Samstag, 12. August 2017

Lou Reed
Melbourne, Festival Hall
audience recording

"heroin's quite popular"

Disc 1
D101: Sweet Jane 4.58
D102: Coney Island Baby 6.30
D103: Leave Me Alone 7.11
D104: Satellite Of Love 6.03
D105: How Do You Think It Feels? 5.54
D106: Walk On The Wild Side 9.33
D107: Vicious 5.19

Disc 2
D201: Charlie's Girl 3.44
D202: Kicks 6.58
D203: White Light/White Heat 4.43
D204: Rock And Roll 14.22
D205: It's Too Late Mama 6.58

Lou Reed: guitar, vocals
Doug Yule: guitar, vocals
Bruce Yaw: bass
Marty Fogel: saxophone
Michael Suchorsky: drums
Michael Fonfara: keyboards

lineage: unknown generation TDK SA90 cassette - Pioneer CT-S670D player - wav - flac (level 8) - you

original recording engineer unknown
uploaded to Dime November 2007 by lurid

1975 was the year that Lou Reed's professional life imploded. In January, manager Dennis Katz listened to tapes of Lou's latest material ("Kicks", "Dirt", "Leave Me Alone" and "Coney Island Baby") and told him that it was "unreleasable". Katz (probably the subject of "Dirt") then followed up with the news that Lou was penniless, and had to go out and tour simply to earn money to live. The European tour which followed lurched from one disaster to the next. Italy was in political turmoil: fascists and communists were battling for power. The opening concert in Rome was cancelled. The Milan show was abandoned after 2 songs when riot police fired tear gas onto the stage (and into the crowd). Projectiles rained down on the stage in Turin. Lou was denounced as a "decadent dirty jew", and flew to Switzerland threatening to abandon the tour completely. The Frankfurt show was cancelled (Lou claimed nervous exhaustion) and another riot followed. At least one show went ahead with Doug Yule on lead vocals. Despite all this, the performances were well received, and the European leg of the tour finally ended with good reviews in London at the end of March. Lou flew to the USA to complete some dates there before starting work on his new LP.

Setting aside "Berlin", RCA's early confidence in Lou had been well-founded. "Transformer", Rock And Roll Animal" and "Sally Cant Dance" had been big sellers. They had now issued the left-overs from the Dec 73 show ("Lou Reed Live") as a stop-gap measure after the new studio songs had been rejected. The pressure was on Lou to produce another big seller, and he was starting to crack. Lou was interviewed by Lester Bangs, who wrote in Creem: "Lou Reed is a completely depraved pervert and pathetic death dwarf and everything else you want to think he is". On a personal level, Lou was now living with his he/she lover Rachel and ingesting methamphetamine. This had the predictable effect on his creative output and the result was "Metal Machine Music". My week beats your year. After presenting his masterpiece to RCA, and noting the clause in his contract which gave him "total artistic control", he set out on tour again in July. This time he headed for some tiring but lucrative dates in the far east before planning to join the "Startruckin" package which would tour European festivals in the fall.

After some shows in Japan (where they welcomed him by playing "Metal Machine Music" over the airport PA system), he flew on to Australia. Lou had always had a big following in Australia, so the shows sold out quickly.  His 1974 shows here had been a big success, and these appearance were eagerly awaited. Lou didn't disappoint. The audience at this Melbourne show is very appreciative even if almost half the songs are unfamilar to them. The set is an odd mix of old favourites and includes 5 "new" songs. He had been working out new material on stage throughout 1975, and songs like "Coney Island Baby" "Leave Me Alone" and "Kicks" were by now well polished, if unfamiliar to the audience. "Coney" is given it's usual tender treatment, while "Leave Me Alone" is an angry rant. The rendition of "Kicks" here is one of my favourites: a frightening performance. A very early version of "Charlie's Girl" is still at the formative stage - Lou is playing around with the lyrics. "Rock And Roll" is long and funky and "It's Too Late Mama" is a good-time boogie number where everyone takes a solo (listen to Lou's "Street Hassle - No hassle" call and reply lines). Interestingly Lou finally leaves the stage with the comment "that's from Coney Island Baby"......

(and on "Walk On The Wild Side", the "coloured girls" have become "nigger chicks" for possibly the first (but not the last) time)

The tour finally collapsed 2 shows after this one. The concert planned for New Zealand's Wellington Town Hall was cancelled at the last minute (the support band had already performed their set) due to Lou's "physical inability to perform". The tour promoter, Ron Blackmore, was interviewed by the "Wellington Evening Post" and quoted as follows:

"Reed had a very, very personal problem that should never have damn well happened. It's so personal and serious that I cant even tell you about it off the record. If you could imagine what it is like to get a call from the other side of the world and he told you that your mother was not only a drug addict but a hooker, and that she'd hooked some of your friends, then you might be able to understand how he was feeling. That's not what happened, but it was something that turned him around just like that would........He was so upset that I wasn't prepared risk the repercussions of what a performance might have done to him......"

The remainder of the tour, including the "Startruckin" dates, was immediately cancelled and Lou once again flew back to the USA to do battle with RCA, Katz and even his own lawyers.....the next time he would tour it would be in late 1976 to promote "Rock And Roll Heart".

This stereo audience recording is reasonably good quality but a bit "boomy" and bass-heavy. The audience are very apparent but not intrusive. There's a break 1 min 23 secs into "Charlie's Girl" which is where side 1 the C90 cassette copy ran out.


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