For those of you keeping track at home, there were five home recordings from 1963–64 on the sloppily titled Lou Reed: Words & Music, May 1965 compilation: the two Dylan “covers” (“Baby, Let Me Follow You Down” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”); “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore”; and two blues fragments.


We don’t associate Lou with blues — in fact I think the Velvet Underground had a rule against playing blues progressions — but anyone who picks up a guitar plays the blues at one time or another, even if only by accident. These two pieces demonstrate that a) Lou did in fact play the blues, and that b) he was not suited to it.

So cross that one off the list. Folksinger, no. Bluesman, no. What on Earth would he be?