Read Lou Reed's savage criticisms of other musicians

Originally published at: Read Lou Reed's savage criticisms of other musicians | Boing Boing


I love Lou Reed, but let’s face it… he was a dick for much of his career. I think his embrace of buddhist philosophy, tai chi practice, and hooking up with the incredibly cool and always awesome Laurie Anderson later in life really mellowed him out, but for years, he had nothing nice to say to anyone…

Lou Reed GIF

Honestly, I think the only GOOD interview he ever did was that one time he had a call with Neil Gaiman…

Which, hey, @doctorow posted about way back in the day…


To paraphrase Billy Madison: a simple “I don’t like him” would’ve done just fine


A lot of rebels are really miserable people.


This one time at Lou Reed camp…


I have always loved Lou Reed, as much for his attitude as for his music, but let’s face it-- everything post-VU that he did suffers from his really deadpan singing that got more and more atonal (non-tonal) as the years went on.


I think a lot of this is tongue-in-cheek, or trolling, or whatever. He was a good friend of Alice Cooper, I’ve read.


I love Lou Reed.

I would never have wanted to meet Lou Reed.


Disagree. Some of his best work came late in his career. For me, at least.


Lou who?

On “Transformer” his voice still has tunefulness, and I like the intelligence of stuff like “New York” and “The Blue Mask” (among others) but what I loved about the Velvet Underground was they had such beautiful, unique melodies, and that just disappeared over the years.

But your mileage may vary. All I know is I’ve given those later albums multiple chances and while I may enjoy my brief time with them, I never find I want to return to them.


i agree with this. i love all his work both with VU and on his own, but he was a super-dick earlier in life. but then he got older, wiser, and gained some perspective and became a much better human for it. meeting Laurie was a large part of that for sure.


A lot of it reads a bit like “far too many notes dear Mozart” to me.

Which in fairness I agree with. Zappa is so hit and miss that it’s very hard to parse. The Dead, well, live music is live.
Neither lack talent. Nor did Grace Slick.

Could live without ever having heard any Alice Cooper without any loss at all.

But in general he’s surely shite talking here. Most musicians hate being asked/compared to other musicians for pretty good reasons. One of which is that you are doing this job (being interviewed) to promote your own work, not someone else’s.

And you Wolfgang? Shut the FUCK UP!



So many of my favourite musicians – Lou Reed, John Lennon, Miles Davis, Arthur Lee – were difficult people.


Oh, you have a very interesting journey ahead of you!


And he never gave a shit about whatever criticism people had of his work. He made the work HE wanted to make, and did not care if the fans or critics liked it.

Also, early on, he and Cale were very influenced by Zappa, so…


Sure, but there is a lot of valid criticism that can be applied to his own work, so for him to brutally dismiss others is just a nice bit of irony.

No artist is perfect, and all my musical and artistic heroes have some work that I think is forgettable, stuff that if someone else made it we would not give it any serious consideration.

I agree with others here that a lot of his comments are just about being frustrated with bullshit interviews and clueless rock journalists. So I can take his critiques with a grain of salt.

[ETA: and I know I’ve read interviews where he was frustrated that the Velvets weren’t bigger-- if you’re a professional musician you have to care about that stuff even if you project an attitude that implies otherwise.]


“Dylan gets on my nerves. If you were at a party with him I think you’d tell him to shut up.”

I love Bob Dylan, but I totally get where Lou’s coming from


Not actually true. VU and John Cale especially predate Zappa.