I bought my first version of this album in 1967 when it first came out. I’d been hearing “Waiting for the Man” and “Heroin” on the radio, and I was hoping at least one or the other was on the album. The album cover folds, with the titles listed inside, so I didn’t know what was on the record until I was in the back seat of my dad’s car and opened it. I was delighted to find both of them listed. I bought the record partly because I loved the music, and partly to impress my sister, Jane, who was the one who pointed me toward the music. I think it kind of worked. I was almost twelve years old. Fortunately my parents weren’t watching us close enough to worry about lyrics full of drug and sex references.
When I got home from the store I peeled the banana sticker off, carefully, scared of what I’d find underneath. When it was about an inch down, Jane recognized what it was and told me not to worry, I wouldn’t be offended.
There is a cut on this album called “The Black Angel Death Song” that was far too weird for a young girl. I used to skip over it until I caught Jane listening to it. She told me she rather liked it, so from then on, I would play it. Anything to impress Jane.
What you see in this image is the Japanese pressing I bought years later to replace the wretched pile of scratches that was the first copy. The wonderful thing about the Japanese pressing is it came with a sheet of badly interpreted lyrics. It also still has the banana sticker on it.
This album has been my desert island pick from the fist day I bought it to today. It is still my very favorite music.
Lou Reed, founding member of the Velvet Underground, died yesterday, on my husband Mark’s 57th birthday. He was 71. I’m glad I got to see him several times in concert. He will be sorely missed by many of us. Safe passage, Lou.