LOU REED 1985-01-11 Melbourne, Australia (uncirculated source from the Waz from Oz archive)
1985 Australia Tour
Sports And Entertainment Centre
11th January 1985
02. Sweet Jane
03. I’m Waiting For The Man
04. Legendary Hearts
05. Down at The Arcade
06. Martial Law
07. Turn Off The Lights
08. There She Goes Again
09. Sally Can’t Dance
10. Walk On The Wild Side
11. Street Hassle
12. Satellite Of Love
13. My Red Joystick
14. New Sensations
15. Doing The Things We Want To
16. Turn to Me
17. I Love You Suzanne
18. White Light / White Heat
19. Coney Island Baby
20. Waves Of Fear
21. Some Kinda Love
22. band introductions
23. Rock And Roll
24. Lou Reed radio interview with Karl Van Est on Melbourne's 92.3 EON-FM on 11 January 1985.
Concert taped by: G. Long
Transferred and mixed by audiowhore (2020)
audiowhore notes: tape was pitch and speed corrected and EQ mixed.
A 55 second patch was used from an alternate source to fill a tape flip gap at the start of White Light / White Heat.
With this patch, the recording is now of the complete concert.
EON-FM radio interview recorded by mondoprune in 1985 - thanks for sharing this.
Lou Reed – Vocals And Guitar
Robert Quine – Guitar
Fernando Saunders – Bass Guitar And Backing Vocals
Peter Wood – Keyboards, Accordion And Backing Vocals
Peter Ferarri – Drums
Hello folks, this is the latest Lou Australian tour upload, we’ve been doing them in chronological order to date.
I didn’t tape the 1985 tour because I was in the UK for the festive season, but another taper friend recorded the Melbourne show.
He gave me a copy from his master on my return. Where are you now G. Long?
I don't believe that this recording has circulated before however there is another source of this show that has circulated.
By 1985 this long-time Lou (& Velvets fan) had somewhat gone off Louis, I really liked Street Hassle and Take No Prisoners but Lou lost me after I’d purchased The Bells And Growling Up in Public.
IMHO they were dead-set awful albums (hands down Lou’s worst) and they soon found homes in 2nd hand record shops, never to be brought again even on CD.
Thinking that each successive LP might be a return to greatness, I brought The Blue Mask, Legendary Hearts, New Sensations and Mistrial hoping Lou’s output would thrill me like his LP’s once did.
But apart from a handful of songs, he couldn’t win me back.
I taped to cassette the handful of tracks that appealed to me (probably not even filling up one side of a C90 cassette) & those albums quickly joined their fellow earlier duds in 2nd hand shops.
I remember back then looking through the racks at these 2nd hand shops & spotting umpteen copies of The Bells & Growing Up In Public, more than I ever did of Metal Music Machine so I wasn’t alone in rejecting them.
I couldn’t perceive nor fathom how a brilliant songwriter as Reed could be the same writer of gag-inducing turds like I Love You Suzanne, My Red Joystick, Down In The Arcade to just name a few.
After listening to this Melbourne recording on my return I feel that I didn’t miss much.
The on the edge live Lou that I witnessed in 1974, 1975 & even in 1977 had gone.
He’s even being nice as pie to the audience, a real chatty Cathy.
At Albury during the 1977 Australian tour Lou stopped & walked off for 25 minutes after a lolly/sweet/piece of candy was thrown at him.
If the same had happened in 1985, methinks that Lou would have picked it up, unwrapped it, ate & then thanked the person for throwing it up on stage.
It was nice to get some old Velvet songs but the arrangements of these as with many of the other songs sounded stodgy & pedestrian, not helped by the cheesy 1980s keyboards.
Also some bog average tunes last far too long. And the songs that he had performed on those earlier Australian tours which are featured on the 1985 tour IMHO now sound bloated.
Several times during a song Lou yells 'Quine' (surname only) as though he was either encouraging him or informing him you CAN do your thing now, and during the band introductions Lou calls him 'magnificent'.
I must say I did enjoy Robert Quine’s guitar playing.
Strange that an audience member yells out for Sweet Jane during the encore break and during the encores, maybe he was as stoned as Lou used to be & didn’t remember it being the first song of the show!
To sum up, I felt Lou had gone off the boil in a live setting as well as in the studio at this 1985 period.
I tend to somewhat agree with the review of the Adelaide concert printed further below.
On a positive note the audience seem to enjoy the new Lou!
Just as the 1977 Australian Tour wasn’t well documented, neither was this 1985 tour.
A full list of tour dates has not previously been published.
Many of the online references to this tour are wrong.
For example, this 11th January 1985 show is often stated as having occurred at the Palace, another Melbourne music venue.
However that is false.
This was the only Melbourne show on this tour and it definitely occurred at the Sports & Entertainment Centre.
As noted by a subsequent letter to the editor of Melbourne's The Age newspaper, the acoustics at this venue were notoriously terrible (see this letter below).
After extensive research, we have tracked down all of the concert dates for this tour.
These are listed below and each date has been verified by ads and/or reviews from papers in those cities.
