In 1972 I was living in London and had just been headhunted to run New Product Development for Gillette in their emerging markets.  I was in a club in London’s West End (The Valbonne in Kingly St) when I heard Lou Reed’s second album ‘Transformer’.  I was transfixed and transformed.  Produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and led by ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, I went out on to the Kings Road the next weekend, bought the album and listened to it non-stop for weeks on end.

Within two weeks, I had fallen in love with urban New York.  Gritty, sexy, tough, romantic, free, wild, dangerous – every track a cameo of Andy Warhol’s New York City – Walk on the Wild Side, Satellite of Love, Vicious, Perfect Day, Hangin’ ‘Round, Andy’s Chest, Wagon Wheel, I’m So Free.  And my three favourites – New York Telephone Conversation, Make-Up and Goodnight Ladies.

This all came flooding back to me a few nights ago when Trudy and I were sitting in our desert roof-top bar – Tonto’s – as the sun set, talking about New York.  And thanks to Spotify, we were able to enjoy Transformer as the soundtrack to our New York Stories.

Trudy’s life in Queens.  My life in Soho and Tribeca.  Our life at Saatchi & Saatchi New York, working with Lou and his multi-talented creative wife Laurie Anderson.  And now our new project in neighbouring New Jersey.  Just a New York Conversation.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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