I first heard this in the summer of 1969 but it was released in March of 1967. A few months before Sgt. Pepper. The big songs in March 1967 were Ruby Tuesday, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields, and Happy Together. The Supremes’ Love is Here and Now You’re Gone also made it to #1 and is a better record than any of them but that’s another story.
Denise Fumo of all people introduced me to Heroin. I was 14 and madly in love with Denise but she only liked me as a friend. I was ready for some miserable music. Denise had many older boys in pursuit including the lifeguards, one of whom played it for her, and by the way that’s what I call sophisticated pickup technique. Denise was floored, bought it and played it for me, and thus I learned that there was more to this music thing than I thought.
Anyway, this song is every bit a product of 1967 as the others. And you Sgt. Pepper fans, which sounds more visionary now? Heroin by a mile.
Another thing is that Lou Reed covered the song more times than he could count, and he never came close to playing this song. That’s because of Mo Tucker and John Cale and Sterling Morrison. We used to play it in practice in Fun No Fun and did good things with it but not like this.