Lou Reed To New York Magazine: “What Are You, A Fucking Asshole?”

By brandon / June 6, 2008

Lou Reed isn’t the sunniest guy in the world. Nor is he the most humble. Or so it’s often alleged. Still, proven or not, it’s not very surprising that he got bent out of shape in his responses to New York magazine’s questions about his new Sirius radio show New York Shuffle once the interviewer, Andrew M. Goldstein, started asking about Reed’s finances. Note: Reed’s co-hosting the show with its producer, Hal Wilner. Remember Reed getting pissy at an audience member when he and Julian Schnabel discussed Lou Reed’s Berlin at the Tribeca Film Festival? This time he doesn’t bring up Lester Bangs. He does, however, bring up “a fucking piece of shit,” among other things.

NY MAGAZINE: Your show is called the “New York Shuffle.” As music has been migrating from local stores and radio stations to satellite radio and the Internet, do you think there’s still such a thing as a New York sound?

LOU REED: I think these days it’s more of a Brooklyn sound. It’s not out of New York anymore; it’s all out of Brooklyn. I go out there to listen to music. A lot of the stuff we played, when we checked out where it came from, it was from Brooklyn.

NY MAGAZINE: The music industry is going through a lot of turmoil, obviously, with labels closing and record stores shutting down all over the country. What role do you think radio plays today?

LR: Stations should pay attention to what people really want to listen to and not have these restrictive playlists. That’s what I think. I’m not usually the one someone turns to about advice on how to make money.

NY MAGAZINE: Sirius’s impending merger with XM is anticipated to boost earnings. Do you own any stock in the company?

LR: What are you, a fucking asshole? I’m here telling you the truth about music and you want to know if I have stock in the fucking radio? You fucking piece of shit. What did I do to deserve that?

NY MAGAZINE: Moving on. You’ve got a film out, you’ve got your radio show, you’ve got a new book of photography coming up — is there a new album in the works?

LR: No. Nothing I feel like talking about. Good-bye.

To be fair to Reed, Goldstein is a bit snarky from the beginning. His first two questions: “How did this show come into being? Did Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin wine and dine you?” and “What kind of audience do you envision when you’re doing a show? The commuter from Staten Island?” Seems he was egging Reed on to get just this sort of reaction. Success. Read the rest at Vulture.