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

Timeline: 1988

Final performance of The Falklands Suite

He plays The Falklands Suite as a whole for the last time at St Ann's Church in New York on March 20.

John Cale & Nico on stag et Le Palais des Beaux-Arts/Paleis voor de Schone Kunsten, Brussels, Belgium - March 24, 1988

Duetting with Nico in Brussels - sharing the bill in Japan

Nico joins Cale on stage for Child's Christmas in Wales at a show at Le Palais des Beaux-Arts/Paleis voor de Schone Kunsten, Brussels, Belgium, March 24. Before that they shared the bill on a Japanese tour, Cale using Nico's band for a Velvets medley. James Young, who played keyboards in her band, in his book Nico - Songs They Never Play On The Radio:

"Nico and Cale did not get along well. He objected to her smoking in his presence. Then there were problems about the shows; Nico wanted to go on last; "This John Cale - who does he thinks he is? I'm a star too." But Cale was top of the bill. Though he had been booked with a group he'd turned up on his own at the end of a long solo tour. The Japanese were politely astonished at such a blatant breach of contract."
Cargo De Nuit - 1988

Cargo De Nuit TV show

Interview and footage of the concert in Brussels (March 24)) is shown on the Belgian TV show Cargo de Nuit. Nico was the support act. She joined Cale on stage for Child's Christmas in Wales.

Songs in the broadcast: Win A Few, Child's Christmas in Wales, I'm Waiting For The Man, Darling I Need You, Heartbreak Hotel, Guts.


Nico dies

Former Velvets's chanteuse Nico dies on the Spanish island Ibiza on July 18th. She fell off her bicycle and was partially paralyzed by the side of the road. Three hospitals turned her away, before diagnosed with cerebral haemorrhage. Her son Ari in Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, volume 2, by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain:

"In the late morning of July 18, 1988, my mother told me she needed to go downtown to buy marijuana. She sat down in front of the mirror and wrapped a black scarf around her head. My mother stared at the mirror and took great care to wrap the scarf appropriately. Down the hill on her bike: "I'll be back soon." She left in the early afternoon on the hottest day of the year."

She is buried in Berlin. Her friends played Mütterlein from the Desertshore album at her funeral.

Claw Boys Claw

Dutch garage rockers Claw Boys Claws close in obtaining his services after a gig at the New Music Seminar in New York. He promises to produce their next album, but it never happens.

Art Bergmann - Crawl With Me

Producing Art Bergmann

Produces, plays keyboards and does some backing vocals on Canadian punk musician's debut album Crawl With Me.

Botched attempt to have him on Lou Reed's New York album

Lou Reed wanted him to play on his New York album. It does not happen. American author and music critic Antony DeCurtis in his biography Lou Reed: A Life:

Reed also invited Moe Tucker to play drums on two of New York's tracks. He also planned to have John Cale play on that album, but Maher (Fred Maher who drummed on all the other tracks - HW) inadvertently sabotaged that possibility when he mentioned to Cale that Tucker would come in as well. Reed had not informed Cale, who said to Maher, "What is this, some sort Velvet Underground reunion?" That was the end of that - at least for a while.

"You can't beat two guitars, bass, and drums." Lou Reed quipped on the albums's back cover when it was released in 1989. He did not have much of a choice.

With Lou Reed - photo: Risé Cale

Creating "Songs for Drella"

Writing sessions with Lou Reed commence for what would become the Songs for Drella album:

"It was done by osmosis. When we first sat down and started playing, there was amazing energy - it was aggressive. We sat down and talked about the memories we had, and then Reed shut himself in with a tape recorder running and showed up later with a kind of summation of what had happened. We sat there and bandied them around. It's difficult for him to collaborate on that level - it's difficult for him to collaborate period. And he admits it."

On January 7 and 8, 1989 Cale and Lou Reed perform a selection of the song cycle - "a work-in-progress" - at the Church of St. Anne's in Brooklyn, New York.

© 1999- Hans Werksman