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

Timeline: 1978

Lyrics sheet

Deleted Ripper

The single Jack The Ripper with the instrumental version of Memphis on the flipside is pulled, because of the 'Jack The Ripper' murders in North England.

The track is included on the Seducing Down The Door compilation. Note: Jack The Ripper also re-surfaces on the IRS Anniversary album These Guys Are Nuts!. Another track, Ton Ton Macoute, stays hidden in the vaults.

Spy Records

Founds his own record label Spy Records with Jane Friedman and Michael Zilkha. Zilkah would found Ze Records in the Eighties, the record label for which Cale would record three albums (Music For A New Society, Caribbean Sunset and Comes Alive) and produce other artists. Distribution of Spy is handled by IRS records.

The offices of Spy were housed in Cale's 250 West 57th Street office. He mixes the début single of Lester Bangs: Let It Blurt b/w Live.

The Spy logo was designed by Michel Esteban, using an image of Cale's eye from his Fear album cover.

"Spy Records was a toy of mine for a long time. Its creation made the recording of Sabotage/Live possible, and we put out a single by the rock critic Lester Bangs and an ep by the Model Citizens."

Spy discography

Geraldine Fitzgerald was suppossed to record a cover of Antarctica Starts Here with Cale producing, but that never happened. Spy Records closed in 1980.

Harry Toledo

Harry Toledo & The Rockets

Produces an ep for Harry Toledo & The Rockets. Four tracks:

  1. Busted Chevrolet
  2. Yo-Ho
  3. Who Is That Saving Me
  4. John Glenn

Released on Cale's label Spy Records. Who Is That Saving Me is included on the Conflict & Catalysis: Productions & Arrangements 1966-2006 compilation album (2012).

Disco Clone

Disco Clone

Release of the single Disco Clone. Limited edition of 1500 copies. The A-side contains the English version, the b-side is in French. Cale is listed as producer, though he doesn't remember doing it. The artist who is not listed on the single, once rumoured to be Ian Hunter, is Christina Monet-Palaci, who was romantically involved with Michael Zilkha, co-founder of Ze Records.

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

Two Gentlemen in New York

Bowie/Cale sessions

A session with David Bowie results in two songs: Piano-La and Velvet Couch. Never released officially. On meeting Bowie:

"David and I didnt actually meet until I first went back to New York, after Id done Patti [Smith]. When we did that bootleg, it was like the good old bad old days. We were partying very hard. It was exciting working with him, as there were a lot of possibilities and everything, but we were our own worst enemies at that point."

"We also played that show for Steve Reich and Philip Glass. That was a lot of fun. That was when we were hanging out, so I asked David if hed like to come and play Sabotage with me. I ended up teaching him the viola part, which he had a whack at and then ended up playing on stage for the first time."

"Did I ever want to produce Bowie? After spending time with him, I realised the answer was no. The way we were then would have made it too dangerous. Nowadays it would be different, though. He could improvise songs very well, which was what that bootleg was all about. The great thing about when we met and then started hanging out in the 70s was that he would say [puts on thick Welsh accent] Thats Dai Jones from Wales, isnt it? He loved all that. That set us off. We got along really well, but most of what we were doing was just partying."

UK Squeeze

Produces the self-titled Squeeze album. Cale suggested that the album be called Gay Guys. The track Sex Master is included on the Conflict & Catalysis: Productions & Arrangements 1966-2006 compilation album (2012).

Note: the name UK Squeeze was used to avoid confusion with the American band Squeeze.

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson dies

Tom Wilson, who produced Sunday Morning from The Velvet Underground and Nico album, and White Light / White Heat, dies from a heart attack in Los Angeles on September 6th.

He also worked with Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, and Simon and Garfunkel.

Julie Covington

Julie Covington

Cale plays piano and clavinet on four numbers the Julie Covington album: (I Want To See The) Bright Lights, By The Time It Gets Dark, How and The Kick Inside. Also keyboards on the Only Women Bleed single (1977). This is included in the cd-reissue Julie Covington ... plus.

Eno - Music For Films

Music For Films

Plays viola on one track of Brian Eno's Music For Films album.

Marie et Les Garçons

Marie et Les Garçons single

Produces and plays marimba on the Marie et Les Garçons single Re-Bop b/w Attitudes (on which he plays piano). Released on Cale's label Spy Records.

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

David Kubinec - Some Things Never Change

David Kubinec

Produces and plays keyboards on Some Things Never Change, a David Kubinec album

Genya Ravan - Urban Desire

Darling I Need You Cover

Singer Genya Ravan covers Darling I Need You on her Urban Desire album. This lp also contains a duet with Lou Reed: Aye Co'Lorado.

Jamming with Chris Spedding

Joins Chris Spedding on stage for two shows at Max's Kansas City, New York, NY - October 3. Performs Pablo Picasso > Mary Lou > Baby, What You Want Me To Do? during the early show and a loose jam called John's Blues during the late show. This show is the source for the expanded version of the John Cale & Friends bootleg CD.

© 1999- Hans Werksman