Nice work Dave! I've never heard the VU/punk correlation before, that's wild.
The Krefting remembrance is also brilliant.
Here's my ripple in the swell of response to Lou's passing-
My catharsis was instigated by European Son's presence on a mix-tape from a high school friend. In my immediate quest for more, I lucked out and found a used copy of the Peel Slowly And See box set for 30$ (a great deal considering it was the year the set came out). These CDs were of the few that accompanied me for several pre-mp3 player bohemian years, the music of which became (and remains) so personally significant I am at a loss for words to try and better explain the affect. It might seem misaligned, but driving through the moonscapes of the Alcan highway listening to these records is a very unique experience.
While on the one hand I've always thought it an amazing defiance of biology that Lou Reed lived beyond his 30's, on the other hand- hearing the news the other day hit me in the same way as losing a friend or relative. Resonance of the VU and Reed in music since the record button was first pressed cannot be understated; I'd go so far as to say each individual song on the Velvet Underground & Nico record have authored what's emerged as distinctive genres amidst the independent rock sphere.
A quick semi-digression before I sign off, my above and beyond most incredible record-collection story involves the holy grail Velvet Underground & Nico LP:
A couple years ago I was running late to meet up with some friends, and happen to park in front of a house in Missoula, MT that was having a yard sale. Though a yard sale attic, given my lateness I would have passed on this one except I notice the lone crate of records, and at the front of it I can make out a banana. At this point I'm thinking you've got to be shitting me as it was day 2 of the yard sale in a college town with plenty of collectors. The woman who sold it to me for a buck was in her early 50's and she said this record belonged to her Mom who had recently passed, so I do the math and get to thinking that this could be a pretty early pressing. Sho' nuff it turns out to be a near-mint first pressing!
They sure don't make 'em like they used to.
RIP Mr. Reed
Nashville Public Library | Special Collections
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From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Lewis
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:13 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Excellent Lou Reed rememberance
My summary of Lou Reed's solo work, which was published on facebook but is either downloadable here or you can read it in the box.net preview pane:
Uncle Dave Lewis
On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 3:20 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> And the following was in today's Wall Street Journal:
> The United States of Lou ReedThe United States of Lou Reed
> Sometimes rock 'n' roll can accomplish more to promote freedom than
> translating the Federalist Papers.
> By David Feith, And Bari Weiss
> It is somehow fitting that rock star Lou Reed died Sunday, in this
> season of American national angst over government shutdowns, mounting
> debt and declining influence abroad. That's because the Velvet
> Underground frontman not only motivated Václav Havel and the
> Czechoslovak dissidents who challenged their Communist rulers and helped bring down the Soviet Union.
> He also demonstrated why, for all we hear about Washington's
> sclerosis, it is still smart to bet on America in this century as in the last.
> Not that Reed himself would have put it this way. Starting in the
> mid-1960s, his lyrics about urban life, drugs and sexuality made him
> one of rock's leading transgressives. Later he lambasted the concept
> of the American dream ("Give me your hungry, your tired, your poor
> I'll piss on 'em/That's what the Statue of Bigotry says") and railed
> against New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the religious right. In
> recent years, he supported Occupy Wall Street and performed in Israel,
> even as some of his left-wing contemporaries boycotted the Jewish state.
> But whatever his personal politics, Reed's music took on a life of its
> own behind the Iron Curtain. In the 1970s Czechoslovakia's
> anti-Communist movement coalesced around a Velvet Underground-inspired
> rock group called the Plastic People of the Universe. The Communist
> government branded the rockers enemies of the state for their long
> hair, crazy outfits, secret concerts and anti-authority lyrics.
> Playwright Václav Havel documented their trial and imprisonment in
> 1976, then published the "Charter 77" human-rights manifesto and
> eventually led the Velvet Revolution against Communism in 1989. The
> name derived partly from Reed's band, Havel later said. And when the
> two men met in 1990, Havel told him, "Do you know I am president because of you?"
