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

Timeline: 1997

Cindy Wells

Cindy Wells dies

His second wife Cindy Wells dies on February 19 in Palm Springs "under mysterious circumstances", according to Pamela Des Barres, her former bandmate in The GTO's (Girls Together Outrageously), in her book Let's Spend the Night Together.

She slept with Kevin Ayers the night before the June 1, 1974 concert at The Rainbow in London. Her faux pas was immortalized by Cale in Guts:

The bugger in the short sleeves fucked my wife
Did it quick and split.

They married in 1971 and got a divorce in 1975. She got the house and a piano as part of the settlement.



Release of Eat/Kiss, Music for the Films by Andy Warhol. Recorded live at the Theatre Sebastopol in Lille, France (October 13, 1995).

Het beste uit 10 jaar 2 Meter Sessies

Unplugged Close Watch

An unplugged version of Cale performing (I Keep A) Close Watch is included on the double CD Het beste uit 10 jaar 2 Meter Sessies (Dutch radio program). The song was recorded on August 5, 1996.

L'accademia In Pericolo

L'accademia in Pericolo - Minimalismo, Rock e Neoclassicismo

Stefano Bianchi publishes his biography L'accademia in Pericolo - Minimalismo, Rock e Neoclassicismo in Italy.

Fully Loaded

Fully Loaded Ocean

During the Loaded sessions, the last studio album the Velvets recorded in 1970, Cale returned to play organ on Ocean. This version did not make the album, but apparently resurfaced on the Fully Loaded 2-CD re-issue.

"I was brought in by Steve Sesnick in a half-hearted attempt at re-uniting old comrades."
House of America

House of America

Composes a track for the soundtrack of House of America, a family drama set in Wales. Directed by Marc Evans. Evans is also the director of Beautiful Mistake, a movie with Welsh musicians that was released in 2000. The Velvets' I'm Waiting For The Man is also on the soundtrack, as well as a cover of All Tomorrow's Parties by English indie quartet Linoleum.

Flaming Creature: Jack Smith: His Amazing Life And Time

Cale performs live at the retrospective exhibition Flaming Creature: Jack Smith: His Amazing Life And Times at the Institute for Contemporary Art/PS1 Museum in Long Island City, NY, USA.

Kerouac - Kicks Joy Darkness

Jack Kerouac's The Moon

Reads the poem The Moon on Kerouac - Kicks Joy Darkness, a tribute album to the writer Jack Kerouac.

Evening Gowns

Les Evening Gowns Damnée

The Jack Smith album Les Evening Gowns Damnées - 56 Ludlow Street 1962-1964 Volume I includes the track Cold Starry Nights with John Cale and Tony Conrad, recorded between 1962 and 1964.

Human Drama

Human Drama covers "(I Keep A) Close Watch"

American group Human Drama cover (I Keep A) Close Watch on their Live - 14,384 Days Later album.

Lancaster County Prison

Lancaster County Prison covers "Bring It On Up"

American country-punk band Lancaster County Prison cover Bring It On Up on their What I Love About America album.


Mixes and plays piano on Garageland's on the track Feel Alright on the three track Beelines to Heaven cd single.

American Masters interview

On August 26 he is interviewed for the American Masters series on PBS. On the sound of The Velvet Underground and Nico:

"The sound of the group really came from the way we to know guitars, all guitars were down to and the drums were really very, very bass. Do we have one example of how the sound remained? The same was that Mo had a drum stolen once at the dam. The only thing we had left to play with were garbage cans. So she put up with the stink of the garbage cans for one performance and nobody noticed the difference in the drum sun. So this thumping element that was there, plus the grating, kind of the viola. What you did was give it give it space. It gave you kind of landscape a really flat, wide open landscape in which this rhythm happened. And it was we were trying to be intelligent about our way of interpreting Phil Spector first fact, to have his rhythm and blues quotient that was backed with a kind of Wagnerian, an orchestral backing. And so we thought that there was a combination here that might work. And, you know, it took us. If you if you pay attention to the banana box set, it shows you the distance that those arrangements came. And I was it this? It took about a year. So that first banana album was representative of roughly your year's work."

Goldsmiths' Fellow

On 17 September 1997, Goldsmiths' College, University of London, confers an Honorary Fellowship upon Cale.

He studied there from 1960 until 1963 and was given the "most hateful student" award by its department heads when he finished his studies back then.

Dancing the ballet

Nico Ballet

On October 4th the music composed by Cale for a ballet for Nico is premiered at the Rotterdam Schouwburg in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The ballet is performed by the Scapino Ballet, dancing a choreography created by Ed Wubbe. Dutch singer Fréderique Spigt sings Nico's lyrics.

A second performance - billed as Nico The Remix - takes place at rock club Night Town in Rotterdam on November 9, with Wubbe making some changes to fit within the constraints of the club.

The music is released on the Dance Music album in 1998.

Some footage of the rehearsals with the strings ensemble Ice Nine is included on the John Cale: An Exploration of His Life and Music DVD.

The Velvet Underground Companion

The Velvet Underground Companion

Professor and musicologist Albin Zak III is the editor of The Velvet Underground Companion, a compilation of four decades of commentary. Essays, interviews and more. Contains an extensive discography and filmography.

© 1999- Hans Werksman