) But anyway, Lou's Walk On Wild Side is one critic's darling I am absolutely certain I had a personal, natural appreciation for.

Anonymous said...

The album prior to VUAN that came to closest to achieving something similar was probably Dylan's BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME, which surely had a considerable influence on Reed.

Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues and Maggie's Farm anticipate songs like Waiting for the Man and There She Goes Again.

It's All Right Ma, I'm Only Bleeding maybe influence Black Angel's Death Song.

Love Minus Zero/No Limit might have gave Reed some hints for I'll Be Your Mirror. The surreal love song.

-------

Venus in Furs sounds somewhat like Doors' The End.

Femme Fatale prolly took got some ideas from Just Like a Woman.

All Tomorrow's Party's sounds a bit like Bells of Rhymney by the Byrds(based on Pete Seeger tune).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8gBysv5gYQ

Anonymous said...

"OF COURSE "We Built This City" is a far better song than "White Rabbit." Of course. How could anyone think differently? Starship was far superior to Airplane."

I like We Built This City. Cheesy song but lots of fun and has nostalgia value. (I also prefer Moody Blues' Wildest Dreams to their more 'serious' stuff in the 60s and 70s. Timothy Leary Is Dead indeed!)
I never much liked Jefferson Airplane. Overwrought, message-laden, heavy-handed. White Rabbit is a remarkable in a way, but it's so obviously a drug anthem. It's almost a lecture tour on tripping. Gimme Scott Mckenzie's San Francisco instead.
JA was a better band than the Grateful Dead, none of whom could really sing, and maybe Garcia was the only distinct musician among the group--though far from a great guitarist. BUT what accounted for the Dead's staying power was their easygoing nature. They took things in stride. They made you relax. Sure, much of it was amateurish but they had a live-and-let-live attitude, and that had lasting universal appeal--as long as Garcia was alive at least.
But Jefferson Airplane wore their radicalism and druggy experimentalism on their sleeve. Grace Slick tried so hard to be a sex symbol of the hippie movement. They had a lot of strengths but their stuff was almost dated on the spot. Grace Slick in GIMME SHELTER saying "don't touch anyone unless you intend love" is one of the most hilarious thing I ever seen... though Jagger topped it with 'brothers and sisters, why are we fighting?' well, maybe hiring a bunch of hell's angels and paying them with free beer to control a mob made up of drug-addled loons had something to do with it.

As Starship, they dropped all that 60s stuff and carried on as professional musicians and came up with some nice songs, especially MIracles and another song that sounds almost identical.

Even so, it was as the Airplane that they worked in the mode of artists than merely musicians. To be sure, making good pop music isn't easy. It's easier to make an experimental film or experimental music than a good movie or decent pop song, and art schools are filled with no-talents who use experimentalism as a crutch for their lack of skills and ideas. I'll take good pop over crappy art any day. My friends and I've argued many many times about Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. They tell me Gabriel is a great artist while Collins is a sell-out, but I'll take Collins the honest craftsman to Gabriel the insufferable pompous ass.

Even so, there is something to be said for artists for they try to go where no one did before and be different and original in a personal way. Great pop can be homeruns but only great art can be grand slams. There is a difference between Close Encounters and 2001.

And Jefferson Airplane's SHE HAS FUNNY CARS is one of my all-time favs. And TODAY is a great song.

Anonymous said...

"Fortunately, my generation was the best public school educated group before or since."

You can say that again.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNxG7JnO1oA

He looks like a cross between ET and John Malkovich.

Porous Shine said...

"Steve,

OT, but I donated some money to you via VDARE in early October. I saw the charge deducted on my credit card statement. However, today I noticed that the amount had been returned from VDARE.

Do you know what is going on? It seems that after a month, the donation has been returned."


You trying to pay Steve in bitcoins again?

Anonymous said...

VU-like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7Uh8933Jvs

Ted Plank said...

I think Lou's work with the Velvets was VERY successful, IS emotionally moving, is VERY beautiful, DOES get me to feel and goes further out on a limb than anyone else playing a guitar in 1967 and 1968, after which Lou backed off, after John Cale was kicked out of the band.

When you mention Jefferson Starship to people nowadays, the usual response is laughter, if people remember them at all.


It is the folk music of real freaks. Vaclav Havel, hiding out from the Commies in 1968 Prague, drew a great deal of strength from "The Velvet Underground With Nico", the album inspired a Czech musical group of subversives known as Plastic People Of The Universe. When Havel became president of Czechoslovakia in the 90s, Lou was given the Key to the Country. Not McCartney, not Keith Richards, not Bob Dylan, not Bjorn Ulvaeuss, but Lou Reed.

I love Bukowski, and I've never been to the racetrack and I'm a light drinker. I love Lou, and have only dabbled with hard drugs and have never had sex with a man.

I wouldn't think for a minute that everyone should agree with me, but there is a large demographic of people that put Lou up with The Beatles, Elvis and Sinatra. I am one of them.

Anonymous said...

Patti Smith is 'I got up on the wrong side of the bed' music. Pretty much all attitude and shtick. If the attitude and shtick are at least appealing, that's one thing. But everything was ugly and hideous about Smith and her music.

Critics in the 70s and early 80s heaped praised on Smith and trashed Karen Carpenter. True, much of the stuff the Carpenters did was vanilla white bread crap(elevator music with vocals), but looking back, it's Karen Carpenter who looms much larger. Her rendition of Superstar is for all time.

Anonymous said...

"Vaclav Havel, hiding out from the Commies in 1968 Prague, drew a great deal of strength from "The Velvet Underground With Nico", the album inspired a Czech musical group of subversives known as Plastic People Of The Universe."

I appreciate Havel's championing of freedom, but he was too partial to the decadent side of the West for my taste.
And there's something trite about lionizing an intellectual because he liked 'my kind of music'.

And didn't he support Wars for Democracy? How well did that go?

Anonymous said...

From MOSCOW DOESN'T BELIEVE IN TEARS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=salv7F1yyzc