It’s all well and good being one of the most gifted pop songwriters of all time, but when you’re also one of the most caustic, cantankerous and chaotic superstars rock and roll has ever witnessed, then chances are you will become a legend. That was certainly the case for Velvet Underground maestro, Lou Reed.
Though Reed rightly made his name as one of the most subversive yet potent alt-rock songwriters in history, penning incendiary tracks for his main squeeze and one of the most influential bands ever in the Velvet Underground, it was out on his own that he truly flourished. Being a solo star allowed Reed not only to flex his muscles creatively, developing one of the more searing careers among his contemporaries but also to allow his bristling personality to take charge. Simply put, whether on stage or off it, nobody was safe from Lou Reed. Below, we’re looking back at his wildest moments.
Lou Reed, as the swashbuckling rock ‘n’ roll frontman he was, naturally found himself in a few scrapes. They did sometimes involve other people, including the time a fan once bit his bottom as a stage invasion went wrong, but, more often than not, every outrageous, rude, crazy and scary moment in Reed’s career was based on his own personality.
There are few artists who could match Reed for intensity, and he made sure that he kept himself head and shoulders above the rest, ensuring, for a time, that he was the most crazed and dangerous performer around. It made him one of the most interesting artists around. While others could boast simply songwriting skill or free-flowing charisma, it appeared as if Reed had a command of both.
Throughout his life, he rarely ventured anywhere near the middle of the road and seemingly detested the mainstream, bar one Honda Scooter advert. The truth is, Reed was a true original.
Here, however, we’re looking back at ten moments that were wilder than most. Ten moments where Reed’s cool cover was blown and he lost his balance.
Lou Reed’s 10 wildest moments:
Metal Machine Music
Some albums are meant to be listened to intently, enjoyed without distraction and spoken about as much as possible thereafter. Some albums, like Lou Reed’s disagreeable Metal Machine Music, is the exact opposite. At over an hour of solely aggressive and antagonistic industrial noises, it is one of the strangest albums ever released.
There is not a song or section of the album that we could lovingly tell you to go listen to. Instead, we ask you to consider the giant middle finger to the industry that the album was. Reed was in the middle of his resurgence as an artist and chose to honour that with an album he was hoping would insult and upset music critics and lovers everywhere.
If that’s not the most punk thing you’ve ever heard, we don’t know what is.