Lou Reed: other stuff couldn’t come up to our ankles

PBS’ Blank on Blank video series is a serious goldmine. Previously lost interviews with famous names (BB King, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix have all been past featured subjects) are dug up, animated and uploaded to the website. Today, an open, honest interview with the late Lou Reed was added to the catalogue.

If anyone was going to tell music exec and author of Off The Record (a collection of interviews with over 200 musicians) Joe Smith how they really felt, it was going to be Reed. Throughout the interview, Reed discusses his vision for The Velvet Underground, the misinterpretations of their songs, his desire to write the Great American Novel and his concerns about going deaf. However, it’s the discussion of his contemporaries, more than anything else, that has been making a buzz in the short time since the video was uploaded.

Choice quotes include:

I’m saying like from my point of view and I know this sounds pretentious but I just thought the other stuff couldn’t even come up … the level that we were on… They were just painfully stupid and pretentious. When they did try to get in quotes: “arty”, it  was worse than stupid rock and roll. What I mean by stupid, I mean like The Doors.


I never liked the Beatles. I thought they were garbage. If you said, “who did you like?” I liked nobody.

The Blank on Blank clip runs for 5.16 minutes, but you can listen to the entire, unedited interview here.