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

Timeline: 1979

WKCR Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall

WKCR Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall, with David Bowie on viola

He is one of the performers at the WKCR Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on April 1st. He shared the bill with Philip Glas, Steve Reich, Leroy Jenkins, and The Model Citizens.

He taught David Bowie how to play the viola, the first time he played that instrument. He sat in on Sabotage. After the concert he quipped: "My mum would have been proud of me!" The band consisted of John Cale; Deer France, vocals; Marc Aaron, guitar; Joe Bidewell, keyboards; Tony Shanahan, bass & Dougie Bowne, drums. The events was produced by critic and historian Tim Page.

Austin 1979-04-19 ticket

Sterling Morrisson sits on "Mercenaries" in Austin

Sterling Morrisson, who was working as a tugboat captain in Austin then, joins the band during a show at Armadillo World Headquarters on April 19 to play guitar on Mercenaries (Ready For War)). After the show they were interviewed on local radio station KWT. Morrison would join the band again four weeks later on May 17.

Cale and Moser in 2004

Meeting Margaret Moser

Gets into a relationship with Margaret Moser, a groupie based in Austin, Texas. They are an item every time he passes through the city for a couple of years. She is part of "The Texas Blondes" (Cale named them so) who were active in the groupie scene until around 1982. She would become a respected music critic and journalist in later years. They kept in touch and she would write the liner notes for the reissue of Vintage Violence in 2001. She died in 2017.

You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic

You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic

Cale plays harp, keyboards and piano on Bastard, a track on the Ian Hunter's You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic album.

Angus MacLise dies

Angus MacLise, the first drummer of The Velvet Underground, dies of hypoglycemia and pulmonary tuberculosis om June 21st at the Shanta Bawan Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal. He was 41.

Model Citzens

Producing the Model Citzens

Produces the four track EP Shift the Blame by New York based New Wave band Model Citizens. Tracks: Shift the Blame, Animal Instincts, I Am Honest and You Are What You Wear. It is released on his own label Spy Records.

Jamming with Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson & Corky Laing

After playing rock'n' roll numbers all night with Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson and Corky Laing a four-song tape is made. Never released officially.

Lester Bangs single

Lester Bangs single

Mixes the Lester Bangs single "Let It Blurt" / "Live". Released on his Spy Records label. Bass: David Hofstra; drums: Jay Dee Daugherty; guitar: Jody Harris, Robert Quine.

Spare Change cover "Ski Patrol"

Australian band Spare Change covers Ski Patrol on their Lonely Suits album.


Producing the Necessaries

The Necessaries single produced by Cale is released in October. Tracks: You Can Borrow My Car and Runaway Child. Note: this New York based power pop / new wave band is the follow-up of Harry Toledo & The Rockets, a band he produced in 1978.

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

Squeeze single

Release of the Wrong Way single, produced by Cale. It is an outtake of the Squeeze album (1978)



In December the live album Sabotage/Live hits the shops. Recorded live at CBGB's, New York, June 1979, the album contains all new material and one cover, the Rufus Thomas song Walkin' The Dog.

"Those kids punching the air in mock salutes declaring they are Ready for War! make me sick... I bet they are ready... like hell. I should have an induction room backstage. Let's see you come back and enlist.

But I have received a lot of reaction from the album like that. Even some of the guys who devise war games for the Pentagon have come to the shows as a result of that record and this tour. It looks like finally I have made an American album.

Right now America has this lingering weak-sister image, but that's because both America and Russia attempt to make deals about the rest of the world while working under the threat of nuclear confrontation. This album is about going through that nuclear barrier, I think that's important. You've got to experience a nuclear war and find out exactly what it does, how people live in the face of it after the fact of it.

There's no reason though, to force my notions on people, I suspect other people are more effective at putting across some of the things i'm interested in. Their ways, at least, are more digestable. I'm afraid nobody really wants to hear what i'm singing about. Its beginning to dawn on me that not that many people are convinced of my commercial appeal."

In January 1999 the album reissued on CD with four bonus tracks: the three songs from the Animal Jusitice EP: Memphis, Chickenshit and Hedda Gabler plus Rosegarden Funeral of Sores which was released as the B-side of the Mercenaries single in 1980. The master of the studio version of Mercenaries is lost and therefore not included.

Meets Risé Irushalmi in CBGB's

Cale plays CBGB's in New York on New Year's Eve. He meets Risé Irushalmi on his way out. They start living together after a few weeks and get married in 1981.

© 1999- Hans Werksman