Lou Reed as a young man, as seen by Warhol


Reacting to this news

Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today on Long Island. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May
With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. “One chord is fine,” he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. “Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”…

… I happened to remember the above video. It’s one of Andy Warhol’s “screen tests” that he did of various people who hung around The Factory back in the mid-’60s.

Basically, Warhol would turn a camera loaded with a short bit of film (about four minutes worth) onto one of his subjects, and just let that person be for that length of time.

Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips put 13 of those clips to music, and I saw their show at Spoleto in Charleston a couple of years back.

Somehow, their lyrics seem appropriate to express just how old we’ve gotten since Reed sat there drinking that Coke.

For some of Reed’s own music, I include the clip below…

3 thoughts on “Lou Reed as a young man, as seen by Warhol

  1. Bill

    One of his few songs I like.His legacy is more ‘attitude’ than music.There are so many greater musicians/songwriters his age that we should appreciate,while they’re still here…

  2. Doug Ross

    Andy Warhol duped a lot of people. The fact that anyone would pay for his “art” says a lot about the lemmings in the art world. Pretension sells.

    I know it’s blasphemy, but Reed sings like a bad combination of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. I confess to not knowing a single Lou Reed / Velvet Underground song besides Walk on The Wild Side… but in listening to cuts off “The Essential Lou Reed”, my initial reaction was that it sounded like a Rolling Stones cover band.

    1. Bill

      Warhol duped,and was a master at creating publicity(for himself) as you claim,but he was an excellent artist;his early,and late work usually went ignored:https://www.google.com/search?q=andy+warhol+early+drawings&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=OptvUtXDCLi14AOqvICwDg&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=621

      Good call on ,Lou Reed.
      In the past decades,the much maligned,Rolling Stones,have had their(VERY,VERY),good nights:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDxpdFKuGb4


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