Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Body Parts: Foot of Pride

Photo of a foot.

Lou Reed: Foot of Pride


Here's a song to bridge the gap between last week's theme and this week's.

Back in 1992, I had an old Chevy pickup truck that had been bouncing around the family for a while. Not everything worked on it, including the gas gauge. I relied on the odometer to guess when I needed to get gas. I usually got it right. On October 16 of that year, I was driving home from somewhere, and I knew I was running low. But I was trying to make it home in time to catch the live television broadcast of Bobfest, the the huge 30th anniversary Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. As I pulled off of Rt. 1, a mile or two from home, the engine died. I managed to steer it into an empty parking lot and mulled over my options. It didn't take me long to figure out what my priority was. I left the truck, walked the rest of the way home, watched the whole concert broadcast, then figured out how I'd get gas for my truck. It was one of those events I did not want to miss.

The concert was flawed (where were Joan Baez and the Grateful Dead?), but there were many highlights. Some even involved people other than Neil Young. One of my favorite performances was Lou Reed's take on this relatively obscure song. He stretches out the original's six minutes to almost nine, and the guitars get almost psychedelic.

I have to confess, I've never studied all the lyrics to this song. I just like the way they come pouring out, almost too fast for Lou to keep up. I remember at the time people were dissing Lou for using a lyric sheet, but I recall his defense was that the teleprompter everyone else was using just wasn't able to keep up with the lyrics for this one.

I eventually sold the truck and bought a Honda Civic hatchback. Loved that car for ten years, but I had a lot more friends when I owned the pickup.

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