12 April 2010

Lou Reed Week (Day One)

(art by gary)
Research indicates that Lou Reed was born Lewis Allan Reed on March 2 1942 at Beth El Hospital in Brooklyn. It also says that he received electroconvulsive therapy during his younger years in an attempt to shock the homosexual urges out of him. He also went to Syracuse, and made friends with Delmore Schwartz. Following his time done with the Velvet Underground, he worked as a typist at an accounting firm for a year and then released an album that went largely unnoticed. Transformer came out shortly thereafter, but that's for another day.
There's more to Lou than trannies and heroin. Obviously, there's the music but there's also an attitude. Given my limited number of quality life experiences, all that I know about Brooklyn in the 1950s is what I read in Hubert Selby Jr.'s book. I know that people were hungry and broke, and were willing to do whatever was necessary to get through to tomorrow. Cigarettes, pills, and booze are just as good as soup, bread, and milk. The need to survive is penultimate among all else, and running away isn't surviving it's, running away. The individual is the individual, and all decisions and outcomes only affect the individual. Morals are subjective, and the world doesn't hesitate so you shouldn't either.
This isn't going to be hollow praise for seven days straight. Is it possible that the great american novel could be a record? The spirit of life is there, although at times it's battered, strung out, and lonely. However at other times, it's almost optimistic. It knows that tomorrow is coming and could in theory be better than today, but at the same time recognizes that it may not be that great. The words in the songs promote thought, and the music makes the head bob. This is Lou Reed Week.

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