Column: Lou Reed was more than leather and darkness

I blogged about Lou here the other day and expressed the hope that I could squeeze in a column on him this week. And so I have: Sunday’s.

It’s all right, but it’s tough to write about someone you admire, and I wish I’d had more time because after sweating over it half the day, filing it at 3 p.m. Friday, only then taking lunch, all I could think about were the things I’d left out.

For instance, “Songs for Drella,” his 1990 album collaboration with John Cale, should have made my favorites list; it’s a concept album about Andy Warhol, their friend and patron from their Velvet Underground days. I gave Reed’s music, as opposed to his lyrics, short shrift. And why didn’t I take a looser, funnier and more personal approach? “The Velvet Underground” is such a meaningful album for me.

In other words, I wish I could’ve scrapped it and started from scratch. (Which doesn’t guarantee the finished column would be better, of course, only different, and maybe worse.) With newspapers, as with a lot of things in life, you do the best you can in the time allotted, and then you let it go. I hope I at least gave newcomers an idea why Lou Reed was great, and that for those who already know, that I didn’t embarrass myself too much.

(By the way, I took a new photo of my Lou Reed collection for the column, adding two boxes and an LP at the bottom that I’d forgotten in my blog photo. Later, at the office, I realized I could have added a DVD and three or four books. Hah!)

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