Hey Bill, Take a Walk on the Wild Side

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WASHINGTON: Lou Reed, whose musical career was built on sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, is the featured entertainer at the state dinner for Czech president Vaclav Havel Wednesday night. The gender-bending former lead singer of Andy Warhol's house band the Velvet Underground might seem an odd choice for a scandal-plagued White House, but he's got a secret calling card: Havel, who calls Reed "one of the fathers of the American underground," is a big fan and a close friend.

"This is the White House's business-as-usual mode," says TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan. "It would look silly to refuse Havel's request to have Reed perform because of the President's current imbroglio." Indeed, the biggest danger may be that some of Reed's lyrics could offend decency campaigner Tipper Gore.