Take a Walk on the Wild Side 4/3/2011
When nostalgia is not a dangerous thing, it is actually funny.
On our morning walk, Victor smelled a scent which took him to a path into the woods. “ Into the wild”? It was a little muddy, we followed it. And I heard in my mind “ Hey babe- take a walk on the wild side…”
I don’t know what you remembered about that song when it came out.
For me, I wanted to live in a tent most of the time, fishing, hiking, writing poetry and songs. Wow- As if much has changed! ( I don’t hunt or trap anymore)
– I really thought Lou Reed was talking about nature, and going hiking with your African American girlfriend. I thought the Apollo was a rocket launch. The rest of the song…. I had no clue.
I still really like that song for the sheer musicality- the wood timbre of bass ( acoustic, in the beginnings of the electric age)- the sashaying of the brushes on the drums, the sparse, yet rhythmic comping of Lou Reed’s guitar, the backing singers, ( like sirens of nature!) and of course, the very soulful bari sax.
When I think of the construction of this song, I can hear where it lead me to jazz- to Weather Report, Count Basie, Pharoah Sanders, and John Coltrane, instead of punk rock.
Later, much later, in the late 80’s /early 90’s, I discovered the special bitter taste of the Velvet Underground, and Lou Reed.
There are some interesting videos on you tube of “ take a walk on the wild side”. – mine would be unlike any others! ( and, so would yours)
Thank you, Lou Reed! You are a genius.
This Friday, April 8th, I am at the Black Dog from 5:45 until 7:30. I have rediscovered a gorgeous Hampton Hawes/ Charlie Haden song, ” rainforest”, and finally figured out the voicing which dogged me for years. It’s almost under my fingers. IT would be great to see you there.
There will also be other songs in Eb, as well as F major waltzes. Can we ever escape waltzes?