• Mark Gamon

Lou Reed: Perfect Day

Updated: Apr 14

Somewhat in praise of television, this. I thought it was glorious, give or take a couple of voices, when it first came out. 1997. Time flies.

It flies even further back to Lou Reed’s original. 1972. What was I doing then? Nothing I can write about here, I suspect. Both versions are perfect, as they should be.

Then, just recently, I had occasion to learn the song. Here are the chords, in concert pitch:

Intro: F Bbm x2

Verse: Bbm Eb Ab C# F# Ebm F x2

Chorus: Bb Eb Dm Eb Eb/D Eb/C Bb F Gm F Eb Gm F Eb

Inst: Gm F Eb

Coda: Dm Ab Eb Bb Dm Ab Eb Bb Dm

I know the jazzers would whizz through that but I get palpitations just thinking about it.

Then I did what any acoustic sensible guitar player does: stick on a capo. Take your pick where, according to desired pitch. Lou’s version (and the BBC one) is Capo 1.

Intro: E Am x2

Verse: Am D G C F Dm E x2

Chorus: A D Cm D A E F#m E D F#m E D

Inst: F#m E D

Coda: C#m G D A C#m G D

And suddenly you’re playing the song using all the usual suspects, give or take. Isn’t that nice?

I’m no virtuoso, but there’s one thing I’ve learnt about playing guitar: find the easy way. Lou did.

Somewhat in praise of capos too, then.