News

Lou Reed shows sellouts how it’s done by blocking Susan Boyle’s “Perfect Day”

Pin it

Lou Reed Transformer cover

Lou Reed has always been one of our favorite curmudgeonly musicians. He has not relaxed at all in old age, revisiting his violent sonic assault Metal Machine Music and refusing to play casinos and other events with a plastered-on oldies-circuit smile. Last night, he did all our ears a huge favor when he stepped in and stopped Susan Boyle from destroying "Perfect Day," one of his greatest cuts.

Boyle was schedule to appear on a taping of America's Got (No) Talent and had asked the singer-songwriter's permission to use the 1972 song as her centerpiece. Reed thought about it for, I'm sure, all of two seconds before realizing that Boyle would take a song that's believed to be a sarcastic and mean-spirited attack on a failed relationship and/or an ode to heroin addiction and turn it into a travesty.

Whatever you think of Susan Boyle, you have to admit the idea of her covering "Perfect Day" is a terrible one. It's sort of like when one of the American Idols takes a John Lennon song like "Imagine" and sucks all the political and anti-religion/anti-capitalist overtones out of it. Reed is protecting his work here — and he should be applauded for it.

Of course, he's no saintly protector of his own songs, either. I distinctly recall "Perfect Day" being used in a commercial a few years ago — and it wasn't a commercial for a methadone clinic, either…

(The Daily Mail has more on the controversy, although that's pretty much all you need to know.)