Reed on the Wildside

Posted on 31st October 2013

reed with cokeDon’t mind aliens melancholically meditating about Lou Reed. They’re recovering after reading news of Reed’s mortal dashing off. They’ve done the same for centuries about Coleridge, and been depressed ever since.

May humans, instead, keep listening to and watching Reed’s work. Not all of us here in the Dumb ‘n’ Nasty Age, just whoever keeps their head above the trash that aristocrats let idiots dispose upon us. Those who’ll survive any Martian Invasion – those liking Lou Reed making Coke and all our earthling stuff kind of beautiful – minus guns, meat and McFries, and the fact that pop-art has had its perfect day.

Planet Duff had only just noted HMV’s “naked” video of Lou Reed’s Walk on the Wildside into its online tube catalogue when news was heard of Mr Reed’s mortal perishing. Reed had (as any Duffophile can tell you) himself extolled Jeff Duff’s version of Walk on the Wildside as “the best”. There have been several recordings and mixes by HMV of Walk on the Wildside, including the following.

There’s also the following live stuff from the Jeff Duff Orchestra on Oz TV: the sound-quality is appalling, but, filtering the audio for bliss, walk on the wildside with JD as your guide into Erebus right here:

Then there’s the video hit Duff had after coming back to his Mother Country after a decade across Europe as the punk-cabaret star “Duffo”, and well after he hit Oz-media (The Paul Hogan Show, Countdown, …) as a bright, strange and talented voice, a “star is born”.

Then there’s this spare analog version, with its generous stills, and its build-up à la “Heroes”, the version Lou Reed probably had himself in mind when he said Jeff Duff did the greatest ever version of his song (rapping “Candy on the wildside, Joe on the wildside …”):

Thanks to ABC-TV Rage for showing last night just about every unadulterated camera pinch of Lou Reed in Oz. (Didn’t see the Charlie Pickering interview in there, though, maybe that’s to come …). But what really drearified this week were the sub-human drones by the Australian Federal Education (!) Minister when asked on a national TV panel show to comment on the passing of Lou Reed – an international artist who had, throughout his career, given much to Australian culture by his frequent tours to a willing public, media interviews with more or less intimidated and embarrasing journalists, and, lately as an arts festival organiser. So Minister Christopher Pyne complained that he would rather celebrate Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and ABBA than a heroin-addicted transgressive who never figured in his own ’70s. How broke the split between world culture and Oz, Reed and NOW, can be – in this offering on ABC-TV’s Q&A show where Minister Pyne, true to his nasty ilk, spits out his ignorance about Reed. As if there is no place in commercial culture for a person who writes and sings up the musicality and poetry at once of his own time and place. Just thanks to Q&A and that lady for putting up the question.

So it’s easy/hard not to feel angry/sublime over this time, with so many Logical questions to God. May aliens offer a meaningful alternative to what we human souls, for all our arts, can merely intellectually, by our still primitively afflicted forebrains, reflect about ourselves.

Then there are these 100 books, all authored by humans, as commended by Bowie. And this pic offered by Bowie under his news headline: “R.I.P. Lou Reed”. It shows how two people can perfectly coincide with each other, to make a perfect album, “Transformer“.

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– rodg.

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