Lou Reed was both an avant-rock forefather and a legendary crank, and I sincerely recommend that you spend some time with this Lester Bangs piece about a contentious Reed interview. PBS recently animated an interview that Joe Smith conducted with Reed in 1987, and it has a lot of interesting stuff about what Reed was trying to do with the Velvet Underground. He says that he wanted to inject adult ideas into rock and roll, and people were not trying to hear it: “I write a song called ‘Heroin’ and you would’ve thought that I’d murdered the Pope or something.” He also has some harsh words for some of his contemporaries who were also trying to test the bounds of the medium, though not in ways that Reed thought were particularly interesting. Check out the short video below.
Shout out to people with degrees in English from Syracuse University. We’re all contrarian assholes.