Springsteen on Suicide

photo by Bob Gruen

Suicide at CBGBs (photo by the unbeatable Bob Gruen)

Rolling Stone quoted Bruce Springsteen recently as saying “[Suicide] are underground masters,” and that “they should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

That’s a totally awesome statement. Will it ever happen? One can dream.

This from the coda of Love Goes To Buildings On Fire, about a DJ set at an Animal Collective show (by selektahs Piotr Orlov and Andy Beta):

After an encore, as the revelers filed out towards the frigid night and the year ahead, the DJs slip on a gentle acoustic number: A cover of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream” by, of all people, Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen played the song as a coda to nearly every show on his solo 2005 Devils and Dust tour. This particular version, a hypnotizing mantra-cum-lullaby-cum-benediction, was released on an import-only compilation right around Alan Vega’s 70th birthday.

Springsteen had always liked Suicide: he was especially impressed by the story-song “Frankie Teardrop.” When he was working on The River in ’79, he and Vega crossed paths up at 914 Studios in Blauvelt, where Springsteen had recorded so much of his early work. Vega and Marty Rev were finishing their second LP, which included “Dream Baby Dream. Bruce and Vega talked about rock’n’roll, taking nips off Vega’s flask. “You know, if Elvis came back from the dead,” Springsteen said later, “I think he would sound like Alan Vega.”

The Lou Reed biography

Reed performing with the Velvet Underground in the mid-'60s

Reed performing with the Velvet Underground in the mid-’60s (photo by Adam Ritchie)

It’s official. From the item in the New York Times. Needless to say, I’m thrilled.

January 7, 2014, 3:05 pm
Will Hermes to Write Lou Reed Biography
By JOHN WILLIAMS

Farrar, Straus and Giroux has signed the Rolling Stone writer Will Hermes to write “Lou: A New York Life,” a biography of Lou Reed.

Mr. Reed, the singer and songwriter who first achieved fame as a member of the Velvet Underground, died on Oct. 27. He was 71.

In an email interview, Mr. Hermes said he planned to write a “full, definitive biography.” As for the subtitle, still tentative, he said New York City would “figure prominently,” in the book, “because how could it not? Reed loved the city deeply, based his adult life here, rooted much of his work here and was a huge figure in our cultural life. I think we have yet to fully measure the loss. He was one of the greatest artists of our generation.”

Alex Star, a former editor at The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times Book Review, acquired the rights to the book. Mr. Hermes’s previous book, “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire,” looked back at Talking Heads, the Ramones and other influential figures of the mid-1970s New York music scene.

And now: to work.