Lou Reed "Rock and Roll Animal"
Lou with a cast of incredible musicians create a landmark record.
"I remember it being relatively late one night at home in my room listening to the radio when the live version of Sweet Jane came on. That whole first musical movement of it was just captivating and I remember thinking “Man! Wow! Who is this?”
December 20th, Howdy live music lovers and welcome to “Throw-Down-Thursday” on the Live Vinyl Lovefest! This morning’s selection comes straight out of the east coast scene of the 70s with Lou Reed’s “Rock and Roll Animal”Howdy live music lovers and welcome to “Throw-Down-Thursday” on the Live Vinyl Lovefest! This morning’s selection comes straight out of the east coast scene of the 70s with Lou Reed’s “Rock and Roll Animal”
Okay, I freely admit that while growing up in the remote midwest of the 70’s, Lou Reed was not really in my field of vision. I was into a very different thing musically and there was very little info out there about what was actually happening at that period of time in New York with the Velvet Underground etc. That scene was very mysterious and unrealized to much of the middle of the country.
But as my life rolled on into adulthood, and as I became deeper immersed in the music culture in my own career on a quest to learn everything I possibly could about music in general, there was just no escaping Lou Reed. His impact and influence is profound, especially so for punk-new wave-alt-rock-glam rock-hard rock — and any other title you want to add to it — in order to navigate the waters of edgy and intelligent music. In hind sight I was very fortunate to live in a city that offered a radio station with the courage to play and promote music that was mysterious and not readily in the public eye. KSHE-95 was that radio station in St. Louis in the 70’s. The openness of their playlist subtly encouraged you to be open in your tastes. In a non-threatening way, it discouraged the tribalism that is so prevalent in radio today.
I remember it being relatively late one night at home in my room listening to the radio when the live version of Sweet Jane came on. That whole first musical movement of it was just captivating and I remember thinking “Man! Wow! Who is this?” I would soon learn and just like that, my vision of music began to broaden. The irony of course being that I was a huge Alice Cooper fan at the time and it would not be until many, many years later that I would actually discover that the Cooper guitar duo of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter played on this recording. I TOTALLY hear it now, and am convinced it was a big part of what attracted me to this record that night in my room. With the absolute luxury of hindsight, I view it now as a masterpiece.
The tracks for this record were recorded in 1973 at Howard Stein’s Academy of Music in New York City by Gus Mossler using the Record Plant Mobile and produced by Steve Katz and Lou Reed.
I was lucky enough to have an ultra brief interaction with Lou while working for Laurie Anderson in preparation for a tour in the mid 80s. Honestly it was nothing more than a “hi, how’s it going” while waiting on the tea kettle to boil. And, being totally honest with you, I was intimidated by him. His presence was pretty understated while there and in it I sensed a very intelligent and insightful guy standing next to me. Later on I shared this with Laurie, inquiring into how it was that she knew Lou. She assured me I should not have been intimidated and that Lou was very accessible. Clearly my loss. Lou and Laurie were not a couple at that point but you could tell she had a level of respect and admiration for him that was very real. If his name ever came up in conversation, her enormous, beautiful eyes would simply light up and she always spoke of him in the most glowing and reverent tones and terms.
Lou Reed’s presence and influence in Rock and Roll, let alone his other contributions and endeavors are worthy of any and all praise. The breadth of his contribution to not only music, but art, literature and film are beyond impressive. I’m thankful he invited us all along on his creative life’s journey. My suggestion to you; don’t miss listening to this live recording at least once in your lifetime.