Photo: Lou Reed (seated) with fellow songwriter Paul Simon, circa 1982
Saturday night, while having a drink at the neighborhood bar, Lou Reed’s “Dirty Blvd.” came drifting out of the Jukebox, darting past the bad Halloween costumed drunkards and landed right in my glass. An immensely satisfying surprise at 12:20 a.m., the tune got me thinking about 1980s era Lou Reed and his post-Velvets, post ’70s glam work. Specifically the albums The Blue Mask and New York, the latter from which “Dirty Blvd” is culled.
Released in 1989 Reed’s album New York painted the ultimate gritty picture of pre-Giuliani NYC with it’s storytelling – a dark urban lullaby to his city at the end of a decade plagued by greed, disease, poverty and Reaganism.