Checking out: Lou Reed – a personal tribute

The first Velvet Underground album I bought was ‘Loaded’ (vinyl, 1970 edition).

I bought it in Rhino Records, a scabby little independent store, tucked away in the unfashionable Commercial Road in Newport.

I bought ‘Loaded’ because local musician and man of God-like status JJ Cale (aka John Cale, aka John Davies Cale) was all over it.

On about my fifth listen I put my Welsh nationalism away and began to realise the influence that Lou Reed had on the lineup.

And on the recorded output.

When Lou Reed released ‘Transformer’ in 1972 it wasn’t ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ that caught my imagination.

It was the guitarwork on ‘Vicious’.

And from that first two minutes and fifty-five seconds of side one, I was hooked on Lou Reed.

You might read, in the next couple of days, a large number of words about how Lou Reed (either with or without the Velvet Underground) shaped 20th Century music.

But the thing is, right up until his latest release in 2007 (Hudson River Wind Meditations), Lou Reed has been helping me deal with the wierdos of this planet.

And I’m very grateful for his help.

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