(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...

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...

Walk Alone

Some of the songs on Words & Music, May 1965 display a whimsy that we don’t associate much with the Reed/Cale Velvet Underground. I guess there had to be a sense of humor underlying something like “Sister Ray” or “The Gift,” but it is a stone-faced, sadistic sort...