Preparing with Lou Reed

Many thanks to all the people who watched our first episode and reacted so favorably and enthusiastically…we thought there was an audience for this kind of show – maybe we were right.

The second episode on Sundance Channel features Lou Reed, with a special, not-to-be-missed appearance (and “performance”) by artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel. Coincidentally, Julian got the 60 Minutes treatment last weekend – a nice set-up for our show, so I guess we should say thanks to Morley Safer. Isn’t Morley always on the tip?

Lou has gained a reputation as a difficult interview, so I think it’s fair to say there’s some trepidation in approaching an in-depth session with him. But as Elvis has said, Lou couldn’t have been more accommodating, not to mention amusing and entertaining – he generously shared stories, jokes and some pretty rare insight into the man and his music.

And speaking of music, we actually weren’t quite sure what Lou wanted to do in terms of performance. But he was gracious enough to invite Elvis and a few of us producer types to his rehearsal space one night shortly before we taped. He and Elvis had a quiet chat amidst the amps and cables, and next thing we knew they were singing “Perfect Day” together and working out the parts as they went. Then another quick huddle and Lou had a guitar in his hands and they were on their way to doing “Set the Twilight Reeling”, which turned out to be electric in more ways than one.

So that’s what we ended up with for songs from Lou – “Perfect Day” and “Set the Twilight Reeling”, and he wanted to do them both with Elvis, which actually turned out to be sort of perfect. And Elvis kicked it all off with a rousing “Femme Fatale” – and it too was perfect.

Hope you agree. Enjoy the show.

– Stephen Warden

Stephen Warden is the Creator and Executive Producer of SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…