Lou Reed is an enigma, a true rock poet with a cause. He has weathered the storms of stardom-all the drugs, the vicissitudes in relationships with men and women-the virtual gamut of rock celebrity and all that goes with it has been his stage for life. I really admire the man for his accomplishments and contributions to music and our culture as a whole.
Now 63, the dude still can rock. I read an interview with him in Mojo magazine from the UK and was he ever tough on the poor interviewer that was the recipient of his brutal honesty and cynicism. He still maintains that NYC edge and attitude, that is probably why he still has that vital energy, that intrinsic flow of creativity that never seems to subside after all these years.
Spanish Fly-Live In Spain is an excellent portrayal of Lou on stage doing his thing. What a guitar player this man is, I tend to think of him as a singer, then the sideman over the years like Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner that tore it up on classic albums like Rock n Roll Animal as his guitar players. You do not have to tell me, I have not forgotten his stellar Velvet Underground days; he played very well back then too. His abilities on the guitar are just as prominent as his gift for writing a song and singing it. When he cuts loose on “Romeo Had Juliette” it makes you realize just what an exceptional all around music man he is.
It is interesting how quickly this DVD is over, the time span on each track is like that of an album not a concert performance, so that is a little disappointing, and there are no interviews. I look forward to long stretches in songs in live performances and all of the bonus features that have become the standard for DVD presentations. I am not going to bitch about what this does not have though because this was a great performance by Reed and his ensemble and I enjoyed it immeasurably. It was easy to forget about all the other goodies I am accustomed to getting with a DVD, this is Lou Reed, a musical treasure for the ages, a true icon of rock music, watching him perform shows why he has maintained that lofty status for so long.