I’m Waiting for the Man (1)

Written at about the same time and on the same subject, “Heroin” and “I’m Waiting for the Man” naturally go together. But whereas the former was about the psychological/spiritual/philosophical aspects of the junkie life, the latter is about the logistics: The places...

Heroin (1)

Over the last few weeks I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide when, exactly, the Velvet Underground started. There are numerous ways of looking at it, but I keep coming back to the moment Lou Reed and John Cale ran into Sterling Morrison on the...

Prominent Men

(Happy Birthday to John Cale, and to any other March 9 babies out there.) As the years and decades have passed, and I’ve listened more and more to the grand geniuses of classic rock — your Velvets and Beatles, your Bowies and Hendrixes, your one and only Bob Dylan —...

Venus in Furs (1)

(Happy Birthday to Lou, and to others born on this auspicious day!) I had a charming guest.Opposite me, by the massive Renaissance fireplace, sat Venus: not, mind you, some demimondaine who, like Mademoiselle Cleopatra, had taken the pseudonym of Venus in her war...

(Interlude: I’ve Had It)

This week I finally cracked open Will Hermes’ Lou Reed: King of New York and was encouraged to find that, though it is a weighty tome, more than 75 of its pages are occupied by notes and index. Thus inspired, I plunged in and have been making decent progress. The...

(Interlude: Enter the Velvet Underground)

This blog’s been going for a little over a year and a half now and after 48 posts, we have finally arrived at the advent of the Velvet Underground. That moves us into a new phase and there will be a bit of a hiatus while I do some research. Recently I walked into...

Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams

It was quite jarring to first hear “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.” Cale takes over on vocals for this one and provides the percussive tapping while Reed plays acoustic guitar. After hearing the preceding folk and blues-styled performances, suddenly it doesn’t sound...

Stockpile

The lyrics for this are nowhere to be found online, and some are incomprehensible, but here’s my best guess: They went and took my Uncle JoeWe ain’t see (?) no moreThe man said everything is fineDon’t you worry bout the old coal mineGuess it looks like I’m gonna have...

Pale Blue Eyes (1)

I debated whether to write about this here, as I am planning to deal with the other future Velvet Underground songs on Lou Reed: Words & Music, May 1965 (“I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Heroin”) in the context of the first VU album. But “Pale Blue Eyes” is an...

Buzz Buzz Buzz

It’s hard to believe that this goofy slice of The Blooz was written by the same guy, and at around the same time, as “Heroin,” “Waiting for the Man,” and “Venus in Furs.” I mean, what would Lester Bangs have said? Lester, for those unfamiliar, was a rock ctitic who...