Trans­former

Lou Reed and Mick Rock

Classic Rock - - THE HARD STUFF BOOK & CD'S -

The first time many of us clapped our eyes on Lou Reed was via Mick Rock’s cam­era lens. Trans­former’s haunt­ing, kabuk­istyle cover im­age was cap­tured dur­ing Lou’s de­but Lon­don show, at King’s Cross in July ‘72. Reed, hastily dressed to im­press in a rhine­stone jacket by Angie Bowie, gazes into mid­dle dis­tance, the Vel­vets in his rearview mir­ror, on the cusp of solo great­ness. It’s the ul­ti­mate Lou Reed shot, yet its po­si­tion is far from un­con­tested.

There’s the fab­u­lous Rock ‘N’ Roll Heart-era shoot: Reed in shades, a leather jacket so small it could’ve been made for a child, un­der a see-through plas­tic jacket from Ian’s of St. Mark’s Place, an NYC bou­tique that did fetish be­fore McLaren and West­wood, just as Lou did punk be­fore Pis­tols and Ra­mones. There’s bleached ‘74 Lou: mean ‘n’ moody, dead-eyed ‘n’ skele­tal, mag­nif­i­cent.

Name a great Lou shot, it was prob­a­bly Mick Rock’s, and in this im­plau­si­bly plush vol­ume, Rock and Reed rap a great ac­com­pa­ny­ing com­men­tary to all the best. The hu­mour’s whiskey-dry, Warhol-weaned Lou re­veals a pho­tog­ra­pher’s eye and it’s only a joy. Ex­pen­sive, yes, but once you’ve bought the box sets what else have you got to spend your money on?

ian Fort­nam

A con­nois­seur’s cat­a­logue of cool.

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