Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lou Reed and Vaclav Havel in conversation

"They're an odd couple.

The retired Czech politician who once led the Velvet Revolution and the aging rock star who once led the Velvet Underground are in Prague for a press conference and, more importantly, an onstage "conversation" at the Švandovo Divadlo theatre.

A broad spectrum of journalists and photographers, ranging from hardcore hacks to the hip and the hairy, has turned out for the press conference, scheduled for 11am in the Opal and Topaz rooms of Andel's Hotel.

Time drags on, and it's 11:28 before Reed and Havel finally appear - first thing you learn is that you always gotta wait.

There's a clamor of oddly hushed photographers, during which Reed does his obligatory rock star bit - telling one female snapper that she's very beautiful - then the press conference begins.

The topic jumps from Havel's plays and Reed's music to contemporary politics and the Velvet Revolution but the only genuinely interesting revelation is that Reed does two hours of t'ai chi every day.

Most of questions are directed at Reed, whose prickly answers justify his pre-match billing as an awkward interviewee. Havel, meanwhile, says very little. It doesn't bode well.

Answering the press conference's final question, Reed says that, if he'd lived under communism, he'd "probably be Kafka", unaware, perhaps, that Franz Kafka never lived under communism..."Reed More Link courtesy of Bookslut's Blog

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