#87 Walk on the Wild Side

 

the things that have gone on on that face ...

 

#87 Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed

2 years after the break-up of Velvet Underground, Lou Reed finally found commercial success, with his 2nd solo album, Transformer. This has come to be the best-known track from the album (and I think the only single). The exploits of Candy and the girls have been covered in the review of ‘I’m Waiting for my Man‘ in this list (no. 33) and there’re plenty of ‘alternative’ histories around. It’s interesting that when this track was released, most DJ’s and radio station bosses didn’t understand the lyrics and they were more interested in cutting the line about ‘coloured girls’ than the one about ‘giving head’ (‘Red Beret’ from Prince was to be equally not understood). The album was produced by Bowie and Ronson, both musicians who admired Reed’s music and all three of them are living proof that electric-shock treatment just does not work.

 

that's why they're called ...

 

You probably won’t know this, but I first performed this song at the White Lion on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield. Lou Reed based this song on characters (and their often short lives) that he’d met during his association with Andy Warhol, but, during the 2nd half of the seventies, he could equally well have based it on half of Sheffield.Lyrics

Holly came from Miami, F-L-A
Hitchhiked her way across the U-S-A
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
Said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

/ C – Dm7 – / / C D / F D / 1st / /

Candy came from out on the Island
In the back room she was everybody’s darlin’
But she never lost her head
Even when she was givin’ head
She says hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
Said hey babe, take a walk on the wild side

And the colored girls go
Doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo doo…

(F) / C – Dm7 – / :

Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City’s the place where
They said hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
They said hey Joe, take a walk on the wild side

Sugar plum fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin’ for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should have seen him go go go
They said hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
All right, huh

Jackie is just speedin’ away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would’ve helped that bash
She said hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

And the colored girls say…

L

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