(Real research, not copying false info from online.)
New Sensations Australian Tour Dates - January 1985
7 Jan 1985 - Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney
8 Jan 1985 - Civic Theatre, Newcastle
11 Jan 1985 - Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre, Melbourne
12 Jan 1985 - Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
14 Jan 1985 - Perth Concert Hall, Perth
15 Jan 1985 - Perth Concert Hall, Perth
17 Jan 1985 – Selina’s, Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney
Note that there was no concert in Brisbane in 1985, whereas Lou played there on his three previous Australian visits.
Interestingly there were 2 shows in Perth.
There was also no second show in Melbourne at the Palace - that falsehood originated from an incorrectly captioned photo of Lou.
The other similar thing about the 1985 tour to the 1977 Australian tour is that only one concert seems to have been audience taped.
In 1977 only the first Sydney show has ever circulated from an audience tape.
As noted above, there are two audience sources of this Melbourne show but no other tapes from the tour have ever circulated.
If any Australian tapers have a recording of any of the other shows please get in contact.
Enjoy, thanks to audiowhore,
PS. Lou did win me back with the New York LP!
Some news coverage of this tour is copied below-
The Age (Melbourne)
10th January 1985
By Richard Gulliatt
Lou Reed the survivor
What a difference a decade makes.
Lou Reed first appeared in Australia in 1974.
He returns for a fourth time, a changed man.
Reports that Lou Reed is alive again has been exaggerated.
In Sydney on Monday he went through the venerable tradition of walking on stage, strapping on a guitar and hammering out the opening chords of “Sweet Jane” a song that opened all his previous concerts here in 1974, 1975 and 1977.
But this time it was different. It was more powerful and assured than it had ever sounded.
What followed was equally rare – Reed acknowledged the applause with a smile and said : “It’s been way too long. This is an older song that tells you about the effects of inflation – It’s called “Waiting For The Man”.
And with that launched into a blistering version of his classic sixties narrative about the New York junkie looking for a $26 fix.
These old songs are now the remnants of Reed’s own junkie past, and for those who have followed his erratic career, this tour will be a revelation.
He looks trim and healthy, fills the spaces between the songs with amusing anecdotes, and plays with a passion that many felt he’d never regain.
Most of his contemporaries have died or become parodies of themselves, but Reed now celebrates his survival.
Robert Quine onstage – two 42-year-old men now slashing away at their Fenders – erases all memory of the undignified way people like Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger have lurched into middle age.
“I’ve always liked this basic thing” Reed had said earlier in the day. “I Like to say that any kid could pick up a guitar and knock one of these songs out.
They’re not hard to play – or sing, cos I don’t have much of a voice. But It is hard to write them : they’re very deceptive.
Reed's rejuvenated career is in many ways a return to the basic approach he took when he started the Velvet Underground in 1965.
His forte has always been the urban narrative given a poetic touch and set to basic rock ‘n‘ roll chords.
The difference now is in Reed himself: he has married, stopped drinking, taken up Tai Chi and assembled one of the finest backing bands of his career.
His last album “New Sensations” was one of 1984’s great records.
All of this, of course, does not make him any easier to interview. He runs a tight ship these days, protected by a hustling manager and a large Scottish minder.
His contract stipulates no alcohol or meat backstage.
Reed is a small man who makes up for his size with an impassive face and a New Yorker’s acerbic tongue, and he employ’s both as defence mechanisms when confronted with a tape recorder or camera.
On this occasion we were in his managers hotel room. Reed slumped on the couch wearing jeans, leather slippers, a canvas jacket and a Harley Davidson T-shirt.
Harley Davidsons are one of Reed’s new passions and if you want to talk about them, or disco music, or recording techniques, he can be animated and friendly.
He is a big fan of black music and enthuses about New York rap music and new black artists like Afrika Bambaata.
Asked about which rock lyricists he rated highly, he gave me a typical, “I’m not a critic, generally speaking I like stooped lyrics, things that repeat over and over and over.
Like that Foreigner thing, “I Wanna Know What Love Is”. Now that’s a nice dumb lyric, that I find attractive; I like that kind of sappy music. I always have.
Reed often equates his work with the cinema, convincing audiences’ authenticity of his stories.
It is therefore no surprise to find that one of his new songs play tribute to playwright Sam Shepherd and director Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Mean Streets), both of whom share his sharp ear for urban dialogue.
“I like their style, their subject matter….again, their stuff’s very simple. It’s about things I’m interested in, in a language I enjoy. It’s honest & very moving.”
But when more personal matters are raised, so are Reed’s hackles. He simply refuses to talk about the mid-seventies, a time when his songs reflected his homosexuality and when drug addictions had him shortlisted for the rock’n’roll casualty ward.
He even refused to be photographed sitting on the edge of an unmade bed, saying he did not like the implied image.
Perhaps Reed believes that he has exposed enough of himself in his music: the brutal honesty of his records and performances has made his best work indispensable and his worst just about inexcusable.
It wasn’t until his marriage to artist Sylvia Morales in 1980 that Reed’s career found a consistent direction.
