Lou Reed on the Beatles: "I Thought They Were Garbage"
Published Feb 17, 2015A '80s-era interview with the late Lou Reed — in which the Velvet Underground leader calls the Beatles "garbage" — has been unearthed and animated for our amusement.
The interview was with music executive Joe Smith in March 1987 and recently discovered by PBS, which has now animated the chat for its Blank on Blank series.
Early on, the piece had Reed talking about protecting his New Jersey home, "out in the wilds of nowhere," from college-age creepers. Apparently he wasn't too afraid to bust out a shotgun on his property. Later, the musician delivered his Loaded opinion on the Fab Four. To put it bluntly, it wasn't good.
"I never liked the Beatles," Reed said. "I thought they were garbage. If you say, 'Who did you like?' I liked nobody."
Elsewhere, he discussed how he kept himself out of the mainstream, eventually working with the Velvets to "elevate the rock'n'roll song and take it where it hadn't been taken before."
Reed talked up getting bad press for groundbreaking tracks like "Venus in Furs" and "Heroin" and how studio engineers would walk out of their recording sessions, but ultimately noted that the Velvets were just leagues beyond their competition.
He said: "From my point of view … the other stuff couldn't come up to our ankles, not up to my kneecap, not up to my ankles, the level we were on, compared to everyone else. I mean they were just painfully stupid and pretentious, and when they did try to get, in quotes, 'arty,' it was worse than stupid rock & roll. What I mean by 'stupid,' I mean, like, the Doors."
You'll find Reed's recently unearthed opinions, animated quite comically by Patrick Smith, down below.