Things Hidden Since At Least Breakfast

Okay, actually: things I found while looking for other things.

Some years ago, author Neil Gaiman interviewed Lou Reed. And lived to tell the tale. Verbally en route to the actual interview, Gaiman tells this story:

A friend is in a band that covers Reed’s song “Perfect Day,” but somehow has never heard Reed’s version. Gaiman plays it for him. The friend’s response: “He’s singing flat.”

“He can’t be singing flat. It’s his song.”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Things Hidden Since At Least Breakfast

  1. velvet lane

    “He can’t be singing flat. It’s his song.”

    Not to ruin a good punch line, but I’m sure the friend meant, “He’s singing flat in relation to the band.” In which case, yeah, he’s probably right. But whatever.

  2. 2fs

    Well yeah, literally. What I love is both the naive interpretation – that everyone invents their own pitch system, so to speak (I remember an interview with Kristin Hersh wherein she said when she first started writing songs, she just assumed you had to make up your own chords…) – and the more sophisticated notion, that “everything on this record is on purpose,” and that if Reed *chose* to sing flat, then that’s the way he wanted the song to be. Or just the notion that some singers are powerful enough so it doesn’t matter: their performance transcends the petty need to be in tune. (That’d be nice, wouldn’t it…)

  3. velvet lane

    Not to be a comment-box tease, but I have a funny anecdote about Lou Reed, bad vocals, and me. However, I can’t tell it here on the grounds that it’s a little embarrassin’

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