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Posters for Lou Reed/Metallica Album Banned in London

Authorities say promos look too much like graffiti

September 20, 2011 6:10 PM ET
lou reed metallica lulu london underground
Lou Reed and Metallica's 'Lulu'
Courtesy BB Gun PR

Promotional posters for the forthcoming Lou Reed/Metallica album Lulu (out November 1st) have been banned by Transport for London, the body that oversees the London Underground, because they look too much like street graffiti.

While neither Lou Reed nor Metallica are strangers to controversy, they certainly didn't intend or expect the promo posters to stir up a scandal. When asked about the ban, Reed responded to Rolling Stone with a question of his own: "What would Andy Warhol or Jean Michel Basquiat say of this type of frivolous censorship?"

As for the album itself, at least two members of Metallica have claimed that Reed's lyrics moved them to tears.

Related
Metallica and Lou Reed Join Forces on New Album
Video: Why Metallica Had to Rock Yankee Stadium

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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