|Issue 16 - October 1973|
|The first time
I heard Lou Reed was when Rita and Tom were fixing speed. In time they
both went over the edge and were seen no more. But it was really spiffing
to tie up to all those golden oldies like 'Sister Ray' and 'Heroin'.
It was the happiest time of my life.
Some people lend themselves to mythology without difficulty and Lou is one of those guys. The first time I saw him was an experience that I'll always remember. The tape just made it and the recording was fine, the dope was plentiful and all the lovely ladies had pale blue eyes.
A few days ago I saw something I never thought could happen: Lou Reed, the mastermind behind the Velvets, did a gig in Newcastle and filled the place with small people whose average age was about 13 ... and it was so fucking sad to see him dress all those terrifying / funny songs up in flash and bad go-go dancing. The audience was there because Mr Bowie had been seen around town with him: so the kids there looked like dear David and painted their faces like dear David and it was a sad night and all of their eyes were green and very calculating.
The arrival of 'BERLIN' came soon after that night and I wondered just which aspect of the chameleon it would allow me to see. After only one playing I was in no doubt at all. The story-line is simple and I'm sure you all know it by now. The producer is Bob Ezrin and it shows. BERLIN quite simply is the album we've been waiting for since he left the Velvets and the wait has been worth it.
The birth of a 'star' (the new Judy Garland?) is upon us but the death of something far more important is also at hand. Grab this while you can. It just might be your last chance before he goes down under the weight of small excited bodies. Perhaps I'm getting old. BERLIN is a very sad record. It crystallises the romantic reminiscences that he has always been involved in. It is also very beautiful and very serious and amazingly funny. Its precision is terrifying!