Monday, October 28, 2013

Been there. Actually done that.

from NY Times obit for Lou Reed

 Among the most noteworthy of those records were "Transformer" (1972), "Berlin" (1973) and "New York" (1989). The most notorious, without question, was "Metal Machine Music" (1975).

Beloved of Mr. Reed and not too many others, "Metal Machine Music" was four sides of electric-guitar feedback strobing between two amplifiers, with Mr. Reed altering the speed of the tape recorder; no singing, no drums, no stated key. 

Mr. Reed wrote in the liner notes that "no one I know has listened to it all the way through, including myself,"


I have listened to it all the way through.

I was hanging out in a friend's room when his roommate came rushing in, proudly holding a copy of Lou's newest release, Metal Machine Music.

He put it on the turntable and we listened in puzzlement for several minutes.

Eventually we started talking and resumed partying while the record played. When it stopped suddenly  (at 16 minutes and one second) we put on the second side, which sounded the same as the first side. Party continued.

Repeat with side three, then side four.

After about 45 minutes, someone said, "Shouldn't this side be over by now?"

It was then we discovered that side 4 had no lead-out groove that would cause the tonearm to eject. The last groove of the LP was an endless loop.

And the time on Side 4 was listed as "16:01 or [infinity symbol]"


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