Lou Reed Slams the Beatles and Doors in New Video
Even though Lou Reed died in October 2013, the highly opinionated artist is still making waves with his comments. PBS has put together a new animated video centered on a 1987 interview in which Reed talks about art that spans Top 40 music, novels and avant-garde noise bands.
The video, which is part of PBS' Blank on Blank series, touches on several subjects, including his distaste for both the Beatles and the Doors. “I never liked the Beatles,” Reed told interviewer Joe Smith back on March 20, 1987. “I thought they were garbage. If you say, ‘Who did you like?’ I liked nobody.”
Discussing his own band the Velvet Underground, Reed noted that “The other stuff couldn’t come up to ... the level we were on ... I mean they were just painfully stupid and pretentious. And when they did try to get, in quotes, ‘arty,’ it was worse than stupid rock 'n' roll. What I mean by ‘stupid,’ I mean, like, the Doors.”
In the video, which you can watch above, Reed acknowledged that the Velvet Underground weren't very liked at the time. "There wasn't any recognition," he said. "What there was was a lot of bad press. I got a little puzzled with how savage the reaction against us was when we got it."
Much of that hostility occurred when Reed and the band ventured outside of their native New York, where people were a little less familiar with the themes and sources they were singing about. Reed pointed out that most people weren't aware that the Velvets' S&M opus "Venus in Furs" was based on a book. "I write a song like 'Heroin' and you would have thought I murdered the pope," Reed said.
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