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New Blank On Blank Animation: Lou Reed On The Beatles


I can’t get enough of these very nicely done Blank on Blank animations. I wanted to watch all of them the other day, but there are so many I will have to wait until I have a break. However, I watched one of them today, because there’s a new one about Lou Reed’s 1987 interview with music executive Joe Smith.

I don’t understand, was it a forgotten interview? Because everyone is reacting react to what Lou Reed said at the time. In fact, they in fact say it is a rare interview, but honestly, nobody should be surprised.

In the interview, Lou Reed, the aspiring writer who loved rock and roll – ‘Venus in Furs’ was based on a novel but no one realized this – talks about his ambition and goal for the Velvet Underground,… What ambition? he wanted to ‘elevate the rock song and take it where it hadn’t been taken before’… does it sound pretentious? Sure! Plus, and this is the scandalous part, Lou Reed reveals his aversion for some famous and beloved bands:

‘When [bands] did try to get, in quotes, ‘arty,’ it was worse than stupid rock & roll. What I mean by ‘stupid,’ I mean, like, the Doors.’… ‘I never liked the Beatles, I thought they were garbage. If you say, ‘Who did you like?’ I liked nobody.’

And everyone is surprised? Didn’t Reed have this sort of reputation, and for a good reason? Of course, he appears like an arrogant character, full of himself, who even used a gun to scare some college kids in a remote part of New Jersey, but he was Lou Reed.

After all who cares about what Lou Reed thought about the Doors and the Beatles? I know, I am the first one to complain when an artist behaves like an asshole, and I am always on Kanye West’s back for this reason… but of course Lou Reed couldn’t stand the Beatles – or pretended to – his music was a reaction against the sweetness of the UK band… But you know what? Lou Reed covered many John Lennon’s songs, here is ‘Jealous Guy’ (which may well be what Reed was after all) and Mother during different Lennon Tributes. I know it’s not exactly the Beatles but it is a start.

So are you Beatles or Velvet Underground? Beatles’ fans will be stuck forever in the sugar-coated psychedelia of ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ while Reed’s fans will always taste the dissonance of ‘Heroin’… I like both and I am totally clean.

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