"You know I'd really love to hear Frank Sinatra do "Heroin". Really. It would be just incredible to hear Frank Sinatra coming out with that song on some middle of the road radio station. Because that song does not mince words."
Me and my brother bought Rock N' Roll Diary back when I was 13. He kept the double vinyl in his room and I put in on tape - old school file-sharing. It damaged me in a many ways.Lou Reed
1. It convinced me that the the Velvet Underground were only Lou's backing band.
The Velvets' half of this album downplays Cale's experimentalism, excises Nico altogether and never lets Moe tucker sing a word. It's blatant revisionism but it's beautiful.
2. It made me believe Lou Reed's solo career was dull, dull, dull.
Based on the weakness of the (supposedly ill-chosen) solo half of this set, especially when compared to the cold-blooded brilliance of the Velvets' half (which actually has "Walk on the Wild Side"!), I've never given Lou's solo career a proper chance. I know, I know, I know....
(if 1 and 2 seem contradictory remember how hard is is to unlearn teenage learning.)
3. It tainted my view of the Stooges, the MC5 and the New York Dolls.
Those band's debut albums, all played in my Punk 101 class taught by my music critic brother-in-law, did impress me and I've never begrudged those albums' their deserved stature. But hearing "I'm Waiting For My Man", "White Light/White Heat", "I Heard her Call My Name", "Pale Blue Eyes","Beginning to See the Light" , "Sweet Jane" "Rock and Roll", "Heroin"and "Femme Fatale*, in a motherfucking row made those other underground legends sound like mere noise-mongers and fashion-plates (NTTAWTT).
* Live Lou version.
4. It separated me from my peers forever.
There was always a few kids who liked the Clash or whatever else but the Velvets were the first band I liked that none of my peers had ever heard of. From here on in I was doomed to share in the obscurity of the things that I loved.
I've posted this album because this collection is out-of-print (it may have never been on CD) but it is my hope that every reader here interested enough to take it does, and will continue to, support the Velvet Underground and even some of those strange twist and turns of the surviving members' solo careers.