Lou Reed was dealt a pretty good hand: intellect, dexterity, a fine ear for composition…but it was his passion for the game that defined him. Bluffing and posturing behind those aviator-shades, taking wild risks and talking shit to all challengers. He learned from his mentor Warhol that “cool” was the cultural equivalent of a poker-face; inscrutable to and suggesting only contempt for squares. That he fronted a transcendent collective at art-flux ground zero didn’t hurt, and when he cashed out he kept that pile of chips in front of him…
“New York” struck me as the album where Lou Reed finally laid his cards on the table. And yeah he was dealt a pretty good hand, but the “game” felt over.
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