Lou Reed was known for being a difficult subject to interview. To being with, he seemed to have little respect for journalism as a profession. He famously told one interviewer that “journalists are the lowest form of life”. Also, he gave the impression that he got a good kick from opposing and contradicting members of the press and members of the general public.
This is a famous interview that can be found online, given in 1974 prior to his Australian tour. By then the legend surrounding Lou Reed had been firmly established. Clearly, the reporters asking Reed the questions are more interested in “shocking” rumors surrounding his public image, than in his music. The questions are asked while clearly fishing for headline-making answers. Lou Reed is happy to oblige.
His relationship with the press would continue to be strained throughout the years. The pattern with many of the articles written by Reed included heaping praise for his artistic brilliance, while at the same time, questioning whether or not Reed was a terrible person. These were not things that Lou Reed seemed to ever care much about. Lou Reed always seemed to feel confident enough about his talents to not have to go too much out of his way to be embraced by the music press.
After all, besides the famous and influential albums he made throughout the years, he was also responsible for a few that were viciously reviewed. “Metal Machine Music” remains an album that is still under debate of whether it is in fact a prank (some swear it is in fact a work of genius), while “Lulu” had Metallica being Reed’s backing band and earning a lot of dissatisfaction from fans of the metal band. Then again, it’s unlikely that most fans of that Metal band own any Velvet Underground albums.