Lou Reed A Retrospect: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Animal Lives

In a phone call with Marty Balin last night he told me he was very impressed with what Wolfsgang’s Vault did with his Jefferson Airplane material. They mailed him the “boxed set” with liner notes, photos and the music on a flash drive! Let’s hope for a similar event with Lou Reed’s music.

As Reed gets ready to play Sundance on Sunday, January 23, 2011, I’m revisiting his concerts, comparing three different shows on his 1973 tour…Falkonteatret (Copenhagen, Denmark) Sep 19, 1973 along with Birmingham Odeon (Birmingham, England) Oct 3, 1973 and the concert at the Apollo Theatre Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland) Sep 24, 1973

The nine minutes and six seconds which close out the October 3rd show – a terrific version of one of his many signature tunes, “Rock & Roll” (not the Led Zeppelin song), is perfection. The entire concert is very good, though London and Lenox Massachusetts (the first stop on the tour) are still the key tapes, the A+ performances that the world has yet to hear. Bob Ezrin should be impressed when those shows finally emerge.

The Dinky Dawson cassette tapes that the legendary sound man recorded merely for reference of the Dawson Sound Company audio quality have turned out to be a documentary treasure chest of this all-important and all-too short series of concerts. Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner moved on quickly to back Alice Cooper yet this was Reed’s best band since The Velvet Underground. And it needs to be treated as such. Dawson phoned me this month to say he felt the newly released Birmingham Odeon show was one of the finest up on the Vault. It’s hard to disagree with the awe-inspiring guitar work of Hunter and Wagner concluding the final tune, “Rock & Roll.” The band was tight as a drum and thinking of what they could’ve done with Lou down the road is truly water under the bridge. In a two-hour interview (conducted over 2 weeks) with guitarist Dick Wagner more insight into this phenomenal band was uncovered…Wagner wanting to take the group solo right away. TMR Zoo readers get a taste of the upcoming documentary DVD I’m directing on this remarkable tour with these notes.

Thus far Wolfsgang’s Vault has uncovered September 19, 1973 at Falkonteatret, September 20 at Concertgebouw, September 24 at Apollo Theatre Glasgow, September 26 Gaaumont Theater, September 27 Demontforte Hall, September 28 Empire Theatre, September 29 Oval Hall, September 30 City Hall and the new October 3 at Birmingham Odeon

I have rare photos from Jeannie Archibald that she took at the Rhode Island concert after the European tour. We saw Lou at the very first show at Lenox (September 5) and then again in Rhode Island and Boston in December of 1973, right before the New York shows for the RR Animal LP and Lou Reed Live.

The reason my book has taken so long is the release of all these tapes, but fear not, the company that released my Marty Balin disc will release the aforementioned special on Lou Reed from my interview tapes and more! Stay tuned! The book will finally see the light of day when it has the most information and when I feel it has enough sizzle to re-inspire the fans who appreciate what this rock legend accomplished in his golden era.

As for SUNDANCE, here’s some info from the press release on the January 23, 2011 live program:

A night of musical achievement and appreciation, this year’s concert is sure to be an unforgettable Festival highlight. Legendary artist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lou Reed headlines the annual and highly anticipated Celebration of Music in Film. Reed gained notoriety as a founding member and principle songwriter for influential rock band The Velvet Underground, before pursuing a successful solo career spanning decades across multiple genres. In addition to being a master musician, film music composer, photographer, playwright and poet, Lou Reed adds filmmaker to his list of talents and brings his inspiring short film Red Shirley to the Festival. Opening the evening is Sundance Composer Lab Alumni Mark Orton and his San Francisco based acoustic-chamber band Tin Hat. Tin Hat’s unique musical style blends elements of jazz, folk and classical chamber music. By featuring such celebrated artists as Lyle Lovett, Rickie Lee Jones, Mos Def, and Patti Smith in past years, Celebration of Music in Film has quickly become one of the most anticipated music events at the Festival.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.