No one was more surprised by the commercial and critical failure of the Lou Reed / Metallica album, “LuLu” than Lou Reed himself.
“I felt like a laughingstock and a failure. I seriously considered hanging up the guitar for good. I spent a lot of time just puttering around the Village, feeling sorry for myself, until I realized that it wasn’t my fault at all.”
Where does Reed lay the blame for the disastrous, “LuLu”?
“It’s Metallica’s fault completely. Those guys are tools. They should have never agreed to the collaboration in the first place. They’ve made tons of shitty albums. I’ve made like one. I’m a national treasure. Failure is a new concept to me; those Bay Area bozos are steeped in bad ideas. Somebody should have warned me.
Reed’s newest project is another collaboration with a heavy metal band. This time it’s Cincinnati, Ohio’s, disguised metal marauders, Mushroomhead.
“It’s a concept album based on the movie ‘Bebe’s Kids’ by the late Robin Harris. I saw it one night on Netflix streaming and it changed my life. Laurie bought this thing called a ‘Roku’ and it’s amazing. Like the size of a stack of drink coasters, and you can watch movies on it. Amazing.
“Bebe’s Kids” is the story of man who takes a group of ill-behaved children to an amusement park, with disastrous results.
“I wrote most of the songs from the perspective of the youngest Bebe Kid, Pee Wee,” says Reed. “Of all the kids, his journey was the most interesting to me.”
How did Reed come to decide to collaborate with Mushroomhead?
“I picked a band that isn’t particularly respected by their peers, so they would be easier to bend to my will. I listened to one of the their albums once. Total shit. These guys are really lucky to have me.”
What do the members of Mushroomhead think of the collaboration?
“We’re really lucky to have met Lou. He’s a genius. I was painting his bathroom last week and he bought me a Subway sandwich for lunch. He’s a fucking classy guy. His boyfriend is kind of weird though. He insists on talking though a Skype headset all the time,” says Mushroomhead bassist, ‘Pig Benis’.
What are Reed / Mushroomhead’s touring plans?
“I guess we are going to put a new roof on his lake cottage next weekend and then maybe do some county fair gigs this summer.”
Reed disagrees, “I won’t be touring this album. I’m booked up for all of August in Paris. I’m doing a series of ‘Public Squabbles’ with John Cale for France’s Ministry of Arts.”
“Lou Reed w/ Mushroomhead Present: Bebe’s Kids” will be released on double CD / triple LP June 12th.
(Editor’s Note. Mr. Reed’s comment about ‘hanging up the guitar’ should be taken as a metaphor, as he owns no guitars with headstocks, thus making actually hanging one up physically impossible.)