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.