One of the all-time classic rock songs, Lou Reed's 1966 composition "Waiting for the Man" is also one of the most covered -- a staple of countless punk-era British bands' repertoires, it has also drawn versions from many of Reed's own peers -- David Bowie and the Stooges both cut fascinating takes on the song, while no less than four of Reed's fellow Velvet Underground-ers -- John Cale, Nico, Doug Yule, and Maureen Tucker -- have also seen fit to perform their own distinctive versions. Reed, of course, has kept the song in his live set throughout his solo career. Throughout these myriad convolutions, the song has undergone any number of stylistic changes -- the Velvets themselves were known to transform it into a slow blues, an R&B rocker, or a drawn-out hard rock dirge. Return to the 1966 prototype, however, and almost all of these subsequent convolutions were anticipated by the Velvet Underground's own original version. Over chunky guitar, clunking piano, and jackhammer drums, Reed half-sings, half-intones what he would once describe as a love song about a man and the subway -- although it would probably be more accurate to acknowledge that the subway is simply the man's way of getting to where he really wants to be. Although it would ultimately be displaced by "Sunday Morning," "Waiting for the Man" was originally envisioned as the opening cut on the Velvet Underground's debut album, a position it was far more suited to occupy. In any event, it has taken first place on any number of Velvets compilations, while the group themselves often started their live show with it.