Radio 4's obituary programme Last Word gave its closing spot today to Lou Reed. [You can hear this edition here, for the foreseeable future.]
It featured extracts from some of Lou's legendarily prickly interviews, where he made the interviewer's life less than easy - to say the least; though given the tedious predictability of the questions asked, I found myself rather rooting for Lou.
I liked his answer to this question, from a later, mellower interview:
Q: What's 'The Last Shot' about? The line in it which says, "I shot a vein in my neck". Have you ever done that?
A: Steve, that's the same kind of question when I wrote a song called 'Heroin'. It was very important to people: Is this true, Lou? Did you really do this? Did you really take heroin?
See, if I said, "No, I didn't", they'd be very disappointed, because they wanted it to be true.
So, if you go up to someone who's a writer...I mean, suppose you went up to Dostoevsky and said "Listen, are you really just telling us about how you got money from this little old lady? Did you really do that when you were a student?"
On the fame of Perfect Day, Lou said:
"There are lots of songs I've got that are as good as Perfect Day. People just don't know them."
He also said that his songs get better known if he doesn't sing them, and that he's "an acquired taste."
Presenter Matthew Bannister had no hesitation, however, in describing him as a "great man".
It may be Friday night, but here's a lovely example of Lou Reed, matching the magic of Perfect Day, concerning Sunday morning (and featuring a celesta):