Lou Reed once aimed a shotgun at some nosy college kids and he thought the Beatles were “garbage.” Those delightful tidbits come from a newly rediscovered interview the legendary musician conducted with music executive Joe Smith back in 1987. As part of its ongoing Blank On Blank series, PBS Digital Studios animated some audio from that interview, which reveals Reed at his cocky yet endearing best (and makes an interesting contrast with his slightly warmer final interview).
In the five-minute video, Reed discusses his time with The Velvet Underground, his past as a would-be novelist, and his desire to elevate rock ‘n’ roll music above the level of “painfully stupid” bands like The Doors and The Beatles. In fact, Reed claims he had very few musical influences and liked “nobody” on the music scene (although later in life he would go on to write a glowing review of Kayne West’s Yeezus). The vintage interview offers some great insights into Reed’s philosophy on music as he explains, “What I wanted to do was write rock ‘n’ roll that you could listen to as you got older, and it wouldn’t lose anything. It would be timeless in the subject matter and the literacy of the lyrics.”