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*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*

At some imprecise moment over the last decade or so, Lou Reed morphed from groundbreaking rock’n'roll genius and primogenitor of everything cool into a scrawny, wrinkle-necked old man in outlandish clothing. There must have come a moment when Reed, who turns 66 next week, realized that the good old black leather motorcycle jacket was no longer appropriate on a man of his years. That was fine as far as it went; but instead of deciding to dress his age – which of course need entail no sacrifice of style – he made the classic mistake of dressing like a much younger man; practically a teenager, and a partially lobotomized one to boot.

The rockasaurus recently recorded a half-decent song with The Killers, so his musical faculties seem intact for now. But there’s no explaining this getup he wore to a benefit performance of *Macbeth* the other night. His plaid flannel jacket with padded orange lining of unknown manufacture was apparently torn apart and sewn back together inside out and backwards, which did nothing to improve its appearance. And are those acid wash jeans?

The tortoise-like thrust of Reed’s head seems to dare us to take issue with his sartorial foul, and yet we must. How can this be the same man who epitomized everything ineffably hip with the Velvet Underground? You often used to stick to basics in those days, Lou; you might be too old for leather but it’s high time you got back in black.

**—J.P.S.**

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Jared Paul Stern