As I’m sure you know, Lou Reed died on Sunday aged 71. I imagine that most people visiting this blog will at some time in their lives have thrilled to his work with The Velvet Underground or on his solo albums. Rather than mark his passing with something well-known, I decided to look to the period just after Lou graduated from Syracuse University and was hired by budget label Pickwick Records, based in Long Island City, New York, as a songwriter and session musician.
The Roughnecks were a studio-only group and ‘You’re Driving Me Insane’ is a fine garage rocker with more than a hint of the dissonant guitar work that would be a feature of the early Velvet Underground, whoops and hollers galore, and I am sure you will recognise Mr. Reed’s distinctive style on the vocals.
‘You’re Driving Me Insane’
This number appeared on a 1965 compilation album on the Design label called Soundsville!. Each selection represented a different genre of “Sound” – The Sounds of New York, The Sounds of Detroit, The Sounds of the Campus, and so forth. Another Reed co-composition ‘Cycle Annie’ by The Beachnuts illustrated The Sounds of the Motorcycle and ‘You’re Driving Me Insane’ was billed as The Sounds of England (though the band were not from England, obviously!).
Reissues: ‘You’re Driving Me Insane’ has reappeared on Arf! Arf!’s Yeah Yeah Yeah.