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Test Pressing
Obituaries / READ

LOU REED

Test pressing, Dr Rob, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol, Obituary

They say that true art is born out of necessity. I don`t know about art, but I had to write something. I`ve been in a deep silent funk all week, and I think it`s partially due to Lou.

Coincidence found me with thirty minutes and half a glass of wine late last Friday night, and I spent that time watching clips of Edie Sedgwick on Youtube, remembering how I fell in love, instantly and forever heartbroken, at 20. Then on Sunday came the News that Lou was dead, and I kinda haven`t recovered, stuck mourning a New York `60s art underground.

All I really knew of Lou were the journalist baiting sessions he held with another hero of mine, Lester Bangs. But I`m a big fan of someone who is not afraid to speak their mind. Even if they are contradicting themselves. Even if they are wrong. All of my heroes and heroines share this trait. With Warhol I have reached ambivalence. Initially I thought that making art of the every day and banal was good. Giving art to everyone. But that`s probably because I can`t paint. Anyone can Xerox (as they used to call it, back when there was only one machine). In later years, I came to think that he cheapened art, while simultaneously creating the ludicrous modern art market. True art comes from necessity, not concept. A need, not a commodity. It probably sells for pennies. It is likely given away for free, as gifts. I came to see Warhol in the now common view as a user, voyeur and manipulator, broken “Factory Stars” left in his wake. But Lou, and John Cale, cried real tears for Drella, so I reserve my judgment. I`ve never met any of them, or Edie.

Of “Factory Girl” the Edie “biopic”, Lou said “I read that script. It’s one of the most disgusting, foul things I’ve seen, by any illiterate retard, in a long time. There’s no limit to how low some people will go to write something to make money. They’re all a bunch of whores.” And I felt proud. Lou sticking it to `em, for fucking with the memory of his friends.

A friend of mine has gone on-line to state that “The Velvet Underground” changed his life, aged 15. I was introduced to the Velvet Underground a little later. I was 19. I`d seen a South Bank Show and fascinated, picked up “VU”, then found a copy of “Loaded”.

“Temptation Inside Your Heart” and “Sweet Jane” would both make the top 50 of the most important songs in my life. When I was young I took all my codes and rules from books and films and the poetry I could find in music.

Another friend gave me “The Velvet Underground & Nico”.

“If you`re gonna try to make it right, you`re surely gonna end up wrong”.

“You know those were different times”.

For Edie.

For Lou.

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