Brow Beat

Lou Reed Calls the Beatles “Garbage” and the Doors “Stupid” in This Lovely Animated Interview

The late Lou Reed was perhaps the crankiest rock ‘n’ roller who ever lived, but his allergy to the mainstream produced some timeless music, and his opinions always felt raw and refreshing for their candor. There was a joy in just hearing the man talk, and the latest installment of PBS’s Blank on Blank series animates a 1987 interview in which Reed is at his ornery, eloquent best.

The conversation centers on Reed’s lifelong mission “to elevate the rock ‘n’ roll song and take it where it hadn’t been taken before.” Especially interesting are his examples of bands that didn’t quite meet that standard—a little foursome called the Beatles, who were “garbage,” and a “stupid,” “pretentious” act called the Doors. At least he liked Kanye.  

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