FEATURE LOU REED
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Who says Lou Reed is gctting grouchy in his middle agc‘.’ With the rock godhcad coming to Scotland. Alastair Mahhott woulan darc.
hcrc is a protocol to l.ou Rccd intcr— \‘icws. a game that cyolycd through collusion ol prcss ol'l‘iccrs. iournalists and Rccd himscll'. It gocs likc this: to wartn thc grcat man up a hit. yott mast spcnd thc ﬁrst part ol your conycrsa- tion asking about the tcchnical mattcrs so closc to his hcart. Iikc thc statc ol' thc art ol sound rccording. with particular rclcrcncc to how ltis own guitar sound is capturcd itt thc studio. You allow l.ou to rahhit on ahout this tor a whilc. Then. and only then. do you moyc on.
It‘s quickly apparcnt that a littlc ‘warming up' might hc an cscccdingly good idca. l.ou Rccd is thc l'irst pcrson l‘yc spokcn to who makcs ‘.-\ good day. What kind ol :1 day arc \rti'! hay ing'.” sottnd likc a ycrhal rolling-up ol tltc slctwcs. Alrcady. thc palms arc in l‘nll swcat. llow long do I hayc'.’ ‘l’il‘tccn minutcs.‘ hc answcrs cl'l\|‘l_\. .'\h. wcll. thcn. (‘ut to tltc cliasc. .\ cliunlt ot’ qucstions ahottt thc cstraordinarily \. i\ id guitar sound on his latcst alhum. M! '/‘/.n lint/lull! Rec/rug. is instantly shclycd. to hc tackcd on at thc cnd. in lull knowlcdgc that this could lic a l‘atal mistalsc. \Vc will ncycr know.
Sc! Iii/IF 'lii'i/t'g/tl It’t't'ling. I point out. sonic- what rcdttndantly. to its crcator. is lltc‘ l'irst Ion Rccd alhum sincc .l/ixlriu/ in i'~’.\’o that‘s not tclling a story or huilt around .1 ccntral tltctnc. 'l‘hc l.ord ol' l.aconic cliclys his :onguc sharply. ‘(iucss so.‘ llcrc hcginncth llic uphill strugglc. ln a brisk succcssion ol ilt‘dt' monosy llaluc rcplics. wc cstahlish that writing a song—cyclc is ncithcr morc nor lcss prctcral‘lc to making an alhum ol' unrclatcd songs; that hc docsn't 'stockpilc' songs; that thc track ‘Sc\ \\'ith \our l’arcnts~ is his solc ottthurst conccrning tltc t'isc ol' thc New Right. and that 'llookywooloW is indccd a word likc Ilim—lims‘. inycntcd l‘y lx’ccd to ayoid sliot‘t-liycd contcmporary slang.
‘l'h. thcrc‘s a couplc ol words on thc ;lll‘lilll that l madc up.‘ hc ol‘l’crs. ‘l.il\'c "inspirating” ' Sounds \cry .loyccan. ‘\\'cll . . . l'd lic \cry t'latv
tcrcd it somconc thought sotttcthing likc that.‘ :\yc. ay c. \layhc things arc looking up.
'l‘hcn again. an attctnpt to pursuc thc theme of dcath attd translormation on .llugn‘ .‘llld [.(is‘s‘ lcads only to a commcnt that ‘pcoplc’ didn’t thinly it was a rccord hc should put out. Two stcps hack.
()t' coursc. hc knows that l'or want of any lurthcr input. I‘m going to hayc to go away and stolyc thc alrcady satcd lcgcnd. l.ou Rccd. Snpcrgit. Dcstroys wholc maga/incs with a w ithcring glancc. Rcdttccs l'rcsh-l‘accd collaho- rators to hahhling wrcclys. llut that's assuming too much. \lorc likcly. this wltolc cschangc is taking placc on a In cl iust hclow his thrcshold ot attcntion. llttt onc thing ahout your aycragc hac‘s is that hc always wants to lcayc somc itnprcssion that will mark Ititn ottt lrom thc hordcs ot namclcss attd lacclcss iournos that ﬁll up lltc itincrartcs ot thc rich and latnous. An cncountcr with tltc Rtlsllltltﬂ'C—lllsc intransigcncc ol lou l’ucldn‘ lx’ccd magnil'ics and intcnsit‘ics
‘I wouldn’t say [The Velvet Underground] ended in bad feeling. Not for me. Maybe you’re speaking for other
people, but you’re certainly not speaking for me — are you?’
that ut’gc and its i‘atltctic lutility. liacc it. you tc.i":j. .nc is‘tn‘nlt his :toticc.
/':-. conttnacs thc crcatiyc roll hc's hccn on \lll‘c‘t‘ I‘Wl's .\'t a Mi”. although unlikc that "uponl and thc c\ctt strictcr structurcs oi \w/gtjx / /)n t and .lltlL'lit' .-l/1t/ loss. its songs arc niorc scll' contaittcd. liyctt so. it docs lollow
;'*i‘:tg!'t‘ssittzt trout lhc childish plcasurcs oi ‘ligg (wt-am to ‘acccptlingl tlic ncw lound man' on !hn concluding tracly.
(his t l tltc most ittt‘lucntial musicians iit thc orld. | cw is \lan lx’ccd is 54 now aitd purport- cdl_\ hal‘l‘a‘t‘ than hc‘s cycr hccn lll his lilc tcsix‘cialh. lcsl wc t'orgct. with thc guitar sound his now l.l’t. llis t'clationship with l.auric \ndcrsoi: is cntcring its third ycar. hc‘s cttltiyat-
my) an llllt‘l’t‘sl tn macrolnotic dicts and hiolccd- ixiclt. l’lus hc's giycn cyci'ytlting up. cycn
calilctttc. h. king l‘clatcdly rcaliscd his systcm
w as too scnstttyc to dial with anything strongcr than lirrhal tca, ()h. irony.