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

Timeline: 1970

In the Quadraphonic Edit room at CBS

Re-mixing the CBS/Columbia catalogue

Record label CBS/Columbia hires Cale to remix the classical Masterworks catalogue for quadrophonic sound. Quad however, is a short-lived hype. He remixes albums by Barbra Streisand and Paul Revere & the Raiders.



Plays viola on two tracks Long River and Good Company on the debut album of this group.

Schwaid-Merenstein acts as management

Signs a contract with Schwaid-Merenstein to handle his production jobs:

"I got them through Garland Jeffreys, a singer and songwriter who had been at Syracuse with Lou Reed. Lou Merenstein prouced Astral Weeks for Van Morrison and had a novelty hit won the charts wih 'The Chipmunks in Space'. Bob Schwaid was running publishing houses. He took the money and administered. Merenstein did not book gigs, all he did was help me get production jobs."
Vintage Violence

Vintage Violence

His first album a a solo artist, Vintage Violence, is released March 25. The album contains a list of characters including Clancy - a peer famed for losing touch with reality, 20 Chinese idiots and 9 pet cobra's.

"We did it in three days. Lou Merenstein and Bob Schwaid during the recording. They showed up but they were bemused, if not hostile. But I was also very insecure about those songs. They were written that summer. It was tense. Vintage Violence was basically an exercise to see if I could write tunes. There's not too much originality on that album, it's just someone teaching himself to do something. I was masked on Vintage Violence. I didn't realize it at the time, but the cover tells you that: it show me with a stocking over my face. You're not really seeing the personality."

Reissued with two bonus tracks in 2001: an alternate version of Fairweather Friend and the instrumental Wall. Liner notes by Margaret Moser.


During the Loaded sessions, the last studio album the Velvets recorded, Cale returned to play organ on Ocean. This version did not make the album, but resurfaced on the Fully Loaded re-issue in 1997.

"I was brought in by Bruce Sesnick in a half-hearted attempt at re-uniting old comrades."


Produces the Nico album Desertshore. Plays viola on Afraid. An expanded and remastered resissue can be found on The Frozen Borderline 1968-1970 2CD (2007).

Afraid is included on the Conflict & Catalysis: Productions & Arrangements 1966-2006 compilation album (2012).

Glass Harp

Plays viola on self-titled Glass Harp album.

Bryter Layter

Nick Drake

Plays viola, harpsichord, celeste, piano and organ on Nick Drake's Bryter Layter album.

Tracks featuring Cale: Fly and Northern Sky.

© 1999- Hans Werksman