Guitar: Walk On The Wild Side (Including lyrics and chords)



“Walk On The Wild Side” is a song written and performed by Lou Reed and was released in 1972. It was very risqué as Wikipedia explains:
The lyrics were groundbreaking and risqué for their time, telling stories not usually told in rock songs up to then, and containing references to prostitution, transsexuals, and oral sex.
Each verse refers to one of the “superstars” at Andy Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory.
“Holly” is based on Holly Woodlawn, a transgender actress who lived in Miami Beach, Florida as a child. In 1962, after being bullied by homophobes, the fifteen-year-old ran away from home; and, as in the lyrics, learned how to pluck her eyebrows while hitchhiking to New York.
“Candy” is based on Candy Darling, a transgender actress and the subject of an earlier song by Lou Reed, “Candy Says”. She grew up on Long Island (“the island”) and was a regular at “the back room” of Max’s Kansas City.
“Little Joe” was the nickname of Joe Dallesandro, an actor who starred in Flesh, a 1968 film about a teenage hustler. Dallesandro said in 2014 that he had never met Reed when the song was written, and that the lyrics were based on the film character, not himself personally.
“Sugar Plum Fairy” was a reference to actor Joe Campbell, who played a character by that name in Warhol’s 1965 film, My Hustler. The term was a euphemism for “drug dealer”.
“Jackie” is based on Jackie Curtis, another Warhol actor. “Speeding” and “crashing” are drug references. Curtis at one time hoped to play the role of James Dean in a movie; Dean was killed in a car crash.

To be honest, I never really listened to the lyrics too closely at the time the song was released, just liking it for its somewhat unusual catchy rhythm which as I discovered when recording this video is not that easy to sustain with just the guitar.

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