> As far as we know, Lou Reed didn't get up in the morning thinking
> about how he could overthrow the Soviet Union. But his story reminds
> us that rock 'n' roll can sometimes inadvertently accomplish more to
> promote freedom than translating the Federalist Papers. In unfree
> societies, free expression-whether from Lou Reed or Lady Gaga-is subversive in itself.
> Consider apartheid South Africa and the unlikely story of Rodriguez,
> an early-1970s folk singer in Detroit who achieved no fame in the U.S.
> but immense popularity among white, anti-apartheid activists thousands
> of miles away. His blunt lyrics about sex won him young South African
> listeners, as did his claim that "This system's gonna fall soon, to an
> angry young tune/And that's a concrete cold fact." The system that
> fell was South Africa's, where the government tried to keep
> Rodriguez's music off the radio and out of stores, with official
> censors sometimes scratching his LPs by hand.
> The music of Reed and Rodriguez reinforced an appreciation for the
> critical divide between closed and open societies. Free societies like
> the United States-where one can write songs such as "The Establishment Blues"
> or even "F*** tha Police" without fear of hearing a knock on the door
> in the dead of night-create an endless stream of material that can
> wield outsize power in rigid, unfree countries.
> When the Soviets sent tanks to crush the "Prague Spring" in August
> 1968, they couldn't have imagined that the crackdown would spur the
> formation of an absurdist rock band capable of stoking two decades of
> popular political protest. But Communist leaders knew that their hold
> on power was always tenuous. Otherwise they wouldn't have built a
> police state to monitor and restrain their people.
> So it is today, as regimes try to tamp down the contemporary analogues
> to the Plastic People of the Universe. In Vladimir Putin's Russia, two
> members of the punk-rock collective Pussy Riot now sit in prison,
> guilty of "hooliganism." In Turkmenistan, the popular singer Maksat
> Kakabaev, known as Maro, served in a penal colony for two years. In
> Belarus, Europe's last dictatorship, the rocker Miron was accused of
> creating political unrest and forced into military service. And in
> Iran, "Samira," a female rapper,
> sings: "Captive and prisoners behind the dark walls/ We know our
> destiny to freedom."
> In July, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari
> pointed to the Internet, movies and satellite TV as "tools" of the West's "soft war"
> against the Islamic Republic. Last month, the Revolutionary Guard took
> his cue, rounding up hundreds of satellite dishes in the city of
> Shiraz and crushing them with a tank. On some, the regime had written
> "satellite dishes are treason."
> No matter how many satellite dishes the ayatollahs confiscate, or how
> many Internet connections they jam, as Lou Reed put it in a 1987 song,
> just two years before the Velvet Revolution: "I hear the voices of
> freedom from the left/ I hear the voices of freedom from the right/I
> hear the voices of freedom, babe, from all over this world."
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Justin Lemons" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 2:43 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Excellent Lou Reed rememberance
> This is without a doubt the best obituary I have read for him so far.
>> Thank you.
>> On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM, Aaron L. Rosenblum
>> <[log in to unmask]
>> A quick addendum (sorry to clog your inboxes) - the previously
>>> about Lou Reed has been picked up by Huffington Post, if you prefer
>>> to read it in the "legit" (?!?) media.
>>> Okay, done talking about Lou...for now!
>>> On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Aaron L. Rosenblum <
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> > Another terrific remembrance from music writer and Lou fanatic
>>> > Matt Krefting. Okay, he's also a lifelong friend and bandmate of
>>> > mine, but I stand by his piece quite apart from any of that:
>>> > Aaron
>>> > Aaron L. Rosenblum
>>> > Assistant Curator of Special Collections
>>> > The *Filson* Historical Society
>>> > 1310 South Third Street
>>> > Louisville, KY 40208
>>> > 502.635.5083 x 269 (phone)
>>> > 502.635.5086 (fax)
>>> > [log in to unmask]**org
>>> > <[log in to unmask]>
>>> > www.filsonhistorical.org