Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lou Reed Outdoes Himself Again

Apparently I've only decided to post on Pitchfork interviews with '70s cult legends while recycling old blog post titles. Why mess with success? Here we have a very game Lou Reed being interviewed about Metal Machine Music. He's so jolly I wouldn't be surprised to spot him dressed as Santa Claus at the local mall next month:
Lou Reed: Hello, hi. How are you, Amanda?

Pitchfork: I'm great.

Reed: How do you say your last name?

Pitchfork: Petrusich.

Reed: Wow. A name name. That's a real name. You should be a movie star. What nationality is it?

Pitchfork: It's Croatian.

Reed: It's a great, great name. Are you married? What's your husband's name?

Pitchfork: Stetka. Which is a Czech name.

Reed: What's it like when you say them both?

Pitchfork: Petrusich-Stetka.

Reed: That's pretty good, don't you think?

Pitchfork: It's not bad.

Reed: What if you got knighted? That would be pretty good.
Say what you want, but damn it, I still like the guy.
Pitchfork: There's always been considerable chatter about whether or not Metal Machine Music was intended as a joke, or a stab at the record industry-- do you think the continuing conjecture about your intentions for the record is, now, as much a part of the art as the music?

Reed: The myth-- depends on how you look at it, but the myth is sort of better than the truth. The myth is that I made it to get out of a recording contract. OK, but the truth is that I wouldn't do that, because I wouldn't want you to buy a record that I didn't really like, that I was just trying to do a legal thing with. I wouldn't do something like that. The truth is that I really, really, really loved it. I was in a position where I could have it come out. I just didn't want it to come out and have the audience think it was more rock songs. It was only on the market for three weeks anyway. Then they took it away.

Pitchfork: Right, I read that it was the most returned record at that time...

Reed: It still may be the all-time champ.
See, fans? The man really cared. He wasn't just spitting in your face and mercilessly raping your ears.
Pitchfork: Were you anxious about Metal Machine Music's initial release? You must have had some sense that it was going to be shocking to people who bought and loved "Walk on the Wild Side" or "Sweet Jane".

Reed: I honestly thought "Boy, people who like guitar feedback are gonna go crazy for this." Count me among them. If you like loud guitars, here we are.
This reminds me of the closing line of the All Movie Guide's review of the 1978 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band film: "For those who want to hear Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees cover Beatles tunes, this is your Citizen Kane."

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