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

Timeline: 1973

Paris 1919

Paris 1919

Paris 1919 is Cale's first real rock album as a solo artist. Little Feat members Lowell George on guitar and Bill Payne on keyboards as well as Wilton Felder on bass are part of his backing band.

"My third solo album, Paris 1919 was the last record I did for Reprise. We recorded in Los Angeles and the producer was Chris Thomas, an Englishman who recently left George Martin's AIR Studios, when he had produced Procol Harum. I didn't know anything about Chris Thomas but David Berson said, 'I've got a guy for you.' And we had a whale of a time doing this thing. There were some crazy things going on. I gave Chris a ride on the bonnet of my Cobra up Sunset Boulevard. When I think back I'm horrified by that. If we'd got stopped we would have both been in jail. I learned a great deal from Chris in terms of general feedback. The weird part was his mother's being from Wales and knowing my mother's mentor in the education system."

Cale and Lowell George had a falling out during the sessions, which were pretty chaotic, due to the cocaine and alcohol consumption that was part of the process. Producer Chris Thomas:

"When we were finishing record, I brought in two bottles of champagne to celebrate. John managed to consume them both when we were doing the final mix. A few hours later, after he'd disappeared, I got a call from him asking could get a bail bondsman. He'd gone to pick up some beer, been arrested for drunk driving, and was in North Hollywood jail. He wanted a hundred dollars to get out. I only had twenty dollars so I asked Little Feat, who were actually recording next door, if they could help. They all said, "Fuck him, leave him there.""

The album was re-released in expanded form in 2006. The album was performed live in its entirety in Cardiff (November 21, 2009), with his regular band and a 19 piece orchestra. The show was staged again in 2010 in London, Norwich and Paris, Brescia, Los Angeles and Melbourne. 2011 shows in Barcelona, Essen and Malmö.

Modern Lovers

Producing The Modern Lovers

Produces the first Modern Lovers album, the group led by Velvet Underground freak Jonathan Richman. The sessions were on Bermuda. Finally released in 1976.

"There was very little that was orthodox about Jonathan. Like his views on life, his views on music and art were much more from a childlike and dream-filled perspective, which allowed him to create his own special reality."

The recording sessions dragged on and started to fall apart;

"It was just rehearsed to death - that's not the way. I was picking at sores after a while... At the end, he didn't trust me and I don't know why, something happened, and that broke it with me. I thought: I don't why this is happening, but it's a painful. I'm going to leave ... It was shame, because I felt that there was such an innocence that was worth capturing, that was kind of unbelievable in a way."

Pablo Picasso, a song that Cale would cover on his Helen Of Troy album, is included on the Conflict & Catalysis: Productions & Arrangements 1966-2006 compilation album (2012). It is still a regular fixture at his concerts, being used as an encore.

© 1999-2008 Hans Werksman