Saturday, March 3, 2012


This should of course have been posted on Friday March 2nd but for various reasons wasn't completed until today.

When those of us who are in our 50s came of musical age in the early to mid 1970s we looked back and we found lots of great stuff from the depths of rock and roll history. Of course at the time the whole of rock and roll history amounted to about 20 years. We found bands already gone but who were hugely influential and about to become even more so as punk briefly swept over us .

Amongst these historical figures, few loomed larger than the Velvet Underground and especially Lou Reed. The Velvets were gone but Lou, seemingly already a great grey eminence was with us still. He must have been in his early 30s, but still very cool for an old bloke.

Well today is Lou Reed's 70th birthday. Did anyone think the man who wrote 'Heroin' would live to be 70? It says a lot about how we see our icons and our heroes as we grow older. Yes there were old bluesmen still performing when we were kids. It was OK sitting in a chair with your harmonica and your guitar wailin' and stompin' doing your Howlin' Wolf thing and you could clearly do jazz.  

But you couldn't do rock and roll when your were old!

Or you end up like Elvis! Imagine Mick Jagger jumping about when hes older than your dad. Oh don't, that is too horrible and it has been for about 30 years now. But you get the point.

But yes, I'm past 50 and Lou is 70 and I don't know about him but I don't feel that different. Obviously I feel that most music today is bland and tedious and soulless and that the world is descending into the musical pit that is Idol and X Factor. But I've always felt like that anyway. As the little sign in my office says, right above my speakers.

It's Not That I'm Old
Your Music Really Does Suck.

So happy birthday Mr Reed. The musical world is a different and I'd say a better place for having had you in it. How many of us can say that?

And it was alright

Something like a circus or a sewer

And lastly for a friend and teacher who didn't make it to 70 here you go Andy I know you loved this one.

All together now.....

And the coloured girls go...
doo de doo de doo doodedoo doo de doo de doo.....


  1. Hmmm,

    Whist agreeing with much of what you've typed, I would like to add a few observations.

    Although "Punk" was quite a big deal in those far off days it was never as big as Disco.
    Seems to me the underlying form of Idol and XFactor is Karaoke. A democratic art form if ever there was one.
    I saw a gig recently that included Mr. Reed and, however incongruously, Prince on the bill.
    Prince was entertaining, Mr. Reed wasn't.
    Today is the 4th March.


  2. I hate Karaoke. You can carry democracy too far.

    And Prince was fun, but once you've partied like its 1999 whats left?