JOTW Rock and Roll Trivia Question for April 6, 2009


Question:

While this artist was part of a pre-punk underground-breaking group, he is best known for his solo career. As a youth, he received electroconvulsive therapy to discourage his homosexual feelings. During his career he has worked with musicians such as J. J. Cale, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and has been categorized as “Glam Rock.”

Never mainstream, one of his double albums was nothing but album guitar feedback (by placing guitars in front of big speakers, the sound would vibrate the strings) played at different speeds. One side of the double LP ended with a closed 1.8-second loop that repeated itself until you picked up the needle.

He still tours, with gigs this month in NYC with his trio.

ANSWER:

Lou Reed was a musician, vocalist and songwriter for the Velvet Underground. He later went off on his own, and had success as a solo artist with “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” and “Sweet Jane.” As a youth, he received electroconvulsive therapy to discourage his homosexual feelings. During his career he has worked with musicians such as J. J. Cale, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and has been categorized as “Glam Rock.”

Lou Reed's 1975 double LP Metal Machine Music (subtitled *The Amine β Ring), consisted of nothing but guitar feedback from two guitars, tuned differently and with different reverb settings, placed in front of amps to generate vibrations that would then vibrate the strings. The guitars were actually playing themselves. Some people thought it was a spoof, or perhaps a backhanded way to fulfill a contract. But Lou Reed says the album was for real. “I was serious about it. I was also really, really stoned.” Each side of the album was a different track. The fourth track ended in a locked groove that caused the last 1.8 seconds of music to repeat until you picked up the needle.

He still performs, with gigs this month in NYC with his current group, Metal Machine Trio.

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