Lou Reed cast a stony stare over a hotel ballroom packed with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and geeks. It was November 8, 2006, the peak of the last Web bubble — remember? the littler one? the one between the monster bubble that ended in a big mess in 2000 and the bubble we’re in now that will end in another big mess one of these days?
That one, right: the bubble we called “Web 2.0.” That was also the name of the conference that Lou Reed was very visibly getting pissed off at — because, as he stood there and played his guitar and sang his songs, the geeks and VCs and founders weren’t listening. They were talking.
Reed was not known for suffering fools or turning the other cheek; he was famously prickly. (One live track from 1978 captures a rant he directed from the stage at a critic: “What does Robert Christgau do in bed? I mean, is he a toe fucker?”) So maybe the whole idea of having him serve as the after-dinner entertainment for a Web-industry conference hadn’t been so bright. But here we were!
Reed stopped playing. An AOL logo haloed his leathery face. While one of his two accompanying bassists vamped, he began barking at the crowd.
“You got 20 minutes. You wanna talk through it, you can talk through it. Or I can turn the sound up and hurt you.”And it just keeps on going. It's a terrific long read. I highly recommend it.
Doing is knowing: "Sweet Jane" and the Web
You should also check out his blog at Wordyard.com.