Monday, July 25, 2011

"Lou Reed got married and didn't invite me" - Spoken word in music (part dva)

Green Coca-cola Bottles by Andy Warhol (1962)
"What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it." - from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol
I picked up a free book from Penguin a while ago that was a bunch of first chapters from what Penguin called "the best books ever written". It included chapters from books like John Updike's Rabbit Run, Saul Bellow's Herzog and Andy Warhol's The Philosophy of Andy Warhol.

I'd never heard of a book written by Andy Warhol other than his diaries. That quote up there turns out to be one of the better sort of insights into the way he thought, but the whole Philosophy of... is not like that. Like there's a whole chapter where he talks about buying underwear (briefs, if you must know). But I thought of the book recently when I decided to put up some worth-your-while spoken word videos.

Songs for Drella by Lou Reed and John Cale is a concept album dedicated to Andy Warhol. One of the tracks has John Cale reading from Andy's diary. The track is called 'A dream', and if you’re into Andy Warhol, I think you’ll enjoy it.

It was a very cold clear fall night.
I had a terrible dream.
Billy Name and Brigid were playing under my staircase
on the second floor about two o'clock in the morning.

I woke up because Amos and Archie had started barking.
That made me very angry because I wasn't feeling well and I
told them I was very cross, the real me,
that they just better remember what happened to Sam the bad cat
that was left at home and got sick and went to pussy heaven.

It was a very cold clear fall night.
Some snowflakes were falling.
Gee, it was so beautiful.
And so I went to get my camera to take some pictures.
And then I was taking the pictures
but the exposure thing wasn't right.
And I was going to call Fred or Gerry
to find out how to set it.
Oh it was too late.
And then I remembered they were still probably at dinner.
And anyway I felt really bad and didn't want to talk to anybody,
But the snowflakes were so beautiful and real looking
and I really wanted to hold them.
And that's when I heard the voices
from down the hall near the stairs.
So I got a flashlight and I was scared and I went out into the hallway.
There's been all kinds of troubles
lately in the neighborhood
and someone's got to bring home the bacon. Anyway
there were Brigid and Billy playing.

And under the staircase
was a little meadow sort of like the park at 23rd street
where all the young kids go and play frisbee.
Gee, that must be fun.
Maybe we should do an article on that in the magazine
but they'll just tell me I'm stupid and it won't sell
but I'll hold my ground this time, I mean
it's my magazine, isn't it?

So I was thinking that as the snowflakes fell
and I heard those voices having so much fun.
Gee, it would be so great to have some fun.
So I called Billy but either he didn't hear me or he didn't want to answer
which was so strange because even if I don't like reunions I've always loved Billy.
I'm so glad he's working.
I mean it's different than Ondine.
He keeps touring with those movies
and he doesn't even pay us and the film
I mean the film's just going to disintegrate and then what?
I mean he's so normal off of drugs.
I just don't get it.

And then I saw John Cale.
He's been looking really great.
He's been coming by the office to exercise with me.
Ronnie said I have a muscle
but he's been really mean since he went to AA.
I mean what does it mean
when you give up drinking and then you're still so mean?
He says I'm being lazy but I'm not.
I'm just can't find any ideas.
I mean I'm just not, let's face it,
going to get any ideas up at the office.

And seeing John made me think of the Velvets
and I had been thinking about them
when I was on St. Mark's Place
going to that new gallery those sweet new kids have opened.
But they thought I was old.
And then I saw the old DOM,
the old club where we did our first shows.
It was so great.
And I don't understand about that Velvet's first album.
I mean I did the cover.
I was the producer and I always see it repackaged
and I've never gotten a penny from it.
How could that be? I should call Henry.
But it was good seeing John.
I did a cover for him,
but I did in black and white and he changed it to color,
It would have been worth more if he'd left it my way
but you can never tell any body anything. I've learned that.

I tried calling again to Billy and John.
They wouldn't recognize me. It was like I wasn't there.
Why won't they let me in?

And then I saw Lou.
I'm so mad at him.
Lou Reed got married and didn't invite me.
I mean is it because he thought I'd bring too many people?
I don't get it.
Could have at least called.
I mean he's doing so great.
Why doesn't he call me?
I saw him at the MTV show
and he was one row away and he didn't even say hello.
I don't get it.
You know I hate Lou.
I really do.
He won't even hire us for his videos.
And I was so proud of him.

I was so scared today.
There was blood leaking through my shirt
from those old scars from being shot.
And the corset I wear to keep my insides in was hurting.
And I did three sets of fifteen pushups
and four sets of ten situps.
But then my insides hurt
and I saw drops of blood on my shirt and I remember
the doctors saying I was dead.
And then later they had to take blood out of my hand
'cause they ran out of veins.
But then all this thinking was making me an old grouch.
And you can't do anything anyway so
if they wouldn't let me play with them in my own dream
I was just going to have to make another and another and another.
Gee, wouldn't it just be so funny if I died in this dream
before I could make another one up.

And nobody called.

And nobody came.

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