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Credit: Roger Woolman


Listen to The Strokes cover 'Walk on the Wild Side' in 2006


The Strokes love themselves a good cover. Before, we talked about how The Strokes and The Ramones shared a fondness for distortion-laden hooks and leather jackets when the former took on ‘Life’s a Gas’, but if there’s one figure to whom the band is most directly indebted, it would be Lou Reed.

Everything about the band, from their twin guitar attack to their observations about scuzzy New York figures to Julian Casablanca’s signature bray, can be connected to either Reed or his compatriots in The Velvet Underground. The Velvets were “indie rock” before it had a name, and The Strokes happily championed the lessons they learned from the band behind ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’.

While performing at the Ricoh Coliseum, (today known as the Coca-Cola Coliseum: curse you, corporate Canada) in Toronto, Canada, during the band’s tour supporting their third album First Impressions of Earth, The Strokes decided to indulge the frequent comparisons by performing ‘Walk on the Wild Side’.

The song became a frequent staple of the 2006 tour dates, having first been performed at Rolling Stone Magazine‘s party commemorating their 1,000 issue, and then consistently over the summer and early autumn months. In total, the band played the song 25 times, but haven’t touched it since that tour ended. It remains the band’s most frequently performed cover, edging out ‘Life’s a Gas’ by just a single performance.

Check out The Strokes take a ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ down below.