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

John Cale setlists

Touring in The Nineties

He plays with the reformed Velvets and reinvents himself as a composer of movie soundtracks.

Velvets reunion

Velvet Underground 1990 reunion

The Velvet Underground reunites for a rendition of Heroin at at Warhol exhibtion at Jouy-En-Josas, France (June, 15 1990). A surprise Velvets reunion falls short at at New York University (December 5, 1992), when Maureen Tucker doesn't show up.

Final Drella

The last ever performance of Songs For Drella happens in Tokyo (August 6, 1990). Once more Maureen Tucker comes out for for the Pale Blue Eyes encore.

Scoring Iphigenia in Tauris

Cale's first ever score for a ballet, Iphigenia in Tauris, is presented at the Merce Cunningham Studios in New York (January 16-19, 1991).

Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground 1993 reunion tour

The impossible happens in 1993. The Velvet Underground reunites for an European tour. One fan goes as far as to declare: "The Velvet Underground are back. There is a God". They support U2 on a couple of stadium dates and are on the bill of the Glastonbury and Roskilde festivals. The three shows at L'Olympia in Paris are taped and filmed for a live album and live video.

Plans for an American tour and an Unplugged session for MTV are shelved when the bickering - mostly done by angry faxes - between Cale and Reed starts again.

The Velvet Underground in 1993
"There was a sudden feeling that whatever was happening for the three others was certainly different from what was happening for Lou. This was not a band. Moe, God bless her, looks at all this and laughs and says, "This is all boy stuff." Which in a way it is, she's absolutely right. But I had certain principles which I wasn't prepared to turn my back on. It was the end of a very fruitful relationship. A poisoned one - but it had been fruitful."
Life Underwater

Life Underwater

American director Zoe Beloff collaborates with Cale in the creation of "an hour long B/W 16mm Film/3D Side/Music live-performance piece (...) commissioned by The Arts at St. Ann's." Cale and the Soldier String Quartet accompany screenings of the film on April 22 and 23, 1994.

John Cale live in Cologne - 1994-05-04 photo: Gary Fox

Greenwich Delusion

In 1994 he embarks on the Greenwich Delusion tour with Bob Neuwirth, Soldier String Quartet, B.J. Cole, Sam Butler and Taye Giraud promoting Last Day On Earth.

Recording "The Unknown"

A live performance of the soundtrack for The Unknown is recorded at the Théatre de La Colline, Paris, France (December 5, 1994).

This started out as a commission for The Giornate del cinema muto de Pordenone in Italy for a screening of the classic silent movie The Unknown on October 15, 1994. Also performed in Brussels October 18, 1994 and Lyon (December 8, 1994).

At the Hall of Fame

Sterling Morrison dies

Sterling Morrison dies August 30, 1995, and when the Velvet Underground are inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame on January 17, 1996 the three surviving members reunite for the last time to play a tribute for their guitar player.

Walking on Locusts

After the release of Walking on Locusts in 1996, his first rock album since 1985, he hits the road with a full backup band.

John Cale and Ed Wubbe during rehearsals for the Nico Ballet

Ballet for Nico

On October 4, 1997 the music composed by Cale for a ballet for Nico is premiered at the Rotterdam Schouwburg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

On tour with The Creatures

In June and July 1998 he performs a string of dates with The Creatures, basically another name for the core members of Siouxsie and The Banshees.

What's Welsh for Zen tour

The John Cale Trio (with Mark Deffenbaugh & Lance Doss) plays three shows to promote the release of his autobiography What's Welsh for Zen.

Promo photo by Eva Vermandel

Dead Agents

Dead agents is a four day mixed-media presentation at London's ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) - (April 24/26/27/28, 1999). It includes live footage of the John Cale Trio in Prague, an exhibition of b&w photos taken by Eve Vermandel, readings by Cale from his autobiography What's Welsh For Zen, a collaboration with American DJ Adam Dorn, and readings of selected lyrics from his back catalogue. The new piece Dead Agents is based on poems by Leo Marks from Between Silk and Cyanide. Astrid Williamson handled the backing vocals for Dead Agents. Each night ended with the screening of a film.

© 1999- Hans Werksman