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

Timeline: 1981

Honi Soit

Honi Soit

Releases his Honi Soit album. The musicians on this album are listed as the crew of a fighter airplane, with Cale as the flight surgeon.

"I used a producer this time, because I couldn't have done the album without one. I told Mike Thorn, 'Look, I've got a problem. Before I go into the studio, I rehearse all the shit until it turns into vapour. By the time I get into the studio I'm so bored with that shit that what's going to happen is I'm going to make up songs and one thing will lead into another. I need a record of what I'm going to do in there.' So I had cassettes of the first six days of recording, tape machines running continuously. And we ended up with three times as much material as we intended. We had a number of poems, and tried each against whatever music tracks we had. It ended up as a real drum record, since we worked hard to get good drum parts."

According to the producer of the album, Mike Thorne, the track Need Your Loving was left off in favour of Riverbank.

"The songs, like his own voice, were characteristically tuneful and rich, but the warm sound masked the extremely tough nature of the lyrical content. Typically, a powerful but extremely accessible song Need Your Loving was left off in favor of the languid but deceptively brutal Riverbank, reversing a decision that John had woken me up at 4am to pass on to me. Leaving the phone on at night was an essential part of the production process. It was easier to deal with John's musings in the small hours than to haul out of bed in the morning; I declined a 60 minutes' warning invitation to lunch with Andy Warhol one Sunday morning. I regret not meeting him, but I felt like death at 11.30am.

The recording was very intense, giving me the very first line on my forehead, but also efficient. As he thoughtfully mentioned in one interview, my being the straight man on the sessions enabled him to bounce off the walls in the secure knowledge that everything he might throw around would be caught. He vigorously fulfilled the artist's obligation to take things to the limit, to look over the edge of madness; I held the safety harness. Despite that new line on the forehead, I remember these as most rewarding sessions."

Andy Warhol, who made the cover, suggested to call the album John and Yoko, because he was close to Yoko Ono, and he thought he could have easily taken a picture of Cale and her together. Warhol's artwork was in black-and-white adnhe did not like it when Cale had it colourized.

Dead Or Alive (Netherlands)

Dead Or Alive single

Dead Or Alive b/w Honi Soit is released as a single in The Netherlands and the UK.

Dead or Alive video

The rather morbid video for Dead or Alive was directed and produced by Michael Branton and Joe Ohliger III. Also features his then wife Risť Irushalmi.

Julian Cope & The Teardrop Explodes cover "I'm Not The Loving Kind"

Julian Cope & The Teardrop Explodes cover I'm Not The Loving Kind for BBC Radio Richard Skinner Session - May 16, 1981. Released on the expanded version of the Wilder album in 2013. The demo of this track appears on the CD compilation "Zoology" (2004).

Christopher Walken and Susan Sarandon in Who am I this time?

Who Am I This Time?

Composes the soundtrack for Who Am I This Time?, a television program starring Susan Sarandon and Christopher Walken. Based on a short story by Kurt Vonnegut.

Directed by Jonathan Demme, it is the fourth episode of PBS' American Playhouse series which aired on February 2, 1982. Never released officially, but it can be found on the Soundtrax Extrax cassette distributed via the Velvet Underground Appreciation Society in 1985.

Risé Irushalmi

Marries Risé Irushalmi

On October 6 Cale and Risé Irushalmi are married in New York. She would make the album cover photo's for Caribbean Sunset (1984) and the Maureen Tucker album I Spent A Week There The Other Night (1991). She did the spoken word part on Risé, Sam And Rimsky-Korsakov on Music For A New Society (1982).

Their daughter Eden Myfanwy is born 14 July 1985 in Beth Israel Hospital, New York City. The marriage ends in a divorce in 1997.

Burning a right-wing pamphlet

He burns a copy of the right-wing pamphlet "West Watch" at the end of Flying Seagulls during a show at the Peppermint Lounge in New York on October 24. It is a song about the death squads in El Salvador. Uncle Sam in Samoa is about the gunrunning business.

Performing with Kevin Ayers & Friends

On December 2 he appears on Spanish TV show Musical Express for a Kevin Ayers & Friends concert. Further band members are Andy Summers, Ollie Halsall, Zanna Gregmar, Pere Colom & Miguel Figuerola. For his solo spot he performs Heartbreak Hotel and he plays viola on the Ayers song Howlin' Man.

© 1999- Hans Werksman