# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Lou Reed - The Journalists and the Media

  by Dominic B. Simpson

published: 6 / 11 / 2013

Lou Reed - The Journalists and the Media


Dominic Simpson reflects on Lou Reed's often prickly relationship with the journalists and the media

“One chord is fine. Two is pushing it. Three and you’re into jazz” – Lou Reed The Velvet Underground’s first album was the touchstone for independent music throughout the decades. But Reed solo in the 70s was equally thrilling and pioneering, his nihilistic proto-punk early 70s look a forerunner to Suicide’s leather-clad industrial bleakness and much synth-pop. The trio of Bowie, Reed, and Iggy Pop in their Berlin period produced some timeless music, while his legendary 1975 album ‘Metal Machine Music’, released to get out of his record contract, predated much power electronics, noise rock, industrial and No Wave music, and remains an influence on those genres. It’s bombast and general ‘screw you all’ nature was a recurring theme, stretching right from the first Velvets album and its shockingly transgressive lyrics and walls of distortion to, some forty-six years later, ‘Lulu’ – a collaboration with Metallica that clocked in at a monstrous 87 minutes, inviting a mixed reception. But then Reed wouldn’t have it any other way. A curmudgeonly, deliberately contradicatory soul, his music could be heartbreakingly beautiful, from 'Sunday Morning' to the third Velvet Underground album, while he could be sneering and pithy in interviews. When asked what his favourite song from his back catalogue was, he replied “all of them”, and refused to elaborate. A classic interview in Sydney Airport in the early 1970s – now a favourite on YouTube – is Reed at his most amusingly vituperative: monosyllabic and uncommunicative, providing the barest of answers, deliberately baffling the hapless interviewer, he replies to the question, “How would you describe yourself?” with the hilarious retort: “Average”. Whether he truly believed it not, it was the perfect Reed answer. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


1942 - 2013 (2013)
Lou Reed - 1942 - 2013
Denzil Watson looks back on the career and life of Velvet underground front man and solo artist Lou Reed, who died at the age of 71 in October
A Personal Tribute (2013)
Lou Reed's Berlin (2008)
Lou Reed's Berlin (2008)

live reviews

Hammersmith Apollo, London, 1/7/2007
Lou Reed - Hammersmith Apollo, London, 1/7/2007
Lou Reed has recently been touring Europe with his bleak early 1970's masterpiece, 'Berlin', and both a choir and brass and strings section. John Clarkson finds that it has lost none of and impact almost 35 years on from its original release and the New York rocker on fantastic form
Barbican, London, 28/5/2003

favourite album

Rock 'n' Roll Animal (2010)
Lou Reed - Rock 'n' Roll Animal
Jeff Thiessen examines Lou Reed's classic 1974 live album, 'Rock 'n' Roll Animal'
Metal Machine Music (2010)
The Blue Mask (2002)


Lou Reed (2013)
Lou Reed - Lou Reed
John Clarkson writes of ten of his favourite songs in the solo career of the late Lou Reed
The Raven (2003)

digital downloads


Berlin : Live at St Ann's Warehouse (2008)
Live reworking of Lou Reed's infamously controversial 'Berlin' album, which shows that Reed still has the power to enthral and shock
NYC Man The Ultimate Collection (2003)

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors