Artist Info

The Primitives

In the mid-'60s, Lou Reed took a job as a staff songwriter and studio musician at Pickwick, the budget/exploitation label in New York. His most fully realized effort from this period, though hardly a notable artistic accomplishment, was the 1964 single "The Ostrich"/"Sneaky Pete." Pretty outrageous by standards of the time, "The Ostrich" was ostensibly a dance, but delivered with out-of-tune guitar plucks and Reed's typically forceful sing-speak vocals. There was also a crunching rhythm section, ludicrously high-pitched backup vocals, and lyrics about laying your head on the floor to have it stepped on -- that was how you did "The Ostrich" dance. The flip was a more basic garage tune that nonetheless, like the A-side, bore the unmistakable stamp of Reed's cool vocals and facility for simple, grungy, yet arresting guitar chords.