The 1982 LP “The Blue Mask” signalled the arrival of his new band, but surprisingly, a collection of songs which frankly examined his return to heterosexuality.
How much does his new marriage have to do with the new equilibrium in his career?
“I don’t want to answer anything that has to do with my personal life,” he replied in a flat drawl.
“I understand why people might have an interest in how Clint Eastwood’s divorce is going to affect his next Dirty Harry movie. I like gossip too.
I read the ‘National Enquirer’ when I have nothing else to do and I need some real garbage. And that’s what I think of it – it’s real garbage.” And the subject is closed.
Reed’s latest songs, which cover unlikely subjects like video games, motorcycles and going to the theatre seem to have narrowed the gap between the writer and his songs.
“I’ve thought about that. I think the distance between Lou Reed as an image and Lou Reed as a person has decidedly shortened on the last couple of albums.
I think part of the reason is that the things I’m writing about are much closer to the things most people associate with. Before, a lot of what I wrote about was extreme situations.
“Also, because I write so much in the vernacular, I always try to present it as though it’s true, that it happened to me. But it isn’t true, and it didn’t always happen to me.
“I’m a literate writer who tries to write in a quasi-vernacular form, and in my latest songs I’ve been trying to make it simple – very, very, very simple.”
While Reed continues to have minimal commercial success today, nostalgia for the New York art scene which spawned him is rampant.
The Velvet Underground was a product of Andy Warhol’s Factory, well chronicled in recent books like ‘Edie’, ‘Uptight” and Warhol’s own ‘Popism”.
The Velvet Underground LP’s are about to be re-released, and the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine carries a back-page tribute to the band nearly 20 years after the fact. How did he feel about it?
“It is a little shocking to realize that you’re talking 20 years later,” he said, sounding almost surprised at the passage of the years.
“I think it’s nice they got the Velvet’s on the back page: I think they should have me on the front. I’m glad people enjoy those records and find sources of impetus from them. It should lead them to me.”
We couldn’t find a review of the Melbourne concert, but we found this-
16th January 1985
Letters to the editor
As one who remembers the Melbourne Entertainment Centre in its original incarnation as a swimming pool and who fondly recalls such events as the 1956 Olympics USSR / Hungary water polo contest, I must register considerable distress at the use to which the complex is currently being put.
Last Friday night I attended what was advertised as a concert by Mr Lou Reed and what in all probability would have been a concert by Mr Lou Reed had the so called Entertainment Centre processed even the most rudimentary facilities one normally associates with a concert hall.
The acoustics were such that Mr Reed’s lyrics were incompressible, the virtuosity of the players completely wasted, and the audience left with only their own applause to enjoy.
However, gifted the artist – and I know, from previous concerts elsewhere, that Mr Reed is gifted – his performance will be lost amongst the tin rafters and Victorian fixtures of this monument to the national genius for recycling.
The state government which is its main beneficiary should either refurbish this place so that it may indeed pass muster as an entertainment centre, or else restore it to its original successful purpose as a venue for European blood sports.
WILLIAM G. POWIS
We also found this rather negative review of Lou’s Adelaide concert-
WALK ON THE MILD SIDE
Lou Reed At Thebarton Theatre, Saturday
Enthusiasm was not enough for US veteran rocker Lou Reed at the Thebarton Theatre on Saturday.
Looking like a tough, streetwise and aging marine on R and R, Reed delivered a lacklustre performance of material from early Velvet Underground to later solo efforts.
But it wasn’t from lack of trying. Reed did all he could to exhort his fellow musicians, himself and the crowd onto a rock ‘n’ frenzy.
It was a vast change in attitude from the cynical indifference Reed exhibited at his 1977 Apollo Stadium concert.
Hampered by some hack playing from his band, the sound dissolved into a repetitive drone with little light and shade.
Sadly, Reed’s genius for arrangements must have suffered as he has aged.
Many of the songs, wonderful on his records largely due to the arrangements, received some rough treatment from the band, degenerating into two chord thrashes with a boogie beat.
Street Hassle, There She Goes Again and White Light/White Heat were three songs to suffer the most at this treatment.
The most frustrating aspect was the tediousness of the beat.
Reed’s drummer played like a rock ‘n’ roll metronome, rarely breaking out of the traditional snare and high-hat downbeat.
The effect was to make it seem like one song was being played the whole night through.
The welcome exception was a good version of his 70’s hit Walk On The Wild Side, in which the negro bass player showed us just how funky and mellifluous his playing can be.
And not everyone was dissatisfied. Many threw their bodies about enthusiastically all night, and were vocal in their appreciation.
But there were a lot of blank faces too, and a few sort refuge in the foyer, and outside the hall.
Reed was supported by the popular Sydney based band the Hoodoo Guru’s, who received an encore from the crowd.
To me, the Gurus are difficult to fathom, changing their sound in an instant from ’80s swamp and punk, to ‘60’s pop, and some rather banal ‘70s boogie.
I guess this is what happens when you try too hard to please.
Like beer - a good bootleg makes its own friends
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