Graham Reid | | 1 min read
At the time of the 30th anniversary concert celebration at Madison Square Garden in October '92 of Bob Dylan's debut album -- with a happy Dylan performing -- few would have thought the subject of the night was on the cusp of a comeback.
He'd been through what we might call the Appalling Eighties and no amount of recent, whishful-thinking and revisionist articles by writers today can deny this was a bad decade for Bob.
From Saved to Under the Red Sky there were -- with notable exception of the Oh Mercy album -- years of indifferent and unfocused albums (usually only redeemed by a great song or two among the dozen), not to mention films like Hearts of Fire.
But by '92 there were suggestions things might have been on the mend: not the least being the release of his Bootleg Series Vol 1-3 which alerted the world to how much genius he chose to not release, for whatever reason.
And oddly enough, you might argue the same of Lou Reed whose Eighties had been equally uneven, not so say downright dire.
But for him too, there was an upswing with the New York and Songs for Drella albums.
But if there was a more odd Dylan song than Foot of Pride for Reed to perform at this celebration you could hardly imagine it.
Reed, who's lover was the transgender man/woman Rachel for many years in the Seventies, chooses a song from the Bootleg box in which the lyrics from Dylan's Christian years: "Like the lion tears the flesh off of a man, so can a woman who passes herself off as a male .. "
Then later Reed -- a man who burned bridges, friendships and relationships with a rare and unrepentant ruthlessness -- also gets to to sing, "You know what they say about bein’ nice to the right people on the way up, sooner or later you gonna meet them comin' down . . ."
And there is more like that.
Whatever Reed chose to think about that -- and why he chose it in the first place -- is up for debate.
But there's no doubt he throws himself into it.
For whatever reason.