As reported today on Metallica's official website, the veritable cat has been let out of the bag regarding Lou Reed's secret collaboration for the hard rockers' new record. The cloak and dagger attitude towards the LouTallica project does seem odd, considering that nobody really cares about Metallica these days.
The story says that Lars Ulrich was punished for just hinting about the pairing. What was he punished with? A series of push-ups! This seemingly draconian penalty may seem harsh, given his age, but given Lars Ulrich's long-standing relationship with cocaine, he probably banged it out in less than ten minutes.
The inclusion of Reed on this record may seem unnerving, but is it in need of suspension of disbelief? Reed, like his cohorts, would not be the first example of a legendary musician getting old and making the bad decision to make a bad record.
Whenever Metallica is brought up, the discussion is almost always ended with "The first four records were good." It's true. Their first four records were excellent examples of wild, fast, thrashy metal. And like so many others, they began to fall off. The changes started small, but eventually the band reflected no semblance of their former selves, as demonstrated here:
While most, myself included, have a special place in their hearts for Lou Reed, his decline was inevitable. After all, T.S. Eliot famously wrote, "I don't believe one
grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a
certain age one stands still and stagnates."
There were some clear warning signs in the past.
Here is a classic clip of The Velvet Underground playing "Sunday Morning."
Here is a video of Lou Reed wearing what appears to be a silken karate gi while playing the same song 30 years later. Note the keytar and the man doing tai-chi next to him:
Perhaps Reed was looking to take another "walk on the wild side" with this next musical venture. Regardless of how it actually ends up sounding, any mention will surely be followed up by "Well, Transformer is still good."