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Lou Reed Shocked and Disturbed Over NSA Spying

Lou Reed
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Lou Reed made his first public appearance since his life-saving liver transplant last month, and the legendary artist was as cranky as ever. Appearing at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Reed said he was shocked and disturbed by recent revelations regarding the NSA and spying, according to The Guardian.

“It’s so shocking,” Reed said. “Obama of all people having that thing going on … That’s our guy who did that. It’s very disturbing. A lot of the things [George W.] Bush would have done, Obama has continued. How did that happen?”

The 71-year-old rocker said he was “beyond belief” that a 29-year-old employee of a surveillance company, who eventually blew the whistle on the government’s monitoring of citizens’ phone calls and e-mails, would have such access. “Wow,” he said. “Does that speak well for our security or what?”

Still, Reed said he’s found some inspiration in the scandal. “There are so many things in this world that are changing so quickly, everything is an inspiration,” he said. “You could have an album about [whistleblower Edward Snowden]. Missing snow.”

Reed also took the opportunity to tear into the sound quality of MP3s — “A really miserable sounding thing,” he said. “It has been reduced to the lowest common denominator” — and journalists. “What they really want is something controversial,” he said.

The godfather of punk did his part. When asked by a reporter how he stays creative these days, Reed shot back, “I masturbate every day. OK?” It’s nice to have the ol’ grumpy Lou back.

Next: 10 Best Lou Reed Songs

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