John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Timeline: 1982

Music For A New Society

Music For A New Society

Release of Music For A New Society, which includes a new version of Close Watch, from the Helen Of Troy album.

Chinese Envoy was inspired by a short story of the French writer Guy de Maupassant.

The cover of the album was designed by his ex-wife Betsey Johnson.

"on Music For A New Society, I wanted to do a Marble Index - put the songs down, then write independent arrangements around them, itīs an arranger's record, it even goes outside the realm of that, it's like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The whole thing is hooked on the voice, which I was really proud of; the voice is sticking out there, it's not hidden. There were some examples where songs ended up so emaciated the weren't songs anymore. There was a purist notion of what it was supposed to be, but it flowered into something entirely different, with a lot of overdubbings. The only track with a band on the whole album is Changes Made and that shouldn't be there, but the record company insisted on it."
WPLJ Deehunter button

Deerhunter supergroup for Agent Orange victims/ Vietnam Vets benefit

On July 30 he is part of the supergroup Deerhunter (with Ian Hunter, Todd Rundgren, Paul Butterfield) at an outdoors benefit show for Agent Orange victims/ Vietnam Vets at Pier 84 in New York. He performs two songs solo, Fear Is A Man's Best Friend and Heartbreak HotelHeartbreak Hotel. The New York Times is not impressed:

(..) although the gesture of solidarity for a humane cause gave some of the performances a special urgency, the band itself lacked much musical cohesiveness. Because of Deerhunter's influences - Mr. Hunter is a disciple of Bob Dylan, Mr. Rundgren of the Beatles and Mr. Cale a charter member of the Velvet Underground -all the music was very much rooted in the 60's rock culture.

The musical high point of the set was a slow pop-soul rendition of ''Eight Days a Week,'' the Beatles hit, in which Mr. Hunter and Mr. Rundgren shared the lead vocals in a Smokey Robinson-style arrangement. Mr. Cale's only solo turn, singing his primal-scream rendition of ''Heartbreak Hotel,'' the Elvis Presley hit, was also effective for the way it recalled Jim Morrison and the Doors. And Mr.Rundgren delivered a confident solo rendition of his antiwar song ''Lysistrata.''

Local rado station WPLJ made buttons to support the cause.

Music For A New Society video

An acquaintance working for NBC Television dreamed up shooting a video for the album. Cale's game for the princely sum of $ 1,500, ending up surrounded by a chorus line of dance girls, trying to sing Changes Made:

"There was one scene in which all of a sudden one of the girls started sucking my thumb while I was trying to concentrate on the lyrics. (...) If it's ever shown, I'll kill the guy."


© 1999- Hans Werksman