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

Timeline: 1990

John Cale and his mother Margaret

Cale's mother dies

Cale's mother Margaret dies. After the funeral Cale takes the mourners to a first-class hotel for lunch.

"My mother died in 1990. I was producing Los Renaldos in Batch, which is not far from Swansea. Eden and Risé were with me. I had been planning to go and see her as soon as I finished the job. She always exactly knew what I was doing.

We drove down for the funeral. My cousin had made the arrangements. It was not a chapel funeral, it was in a brick building next to the colliery. I had never been there before. The place was all lit up with flowers and all the local people were there as well as my family. I had not seen them all together for years, so I felt like a complete stranger.

Afterwards I wanted to make a gesture, so I brought everybody back to the first-class hotel we were staying in, which served gourmet food an drink, and arranged a lunch. Everybody had a great time that afternoon. And I got another taste of the warmth and congeniality of Welsh society."
Cale on the catwalk 1990

Catwalk Cale

Cale is a model at two fashion shows in Paris: one for the French label Comme des Garçons label and another by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.

Dead City Radio

William S. Burroughs

Plays on Ah Pook the Destroyer / Brion Gysin's All-Purpose Bedtime Story on the William S. Burroughs' tribute album Dead City Radio.

Velvets reunion

Velvets reunion in France

On June 15 Cale, Reed, Morrison and Tucker play a fifteen minutes version of Heroin at the Fondation Cartier, Jouy-En-Josas, France. The Fondation is hosting a Warhol/VU retrospective exhibition.

Cale and Reed started with five songs from Songs for Drella after which they were joined on stage by Morrison and Tucker for a fifteen minute version of Heroin.

"We kicked into Heroin, which we hadnít played in twenty-two years. And it was just the same as always. After I got off stage Ö I was on the point of tears."
Songs for Drella

Songs for Drella

Release of Songs for Drella, a fiction about Andy Warhol. First official recording with Lou Reed since 1968.

"We were very organized and professional whilst recording Drella which makes me very happy, because i didn't know how it was going to go. We both have oblique styles of living, and i think that as things changed, we did too.

I had a lot of luck with Andy. He was very generous with me. He'd never not have time, help came very easily from him; he was a problem solver.

There aren't any voices that avoid responsibility. That's something that Lou and i have taken very seriously. We accept responsibility for the effects of what we do. I really like just the two of us. The stuff we've recorded is very hard, like marble. The musical ideas are sometimes lyrical and melodic and simple, and sometimes they're aggressive and orchestral and have a little majesty. Musically, we have what we want. There's a certain pristine element we want to keep.

I think there was a fear of failure, but there was a determination that here was something we could do better than anyone else."

A live video, recorded live on December 4 and 5, 1989 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, is also released. Lou Reed want do it live again in 2013.

Wrong Way Up

Wrong Way Up

Brian Eno and John Cale release their joint effort Wrong Way Up.

Set out to be a theatrical piece based on a decks of cards. A follow-up tour never happens.

"I was intrigued by the whole idea of working with Brian. There was never a question of, 'Well, I'll produce you and you produce me'. It was compartmentalized and cooperative at the same time. And I got elements in there of all the things I wanted Brian to have. I wanted Brian to belt out the songs; I got a little bit of that. And I got a style that we set for ourselves, which works just for the two os us. Especially the vocals work well. There's also something really english about this record that I like. It brought me back to what I would do if I was at home, a kid in Wales again. It's something I can't get away from, and Brian brought it out of me."

Brian Eno on the lyrics of Cordoba:

"I'm sure everything I do is riddled with paying attention to chance, so... OK, here's a good example. I've been learning Spanish for about 36 years [laughter] And I'm still not very good at it, but...When I was reading my Spanish book, I was reading this set of lines, exercises, and I thought, boy, these read like a poem. These lines from the Spanish book are the text... And they'd sort of go, um, I'll meet you in the square by the bakery. The lift stops between two floors, right, don't forget that. Um, I'll walk towards the station, you walk towards the bus... just going through the moves again and again. But the way John - that's John Cale, naturally - the way he sings it is this strange combination - sinister and tender at the same time."

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

Reissued in 2005 with bonus tracks.

Revenge covers Amsterdam

Revenge, a group fronted by bass player Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order), covers Amsterdam on their 12" inch I'm Not Your Slave.

Yo La Tengo - Fakebook

Yo La Tengo travels to Andalucia

Yo La Tengo covers Andalucia on their Fakebook album.

The Jazz Butcher covers Chinese Envoy

The Jazz Butcher covers Chinese Envoy at a radio session for KCRW's SNAP, Santa Monica, California, 24 November 1990.

The Replacements - All Shook Down

The Replacements

Plays viola on Sadly Beautiful on the All Shook Down album by The Replacements.

© 1999- Hans Werksman