In the beginning was the word… closely followed by a drum and some early version of a guitar. This is a collection of lyrics that I feel can stand alone form the music for which they were originally written. I’ve also included two poems, one of which won an award from the Literary Council for Small Magazines, and two interviews–one with Václav Havel, the other with Hubert Selby. I did these pieces because they gave me the opportunity to meet two men I admired and find out more about writing–the how and why of it–which in the end revolves around life and how you live it.
Over the last few years I have done occasional “poetry” readings, always using my lyrics as the basis. I was continually struck by the different voices that emerged when the words were heard without music, and those experiences encouraged me to consider the possibility of publishing them naked.
The heart of a lyrics for me has always been anchored in a n experienced reality, whither it be Alvedon’s photo of Warhol’s bullet scarred chest or the sociopathic attitudes recorded in “Kicks” or “Street Hassle.” So in answer to the question I am most often asked, “Are these incidents real?” Yes, he said, Yes Yes Yes.
– Lou Reed