Feeling My Age

Getting older has its drawbacks – but it's a lot better than the alternative.

Sweet Lou

December 11, 2011 Feeling My Age

Lou Reed with Metallica

It’s depressing how many of our cultural heroes from the 60s have – in later life – turned out to be twerps.

Recent interviews with Jonathan MillerArt Garfunkel – and now Lou Reed – combine an inflated sense of their own importance with resentment at how underappreciated they are by the ignorant wider world.

Lou Reed has just made an album with Metallica based – according to Wikipedia – on “two plays originally written by the German playwright Frank Wedekind”. It consists mostly of monologues intoned by Reed over heavy metal instrumentals – and has been savaged by critics and bloggers around the world.

But at least BBC Television treated the whole ludicrous farrago* seriously – offering Lou Reed and Metallica a prime slot on Later With Jools Holland.   [*See Fatzer’s comment below – it’s true I haven’t actually heard the album]. At all events when John Wilson spoke to him in his dressing room, Lou was duly appreciative of the honour:

JW: And so this has been a satisfying project so far – do you want to take it further, will you be touring..?
LR: Satisfying project? I’m not trying to be a wise guy: satisfaction’s not one of the goals. Ever. Take me out in the woods and get rid of me, before that ever happens to me.
JW: Before what exactly happens ?
LR: Turn into one of them.
JW: What’s ‘one of them’ though?
LR: Showbiz. I hate everything about showbiz. Everything.
JW: And you’ve never done anything in your career that would constitute showbiz?
LR: I have been given misguided information on occasion. And that’s why every record company’s going out of business. And they should. I Hate Show Business – and anything to do with Show Business.
JW: But how do you define Show Business? Because – at the risk of being shouted at by Lou Reed – you work in Show Business.
LR: Everybody but us. Everybody but us.
JW: Everybody but you is showbiz ?
LR: Yes
JW: But here we are at the BBC in a dressing room…
LR: Here we are at the BBC – and do you know what a comedown that is for me? I’m against everything the BBC stands for.
JW: Why would you be against with the BBC ?
LR: I would sink it. I would bring back pirate radio.
JW: With radio though… you’re getting, with the BBC, records that would not be played on any commercial station.
LR: Well, that’s true…
JW: Because it’s paid for by our license fee…
LR: …and I’ll slither back into my underground cave where I belong.


  1. Fatzers on December 12, 2011 5:00 pm

    cheers, thanks for that audio :)

    if you haven’t listened to lulu, try it – nothing ludicrous about it, it’s actually stunning, and if you can’t get into the album versions, try live germany tv performances :)

  2. feelingmyage on December 12, 2011 7:04 pm

    You’re right of course – it was a bit rich to call something a ludicrous farrago without having listened to it – typical bloody blogger. It’s a fair point well made so here’s one of those live German TV performances. Gentle reader, you be the judge:

  3. Fatzers on December 13, 2011 12:24 am

    never in the history of mankind was a record so great been maligned so much by so many and listened to by so few…

    but if you ever become a convert, or even if you don’t, i’d love to read the “lulu listening diary” entries ;)

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