TABLE OF CONTENTS

SPIN CYCLE

Lou Reed

WISELY, LOU REED: ROCK AND ROLL HEART, a documentary airing on PBS, turns the spotlight away from Reed’s influence (“hegemony” might not be too hyperbolic) on rock ‘n’ roll after punk. Instead, director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, better known for his photo portraits of art-world luminaries, troops out some oddball testimonials (Sonic Youth, sure, but Suzanne Vega? Who “wanted to be Lou Reed”?) and says “ecce homo.” But what a man: Reed is the hardest-core New Yorker in the rock pantheon, and New Yorkers make good copy. “As soon as we crossed the Hudson,” Reed relates of a 1968 trip to San Francisco, “it was very bad.” He fell in with the art crowd at the Factory in 1965, when the Velvet Underground began appearing in Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable. (Not much of an art world in your real rock ‘n’ roll towns, your Memphis, your Seattle.) There Reed met other misfits: Holly

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 1998 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.