“There was this whole glam thing going on, so I just put myself in that head. It’s not like I had to go very far to do it. I have about a thousand selves running around. It’s easy.” – Lou Reed
We all know what Brian Eno had to say about Lou Reed’s first band The Velvet Underground and it was true. Even if VU’s abrasive noise did not endear them to a mainstream audience, their cult following of the right people ensured their popularity would only grow with band after band citing them as an inspiration. This legacy was further necessary as behind the in-your-face experimental presentation, there were amazing songs, most of them penned by Lou, a former Tin Pan Alley songwriter.
After the Velvets split Lou took along some of VU’s unreleased songs for his first solo effort. His eponymous debut was recorded in London with a host of session musicians who, in retrospect, were not exactly sympatico to Lou’s music. The album flopped but that did not deter Lou from picking himself up and making another one. And it certainly did not stop him from returning to The Smoke as he felt that all of the records that were sounding good were coming out of London.
Lou’s record company, RCA, introduced him to another one of their recording artists, David Bowie, who was riding high with the success of ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’. Bowie was a huge Velvets fan having covered ‘White Light/White Heat’ in his live shows and having paid tribute to the band on his album ‘Hunky Dory’. The label suggested Bowie produce Lou’s new album and Bowie found the task daunting as he told Classic Albums,
“I was petrified that he said, ‘Yes’, that he would like to work with me in a producer capacity. I had so many ideas and I felt so intimidated by my knowledge of the work he had already done… Lou had this great legacy of work.”
Bowie enlisted Spider guitarist and arranger Mick Ronson for co-production duties and Ziggy Stardust engineer Ken Scott and together they were able to shape Lou’s songs into an album. Although it did reference the glam scene that was electrifying London, ‘Transformer’ differed from ‘Ziggy’ and its more glittery counterparts with its gritty, realist subject matter. Rather than depicting a fictional apocalyptic space-age world, ‘Transformer’s stories were mired in the downtown streets of New York City.
We are delighted to introduce producer and sound engineer Ken Scott, who will tell the stories from the Trident recordings before we listen to the album from beginning to end on our audiophile sound system.
Before Transformer Scott was involved in many of the greatest classics in rock history. From The Beatles’ “White Album”, their Magical Mystery Tour and a number of solo projects for John, Ringo and George, to David Bowies Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and more. He also worked with bands such as Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Procol Harum, Jeff Beck, Devo, Duran Duran and Elton John. We are humble and excited to have him join us this evening.
4.00 Doors open – album related music
5.00 Album presentation – Horne/Scott/Walaker
5.50 Album Play (run time 36:40)
6.30 Q&A with the audience
7.00 The End
Date and Time: Sunday June 3rd 2018, 5pm – 7pm (doors open at 4pm)
Kulturhuset i Oslo, Youngs gate 6, 0181 Oslo
Audio Menu installed by Duet Audio: Cartridge: Dynavector XX2 MK2, Turntable: Dr. Feickert Blackbird, Tone arm: Jelco750 LB 12″, Amplifiers: 4 x Monoblocks Auralic Merak 2x800W, Preamp: Ayon Auris, Loudspeakers: Piega Classic 80.2, Interconnects: Midas Reference Flavia, Speaker Cable: Midas Reference Silje, Power Conditioner: Isol-8.