A strange and totally riveting performance by Lou Reed of “Walk On The Wild Side” at the Olympia Theater in Paris on September 17, 1973.
This clip is not new to Youtube but this version has by far the best sound… and even then it leaves a lot to be desired.
Looking like a junkie mime or proto-type for The Crow, Reed jerks off the mic and lackadaisically swivels his hips like a Times Square hooker while appearing completely in his own world. At the top of the song, Reed could be imagining himself sitting on a street corner on Long Island as a young kid, bobbing his head to “Walk On The Wild Side’s” doo-wop vibe.
Lou had a certain battered beauty at this point in his life. Transformer had been released a year prior to this show and Lou was experiencing phenomenal success in Europe. Never completely comfortable on stage, lacking the slickness of Bowie or manic energy of Iggy, Reed was compellingly awkward in many of his live performances. Without The Velvet Underground to bounce off, he seemed almost frightened at times.