Lou Reed - Walk On The Wild Side





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Uploaded on May 19, 2010


The story behind the music, and what became of that grand circus of flamboyant characters...

As a kid I used to think the song was about taking drugs, and had somehow slipped through the BBC censorship net. It was a huge surprise to discover what the song was *really* about!

This video was created for a Music Production course I did at STC all of a decade ago.

The course was for budding record producers, and huge fun. At the end we were meant to hand in a ten thousand words essay, but I asked if I could instead submit an interactive CD-ROM. This was cutting edge technology at the time! I used Adobe Premiere and Macromedia Director. My PC was so slow back then it would only work at 12fps, so that's why some of this plays back a bit jumpy, but I think it gives it a nice retro look.

I thought I'd lost all the source files, so it was great to find them recently on an old hard drive, and have the opportunity to re-purpose it for the internet.

The video snippets were gathered from TV programs I'd recorded to VHS over the years about Lou Reed and Andy Warhol. Particularly helpful were an excellent BBC Arena, and the 'Classic Albums' edition on Transformer.

Although it's presented here as a wide screen video, the way it originally worked was that when you inserted the CD-ROM the PC screen would go blank, and a series of video windows and menus would start to play, change shape, and move around the screen. I loved making this, particularly that I wasn't bound by any traditional video 'frame' . Great fun. You MUST watch this full screen to appreciate the effect!

note: This video wasn't made by a production company nor broadcaster. I did try, but couldn't double-check every detail. I'm disappointed to find how inaccurate some of my sources were. For example Candy Darling died in '74 and not '76. May her soul rest in peace.

A frequent question here has been "Who was the Sugar Plum Fairy?"
It seems that was a reference to actor Joe Campbell who played a character by that name in Warhol's 1965 film, My Hustler. It was a colorful term for a drug dealer or male prostitute, depending on context. He had a relationship with Harvey Milk for 7 years. More on him here: http://everything2.com/title/Joe+Camp...


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