Tuesday, November 01, 2005

David Bowie Talks to William Burroughs About Lou Reed

For some reason, this website reprinted a William Burroughs (Overt) interview with David Bowie (Advanced) from "Rolling Stone" (a magazine). Here's my favorite part:

Burroughs: It is rather surprising that such complicated lyrics can go down with a mass audience. The content of most pop lyrics is practically zero, like 'Power to the people'.

Bowie: I'm quite certain that the audience that I've got for my stuff listen to the lyrics.

Burroughs: That's what I'm interested in hearing about.... do they understand them?

Bowie: Well, it comes over more as a media thing and it's only after they sit down and bother to look. On the level they are reading them, they do understand them, because they will send me back their own kind of write-ups of what I'm talking about, which is great for me because sometimes I don't know. There have been times when I've written something and it goes out and it comes back in a letter from some kid as to what they think about it and I've taken their analysis to heart so much that I have taken up his thing. Writing what my audience is telling me to write.

Lou Reed is the most important writer in modern rock. Not because of the stuff that he does, but the direction that he will take it. Half the new bands would not be around if it were not for Lou. The movement that Lou's stuff has created is amazing. New York City is Lou Reed. Lou writes in the street-gut level and the English tend to intellectualize more.
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I like how enigmatic the "[n]ot because of the stuff that he does, but the direction that he will take it" line is. I wonder what the distinction is between the stuff and the stuff's direction. And if the stuff were different wouldn't the direction matter?

2 comments:

pat rock said...

Im sorry you think that William S. Burroughs is overt.

Did you know that at the end of his life he joined a crowley-esque magik group?

That. That's advanced.

Jason Hartley said...

You might be right about Burroughs. I'll have to look into it. But remember, "Overt" does not mean "bad" in any case.