Junior Dad

Songfacts®:

  • The personal nature of this 19-minute meditation is made evident by the fact that Lou Reed doesn't want to talk about it. He told Mojo magazine: "It's very difficult that one. I'll leave that one alone, for us. You heard it, it does what it does, some things you don't explain."
  • On hearing the completed song for the first time, both lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and singer James Hetfield were reduced to tears. "I had just lost my father literally three or four weeks previously," Hammet explained to Mojo. "I had to run out of the control room, and I found myself standing in the kitchen, sobbing away. And something else extraordinary happened right after that. James came into the kitchen in the same condition - he was sobbing too. It was insane. He managed to take out both guitar players in Metallica in one fell swoop, with his amazingly poetic lyrics. And he came into the kitchen and he was laughing. He looked at James and I, and said: 'That's a good one, huh?'"
  • Radio personality Howard Stern was one of many who originally dismissed the Lulu album when it dropped. He was subsequently won over by this epic track, "I listened to it at least ten times over," he raved. "It is fantastic. The whole thing is just very moving, [I was moved] to tears. And the music is as good as any symphony. I think if you sit and listen to it for 19 minutes it will just wash over you. I'm telling you this is a great song."
    Stern concluded: "I listened to it at least ten times and it got better and better and better."
  • Laurie Anderson put together a Deezer playlist of her late husband's songs which she feels best represent him. They included this collaboration with Metallica. She wrote:

    "Who other than Lou could write a song of such purity? And who other than Lou has the nerve to describe these emotions without watering them down? Rage, anger, despair and vulnerability. And great great great guitar drones!"
  • Though Lulu polarized Metallica fans and critics worldwide, guitarist Kirk Hammett remains proud of what they accomplished, in particular this song. "It's not for everyone," he admitted to Marin Independent Journal. "But 'Junior Dad,' I think, is one of the best things we've ever been associated with, in terms of real art and literature and music coming together. That, to me, is a real accomplishment, just as much as 'Ride The Lightning' is."

Comments: 2

  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationLou Reed in a interview with M - Music & Musicians: "They're into heavy metal, I'm into heavy guitar, so it was no big stretch. They were so ready to go, it was thrilling. It's like someone gave you a Ferrari for free."
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationMetallica frontman James Hetfield cited the album's closing number, "Junior Dad," as an example of the spontaneous way the songs came together: "There was some music that Lou had behind his lyrics before, and then we went out and played some stuff, and what they had done is they laid those two together, and without even knowing what the other stuff really sounded like, or timewise or when things would change, it lined up unbelievably perfect. It sounded really, really like they were meant to be."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Jeff TrottSongwriter Interviews

Sheryl Crow's longtime songwriting partner/guitarist Jeff Trott reveals the stories behind many of the singer's hits, and what its like to be a producer for Leighton Meester and Max Gomez.

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Kristian Bush of SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.