"Hey white boy, what you doing uptown?"
David Bowie in America around the time he met 'Lou'.
White light makes me sound like Lou Reed...
The current edition of Record Collector (September 2001) has an excellent feature on the Velvet Underground, including that meeting between David and Lou as remembered by Lou look-a-like, Doug Yule:
Is it true that David Bowie came to one of the shows on your 1971 UK tour, and started talking to you under the assumption you were Lou Reed?
"That was actually in New York, at the Electric Circus, upstairs at the Dom. I remember the incident well. England was one of the prime sources of rock'n'roll back then, of course, and we were all Anglophiles to some degree. So I remember this English kid coming backstage, and I was holding forth as if I was somebody, feeling very self-important as the leader of this band. He came in, and obviously assumed I was Lou Reed, and so I had to explain that Lou wasn't there. It was only a few years ago that I heard the story back from someone else, and realised that the English kid was David Bowie. In 1971, I'd never heard of him!"
Here is David's original quote regarding the meeting:
"I?d come back from New York, having caught one of the last performances of The Velvet Underground, a band I had admired tremendously since around 66/67. One of that tiny bastion of Velvet Underground fans in London at the time, before they were generally known. And I?d gotten into the Electric Circus to see the gig. I watched the entire show, and there were not that many people in the audience because their star had begun to dim in New York. The whole band were there with Lou Reed singing the songs and I thought it was just tremendous.
"I was singing along with the band, stuck right there at the apron of the stage. 'Waiting For The Man', 'White Light/ White Heat', 'Heroin'...All that kind of stuff. And then after the show, I went back stage and I knocked on the door, and I said "Is Lou Reed in? I?d love to talk to him, I?m from England, cos I?m in music too, and he?s a bit of a hero to me." This guy said "Wait here". And Lou comes out and we sat talking on the bench for about quarter of an hour about writing songs, and what it?s like to be Lou Reed, and all that...and afterwards I was floating on a cloud, and went back to my hotel room.
"I said to this guy that I knew in New York: "Ive just seen the Velvet Underground and I got to talk with Lou Reed for fifteen minutes", and he said, "Yeah? Lou Reed left the band last year, I think you?ve been done." I said, "It looked like Lou Reed" and he said "Thats Doug Yule, he?s the guy that took over from Lou Reed." I thought what an impostor, wow, that?s incredible. It doesn?t matter really, cos I still talked to Lou Reed as far as I was concerned. Coming back to England, one of the memories I brought back with me, was all that. So I wrote Queen Bitch as a sort of homage to Lou Reed."
Thanx to the fast-fingered Spaceface for typing up the quotes! };-)