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Baker's Dozen

Songs Of Praise: David Keenan's Baker's Dozen
Jennifer Lucy Allan , December 2nd, 2020 09:46

Jennifer Lucy Allan hears about high-fiving Edgar Froese, frightening the neighbours, disavowing the devil and how Scottish author David Keenan is all about saying yes. Portrait by Heather Leigh.


Lou Reed – Ecstasy
Lou Reed is my god. He invented underground music as far as I'm concerned. However, my mum was very into straight music, Lena Martell and Barbara Dickson, depressing Sunday afternoon ironing music. She didn't like me listening to weird music, until one day we were driving to Edinburgh, and the cassette in the car had the first Velvet Underground album on one side, and Jesus & Mary Chain on the other. That song 'April Skies' came on, and she loved it. I said if you like this you're probably really gonna like Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. She went mental for it. She later said to me that if she'd never married my dad she wished she'd married Lou Reed. I've got to be honest I don't know if Lou Reed and my mum would have got on that well, but I liked the idea that Lou Reed could have been my father.

So me and my mum would go and see Lou Reed every time he played in Scotland. Can't remember if it was the Ecstasy tour or coming up to then, but I landed us front row seats. Our chins were basically eye level with the stage, so we're standing in front of Lou Reed's boots. He played this brilliant set, and seemed in a semi-rage, it was totally entertaining. I don't think he spoke a word to the audience the entire time. Then at the end, he got a standing ovation and we were there at the front cheering, and Lou Reed walked over to us, leaned over and... [thrusts a fist upwards with middle finger up, in the universal gesture of: up yours]... then walked off. Me and my mum were cheering so hard, it was amazing.

Lou Reed gave your mum the finger?!

Yeah! He lived up to everything I ever wanted a rock star to be. I don't get it when rockstars talk about social issues, I liked it when rock stars behaved appallingly. I never expect anything sweet or nice, I want them to be dangerous sociopaths. Remember when being Bono was not cool? And now everyone wants to be fucking Bono! When he used to bang on about the rainforests or Live Aid everyone used to like 'oh shut up you sanctimonious prick', and now everyone does it. Everyone wants to be Bono. I wanted to be Iggy Pop or Lou Reed.