Here’s a cool clip of drone-rock godfather and professional New York curmudgeon Lou Reed jazzing out on his 1989 album track “Beginning of a Great Adventure”, the studio incarnation of which appears on his superlative New York LP. Having bassist Rob Wasserman on this really is a bonus. Watch out for his tradeoffs with Lou’s guitar in the beginning; magic.
[Listen to the studio version of “Beginning of a Great Adventure”]
There is plenty of gooey music about having children out there from super earnest singer-songwriter types, evoking all kinds of über-philosophical musings on how parenthood will change their lives. But, I love Lou’s take on this mini-genre, still full of petulance and dark humour which we expect from him. Yet ultimately, this song is about doubt. Like all expectant dads, Lou is wondering about whether he’ll be any good at it.
I think it’s this last thing that resonates most with me, that being a dad does require inner transformation and all. But, it’s also ultimately a job, and an important one; passing on something better than what we ourselves received, if we can. It really is the beginning of a great adventure. It’s true what Lou’s wife said to him.
I love that the writer of ‘Heroin’ also has this song in his catalogue, that the darkness of drug addiction is balanced off ultimately, by the impulse to nurture. Of course, Lou hasn’t phrased it quite that way. And we’d be disappointed if he had. Nope; he’s going to “raise a little liberal army in the woods”. One man’s nurturing, is another’s mobilization to confront the world, preparing them to be thinkers and dissidents in a world that demands conformity and passivity. And you get the impression that Lou, and his kids, are up for it by the end of this tune.