Why Lou Reed hated Roxy Music


The late leader of the Velvet Underground and master of glam rock, Lou Reed was one of the most colorful personalities music has ever seen. A prickly figure, alongside his pioneering musical endeavors, he was famous for his vitriolic tongue, and over the years fans, journalists and peers alike have all felt his wrath. We’d be lying if we said watching Reed rip people apart didn’t entertain us, but at times it could be so vengeful it made for uncomfortable viewing.

It would be a different story if Lou Reed was a forgettable has-been, but he was one of the greatest songwriters of all time, and that’s why he was given the pedestal to destroy people with such reckless abandonment. What the man has done to advance music and culture cannot be underestimated, which means his criticism of others did not come from unfounded places. Its back catalog speaks for itself.

While we could spend an age discussing Lou Reed’s artistic endeavors, it would be rude not to focus on the many hilarious times he tore apart some of his most prominent musical peers. Of course, some of his most famous targets were the Beatles and the Doors, but many others also found themselves in the crosshairs.

Unfortunately, one of the most lauded bands Reed had in his sights were art-rock masters Roxy Music, which is somewhat surprising when you note that the two share many artistic similarities. The story goes that after leaving the Velvet Underground in 1970, Reed spent more time in the UK, and it was here that he recorded his first solo album and its acclaimed follow-up, Transformer.

With David Bowie and Mick Ronson producing Transformer, he was imbued with a strong sense of glam, which led to him being hailed as a pioneer of the genre alongside his producers, Mark Bolan and, of course, Roxy Music. However, Reed has made it clear that he’s not a fan of the troupe led by Bryan Ferry, and that may have something to do with his hating British rock ‘n’ roll.

“I don’t like them,” Reed said in a mid-’70s interview. “I saw them at the Bowie concert, and we were all there, waiting to be impressed. They bored me, and I walked out I’ve heard some of the other stuff that’s supposed to be up my alley. But they don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time, and all of a sudden , people start talking about it. They say, “Hey, look, we’re civilized, man, and we want to know that.”

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