Popular legend (and a period article in the British New Musical Express) insists that "Wagon Wheel," one of the most colorfully commercial tracks on 1972's Transformer album, was written by producer David Bowie as a gift to Lou Reed. Neither party has confirmed or denied the rumor and it is most likely that that is all it is: a rumor.
In fact, "Wagon Wheel" appears to be the marriage of three separate song fragments, the first a somewhat slight affirmation of self-worth that insists "you've got to live your life as though you're number one"; the second a whispered prayer to the Heavenly Father, asking how to respond to a girl who's making the singer crazy and lazy; and the third, a rambunctious demand to be woken up early in the morning. It's a cunning construction that explodes into even greater life on vinyl, a distinctive guitar romp punctuated by the Thunderthighs backing chorus interjections of "spoke, spoke." The next time somebody tells you that Lou Reed (or David Bowie) takes himself far too seriously, slap "Wagon Wheel" on the CD player.