Lou Reed Stays Rock'n'Roll to the End in His Final Interview

Former Velvet Underground leader is wry but also moving in September 21 chat

Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

Lou Reed's death on October 27 was as close to ideal as one can imagine, we learned from Laurie Anderson's recent tissues-required essay. On September 21, in his last recorded interview, Reed was visibly thinning but still equal parts sly and wise, as a new video of the sitdown obtained by Rolling Stone shows. He toys with his interrogator as in the Lester Bangs days, deadpanning that he sleeps with his guitar "and amp" and that he bought his first guitar with money "from working in the forest, chopping trees down, and taking care of chickens on the farm" (my, Brooklyn, how you've changed). But he also offers some profound, pin-'em-on-your-desk quotables about music and sound. "Sound is more than just noise," he says at the peak of the video above. "Ordered sound is music. My life is music." The interview was part of a photo shoot for French headphones maker Parrot, and you can see a longer clip over at the company's website.

Don't miss SPIN's exclusive coverage of Lou Reed and his legacy:

Lou Reed, R.I.P.: Hear His Legacy in 15 Tracks
Lou Reed: A Critical Discography
The SPIN Interview: Lou Reed
Lou Reed's New York City: The Velvets' Stomping Grounds, Today
Five Great Rap Songs That Sample Lou Reed or the Velvet Underground
Toesucker Blues: Robert Christgau's Farewell Salute to Lou Reed
Dave Hickey on Lou Reed: 'We Have Lost the Master of the Mundane and the Malicious'
The Little Giant: John Cameron Mitchell Remembers His Neighbor, Lou Reed
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