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  • Writer's pictureJeff Eaker

Be my David Bowie.

I believe Lou Reed’s Transformer is one of the best albums of all time. The whole thing is great— but stand-outs are Satellite of Love, Perfect Day and Walk on the Wild Side. Again, the whole album is filled with greatness but those are three damn strong songs, one of which arguably has the most famous bass line in all of rock ‘n roll.

But the record almost never happened. When the Velvet Underground broke up, Lou Reed basically gave up on music. He was depressed. He didn’t think he could write anymore songs. He didn’t know what his sound was anymore. He was lost. In fact, he moved back home to his parent's house on Long Island and got a job as a typist. Can you imagine that? Lou Reed was a typist after the Velvet Underground. That would have been an interesting interview. What’s your previous experience Mr. Reed? I can imagine him saying something like, let me tell you about the time I pulled a knife on Andy Warhol. I shudder to think what the job search algorithms would do to Lou Reed’s resume these days. But here’s what happened. David Bowie went to Long Island and saved Lou Reed. He convinced Lou Reed that he could make music again. He told him to come back to New York with him and he would help him do it. And that's how David Bowie ended up as the producer on Transformer. Now, I happen to believe that David Bowie was one of the most magical people to ever inhabit the planet. And if I were to recreate this scene I’d shoot it something like this. We open on a lonely and depressed Lou Reed sitting in a hot and sweaty Long Island office typing away at his uncomfortable desk. We over crank the film as a completely fabulous David Bowie with similarly dressed entourage enter the room. A fictional breeze blows through David’s hair as he glides by the stuffy boss and the googly-eyed secretaries. (Reverse low angle shot). He stands over Lou Reed. And then in my bad David Bowie voice that cracks my kids up because it’s really terrible, he says something like, I'm David Bowie and you're Lou Reed and you're going to come with me back to New York and make music again. I'll show you how. I'm David Bowie. Satellite of Love is without a doubt my favorite song. It’s the one time on the whole album that you hear David Bowie. He only sings the really high parts in the chorus and it's so amazingly beautiful. His voice rises like an angel. It's breathtaking. And I think he sounds angelic because he really was an angel. He saved Lou Reed, and brought him back to life. We should all be so lucky as to have a David Bowie in our life. I can’t help but feel a bit in need of a David Bowie myself right now as I search for writing gigs and people to delight with my best efforts. So go listen to Transformer. Drink some cheap wine. And if you’re looking for a writer, you get to be my David Bowie.

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