Street Hassle


Around September or October 1977, Lou Reed found himself working at Record Plant studios, trying to complete "Street Hassle". At the same time, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were hard at work in a studio downstairs, recording album #4. There are multiple narratives on what happened next, but Rod O'Brien, Reed's engineer, recalls working on the "Slipaway" section of the song. After Reed recorded "this thing, I hit the talkback, and I said, 'Uh. You realize what you just stole?' And Lou, deadpan, said, 'Whaddaya mean?' And then he started to crack up laughing. Then Lou says, 'But I gotta use it.' I said, 'Okay, but let’s go downstairs.' I said to Bruce, 'Lou wants to play you something, he just wants to make sure that you're not going to be upset.' So Bruce says, 'Okay,' and he comes up, and we play him the piece, and he says 'Oh, that's fine that's no problem…' And then Lou looks at him, and I didn't know Lou was going to do this, but he says: 'Would you do it?' And Bruce is like, '…what, me?' Lou says, 'Yeah.' And Bruce says, 'Okay, but you can't put my name on it, because I don't want to go through all the hassles that would mean…' And Lou's like, 'No problem.' So, Lou wrote the little part out, and as far as I remember, Bruce went out and did it one take." For more information on Springsteen and Reed, see the recording session listing.

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