10/28/2013 11:32 AM
Legendary musician Lou Reed passed away yesterday, at the age of 71. He will be remembered for pushing
the envelope, challenging the establishment, and creating songs that were sometimes impenetrable, often groundbreaking, usually gritty, and always influential. In Reed's honor, we take a look back at the "Walk on the Wild Side" recording sessions, courtesy of our friends at Mix magazine:
If all Lou Reed's groundbreaking single “Walk on the Wild Side” had ever done was put oral sex explicitly onto the radio and into the pop-culture lexicon, that would have been enough. But the track, from the 1972TransformerLP, was seditious in a number of other ways. It was a portal into the mysterious pharmaceutically powered and androgynous scene that swirled around Andy Warhol and the New York art world, featuring references to drag queens Holly Woodlawn (“Holly came from Miami F L A…Shaved her leg, then he was a she”) and Candy Darling (the aforementioned fellatial reference), as well as Jack Kerouac-by-way-of-William Burroughs hustlers like Joe Dallesandro (“Little Joe never once gave it away/Everybody had to pay and pay”). But it wasn't just proto-snarky cultural references that made “Wild Side” so archly fun. Bassist Herbie Flowers' haunting bass line, which is spread between an acoustic double bass and a Fender electric bass, is instantly recognizable and has been sampled hundreds of genre-crossing times; and the nonsense refrain of “Doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo doo,” sung by “the colored gir
ls”—actually three white English girls collectively and professionally known as Thunder Thighs—is the slouching Greek chorus of rock 'n' roll...