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Father John Misty’s Insane ‘Dream’ Forced Taylor Swift Song Removal

Musician says Lou Reed commanded he take down Velvet Underground-style covers of “Blank Space,” “Welcome to New York”

Father John Misty

Father John Misty detailed an insane dream in which Lou Reed visited him and demanded he remove his Velvet Underground-style Taylor Swift covers

Emma Tillman

Father John Misty has removed his Velvet Underground-style covers of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and “Welcome to New York” after detailing on Facebook a presumably apocryphal, ridiculous dream in which the angry spirit of Lou Reed visited the singer.

A slew of absurdities precede Reed’s appearance, which essentially amounts to a prophetic cameo. Tillman posted the songs in response to Ryan Adamsown album of 1989 covers, and his “dream” seems to function as a half-baked, shaggy dog meditation on the cyclical nature of pop and the work of other artists for personal gain.

The dream opens with Tillman crab-walking around New Orleans and being reminded by an old friend he owes a tennis rental shop $7,000. He’s then berated by French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan for his egoism, after which Tillman finds himself surrounded by a mass of crying people, traveling the world via treadmill.

Then there’s the Obama interlude. En route to a soundcheck, Tillman writes he was scooped up by the President on Air Force One and the pair spent a day in Hawaii shooting hoops, petting his dogs, golfing and making policy decisions. Things get Freudian when Obama morphs into “an obscene visage of [Tillman’s] father,” who tells him, in the most harrowing way, to have fun. Then the musician leaps from the airplane and lands on a giant pink blob.

Tillman concluded: “Down inside the blob I could see thousands of familiar faces and one of them was Lou Reed on a catwalk hand-cuffed to supermodels who had adopted babies handcuffed to them and Lou said, ‘Delete those tracks, don’t summon the dead, I am not your plaything. The collection of souls is an expensive pastime.’ Then I woke up.”

Real or not, Tillman’s dream is a fittingly overwrought explanation for why he took down his Velvet Underground-style cover of “Blank Space,” which arrived with the snarky description, “My reinterpretation of the classic Ryan Adams album 1989.” 

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