Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Sugar, Sugar

I just found this snippet of a 1973 conversation recorded by Lester Bangs, who is my own personal George Orwell. (George Orwell is ... uh... my own personal George Martin. Who is my own personal Jesus.)

Lester Bangs was probably drunk, and his subject certainly was, and there's a good chance this was written down later, from memory. However, I have total faith in his memory for such things, drunk or not.

Bangs: (Sort of baiting him) Hey Lou, doncha think Bowie's a no-talent asshole?

Lou Reed: No! he's a genius! He's brilliant!

Bangs: Aah, c'mon, what about all that outer "Space Oddity" shit? That's just Paul Kantner garbage!

Reed: It is not! It's a brilliant masterpiece! Oh, you are so full of shit!

Bangs: It was dogshit. Why don't you get off all this crap and just try being banal for a change? Why doncha write a song like "Sugar, Sugar"? That'd be something worthwhile!

Reed: I don't know how. I would if I could. ... I wish I'd written it...

Finally I know what I already knew. I already knew it, I tell you. I already knew.


Bill Tuomala said...

I made myself a bubblegum anthology last month and played it to death. I had the Archies' "Bang Shang A Lang" on it.

I dig Lester Bangs too. Whilst playing my bubblegum disc, I read the Bubblegum chapter he wrote in the Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll ... "You're all welcome to your hash pipes. I'm a Fleer man myself."

Kate - I've met you a couple of times briefly via Jim Walsh. Looking forward to hearing Pop Vultures.

Jamie said...

About 5 years ago, I used to see Low Reed and Laurie Anderson at the gym. Lou always wore all black -- black shorts and T-shirt, and black socks. I wish Lester had been there to ask, "Hey Lou, what's with the black socks at the gym?" because I was too scared.

But anyway, I remember reading an interview with Lou Reed once where he said essentially the same thing. That is, that with the Velvet Underground, he was always trying to write a straight pop song, but they always came out weird because no one in the band -- himself included --really knew what they were doing.

Chris said...

Someday, I too shall conduct an interview like that. I suspect it will happen on my last day of work.

Michael said...

trivia last night: what pen name did Eric Arthur Blair use? George Orwell.. I learn something new everyday.