Saturday, September 23, 2006
I was gamely going to attempt a serious political blog this morning inspired by this analysis of David Cameron's seemingly anti-neocon foreign policy speech on the Henry Jackson Society site. Sadly, the prose is so leaden that I only got half way through and, for the second time today, lost the will to live. Instead, I shall note the fact that, sitting in a cafe in Holt in Norfolk this morning, where Bob Dylan was playing, I read a review of a new book about The Velvet Underground. It struck me that, had I fallen asleep forty years ago and woken up now, I would probably note at once how gratifyingly little had changed. Anyway, it reminded me that John Cale told me many years ago that he would never forgive Lou Reed for changing a line in Heroin. Cale had wanted the first Velvets album to be utterly hard, without a chink of sentimentality or easy humanity. But Reed had compromised that great song by letting in a sliver of ordinary feeling. The changed line was either 'I don't know just where I'm going' or 'And I guess that I just don't know', both of which, to me, seem to compromise slightly the song's ferocious nihilism. Cale, of course, got exactly what he wanted on the next album with Sister Ray, which, to cleanse my mind of the prose of the Henry Jackson Society, I shall now play.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 12:48 pm