Thursday, March 23, 2006
two sundays ago we went t see lou reed in concert in pordenone, friuli venezia giulia.
by the great gods of valhalla, what a gig! i've always liked the velvet underground and lou reed's music, but i've never bee a 'fan'. in fact thinking about it most of the lou reed stuff i know is from that group of 'classics'. (I loathe Sunday Morning and I'm not that keen on Walk on the Wild Side, but the rest - well it's OK)
But this gig, woooah! A load of stuff I'd never heard (apart from the lame encore of Sweet Jane). the theatre was small, even near the back row we were near the stage, near enough to see the wrinkles! Lou Reed came on stage like an old, old man, holding his back like me on a cold, damp, venetian morning - but he played like a very young man. amazing to see and doubly amazing to hear.
two basses, two guitars and one hell of a drummer, drones and feedback, bowed electric viola (?) and ear shattering volume, trance enducing riffs and all that sort of really hard to explain stuff.
i was converted, well encouraged to go and listen to the lou reed stuff i have. i discovered that i have 3 or 4 discs that i didn't know i had! yep, i am that much of a fan! i found good stuff!
what IS interesting though (apart from the fact that at 39 I was among one of the youngest in the audience at a rock concert, my gosh! i've started to call them concerts instead of gigs! nurse the sanatogen!!!) is that i realised that i play the guitar very much like lou reed. ok he may be a little better than me, but style wise and in fact chord-wise. interesting as because guitaristically (!) i've never really referred to lou reed, keith richards, peter buck possibly. actually just thinking now, io don't really have a guitar hero or any particular influence - the stones probably are the most significant, but the rest ...? i play the way I do because i never took a lesson and still, after 20 years i still struggle to recognise anything but the major chords. and i tend to play my own chord structures - wrong fingering etc. sound cool but its a bloody nightmare when i have to play with another, competent, guitarist - one who actually knows what they're doing. however the stuff daniele and i knock out in the rehearsal room is a lot like the stuff i saw on stage that sunday. we is good at the old psychdronemelodicrepetativeriff thing - makes me want to get a band together, and do it my way for a change. i saw someone doing something similar to what ive knocked out for a long time, albeit at a much poorer level, but still could be interesting here in mestre where there's never been a market for what i like to do. makes me want to do it all the more, and now that i am a mature, sensible father, makes me want to do it all the more!
anyway, that was all a bit irrelevant...
lou reed, amazing!
did i say that?
i liked the way that it wasn't a 'spectacle', the sounded like a garage band, wobbly levels, too much bass at times, solos that drowned the rest of the band, but it all worked - even to my hyper critical ear.
bah! here we go, another time when i try to explain myself and then just when i get a little way into it, i lose the thread and it all goes mushy.
still if they will sell 5 litres of pinot nero for €6!