"I'm Waiting for the Man" by The Velvet Underground (VIDEO)
Listen to "I'm Waiting for the Man" by The Velvet Underground, No. 13 on our list of the 100 best NYC songs.
Wed Mar 7 2012
13. The Velvet Underground, "I'm Waiting for the Man" (1967)
Like many of the Velvets' songs that focus on New York City's dark underbelly, "I'm Waiting for the Man" is supposedly based on fact. Legendary downtowner Lou Reed wrote this gritty track about scoring heroin for $26 at a Harlem brownstone—which he claims is a true story, aside from the price he paid. The song addresses the daily issues of addiction—traveling to a sketchy neighborhood, impatiently waiting for the dealer and coping with an angry girlfriend. Even the frantic drumbeat reflects a junkie's anxiety.