Lou Reed is 68 today! Happy birthday Lou!
In 1963, way before he created his Velvet Underground, Lou (Lewis) Reed began working as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records, a record label and distributor known for its releases of sound-alike recordings and bargain bin reissues. In 1964, he scored a minor hit with the single "The Ostrich", a parodic novelty song of popular "dance songs" such as "The Twist" that included lines such as "put your head on the floor and have somebody step on it." His employers had felt the song had hit potential, and arranged for a band to be assembled around Reed to promote the recording. The ad hoc group, called The Primitives, included Welsh musician John Cale, who had recently moved to New York to study music and was playing viola in composer La Monte Young's Theater of Eternal Music along with Tony Conrad. Many of these tracks are available on bootlegs and compilations, and luckily some have been posted on YouTube for our enjoyment.