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Father John Misty deletes Taylor Swift covers at request of Lou Reed

By | Published on Wednesday 23 September 2015

Father John Misty

While Ryan Adams has been spreading his covers of the songs on Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ album far and wide, Father John Misty has been acting more Swift-like by taking his down. Although it wasn’t a financial or business model protest that led him to remove his versions of ‘Welcome To New York’ and ‘Blank Space’ from SoundCloud; Lou Reed told him to do it.

The former Fleet Foxes member, real name Joshua Tillman, released his Velvet Underground-inspired versions of the songs after Adams put out his re-recording of the Swift album in the style of Bruce Springsteen. He tweeted the ‘Blank Space’ cover, calling it his “interpretation from the classic Ryan Adams album ‘1989’”.

He then removed both tracks on Tuesday, saying in a lengthy statement yesterday that Reed had come to him in a dream and told him: “Delete those tracks, don’t summon the dead, I am not your plaything”.

“I had a very strange dream that I abruptly woke up from around 3am early this morning”, he wrote. “I was crab-walking around a neighborhood in New Orleans that, though it does not exist, is a recurring location in my dreams. My childhood friend Brian Kawamura was telling me I still owed the tennis rental place $7000, when the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan was suddenly standing over me, saying over and over, ‘The only thing crazier than a peasant who believes he is King, is a King who believes he is a King’.

“He put one of those birthday Burger King crowns on my head and out of the clouds a sort of ‘Switched On Bach’ version of ‘Ode To Joy’ began to play. A crowd which had formed around me began to sing along, with tears streaming down their faces. The crowd was obviously hypnotized and I assumed if I crept away discreetly no one would notice. The earth became a sort of treadmill, and though the locations (The Great Wall Of China, a McDonald’s where I had my third birthday, the town from Michael Haneke’s ‘The White Ribbon’, Vignola’s restaurant in Rockville, MD), ‘Ode To Joy’ and the crowd remained all around me”.

“All of a sudden it was time to soundcheck, which I was late for, and Barack Obama offered to give me a ride on Air Force One. He told me he needed urgent advice regarding some important policy decisions, and we spent the day in Hawaii playing basketball, petting his dogs, golfing and the like when I, gripped with anxiety, told him I really needed to get to soundcheck so we needed to discuss the ruling of the free world”.

“By this time he had turned into an obscene visage of my Father and said, ‘I have one injunction for you, son: That you enjoy life. It is by this mandate that all is ruled. It is the true tyranny; the equalizing force that binds us all’. I jumped out of Air Force One and landed on top of this massive pink, sparkly, glowing blob that stretched for miles beyond miles, covering entire cities, and I had to keep gulping down chlorophyll because the thing was emitting insane levels of EMFs, so my mouth and hands were stained dark green”.

“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”.

So, I think you can see the bind he found himself in. Though that is not to say that no one should cover his covers of those covers of Taylor Swift’s originals in the style of someone less demanding. Or at least less dead.