Lou Reed is a fount of wisdom and a voice of reason. He’s had his rock star reputation right from the beginning. The glamorous association with Andy Warhol, the notorious shooting up on stage, partying with the rich and fabulous, mouthing off at every turn, his love of motorcycles – it all says decadent, dangerous rock’n’roll animal. The drug escapades may have been exaggerated, but it doesn’t matter, because the image is made. The famous grumpiness, well, that’s just a tag every artist gets who happens to have integrity and speak his mind. I think the image is a false one, anyway, constructed by people who took the work too seriously. Lou Reed is a badass, no questions, but I don’t see him as a rock star in the sense that, say, Keith Richards is a rock star. Reed isn’t a musical savant who lives the live because there’s no other way he can possibly be. He’s adopted rock and roll as his metier, but he’s a writer and an observer firstly. Which makes him, for me, a more simpatico and comforting figure, a real person in the guise of a star.