Drummer Lars Ulrich of Metallica remembered late Lou Reed in a recent Guardian post, praising him as one of the ultimate pioneers and giving an insight on both his personality and Metallica collaboration record "Lulu."
"I was half shocked and half crushed - shocked that he went so quickly and crushed over the loss," the drummer kicked off, just to focus on Reed's "standoffish" reputation. "He was complaining about how loud we were and that we were playing everything wrong," Lars explained. "Every single thing we were doing was wrong. It wasn't limited to our entire approach to music, our existence was wrong. From the day we were born, our existence was wrong. Obviously I'm exaggerating for effect here."
Lars continued by saying that a solid portion of artists Lou's age are guarded and closed due to being mistreated by people from both inside and outside of the music industry. But as he described it, Metallica got on the same page with Reed through nonconformity, adding that "Lou Reed is the godfather of being an outsider, being autonomous, marching to his own drum, making every project different from the previous one and never feeling like he had a responsibility to anybody other than himself."
The drummer then focused on "Lulu," praising Reed as "the most accomplished poet within the world of rock'n'roll" and the record itself for sounding more relevant and intense than ever. Lars also noted that he expected the album to receive bashing from the hard rock community, but was surprised that "more intellectual writers" ripped it as well. "A lot of people were saying, 'Oh, Lou Reed doesn't sing.' Yeah, no sh-t. What do you think he's been doing for the last 40 years? Did you expect him to sound like Robert Plant?"
After pointing out that a lot of people came around over the past two years when it comes to "Lulu," singling out radio host Howard Stern, Ulrich stated that "25 years from now, you're going to have millions of people claiming they owned the record or loved it when it came out, of course neither will be true. I think it's going to age well - when I played it yesterday it sounded f--king awesome," he added.
"In some ways it's almost cooler that people didn't embrace it, because it makes it more ours, it's our project, our record, and this was never made for the masses and the masses didn't take to it," he said. "It makes it more precious for those who were involved."
Finally, Lars remembered Lou's fragility, naming it as one of the things he will always remember. "I felt in some way that I connected to his fragility, and identified with it. He was very open, he would say, 'Lars, I love you,' and text me a heart," he said. "It was so beautiful. The way he was so unfiltered is what I will remember most, and his fragility, and how I've never met anybody who, no matter what he was saying, he was always speaking his truth."
The drummer concluded, "It never felt cerebral, it always felt like it came from some other place somewhere. When people talk, it comes from their brain; I don't know where his words came from, but they came from somewhere else. Emotional, physical, everything - it really resonated with me. I wanted to give him strength, and I think Metallica gave him strength. His being was so beautiful once that guard went away, and it was childlike."
Did you get a chance to give "Lulu" a listen recently and has your opinion changed in any way? Let us know in the comments.