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

Timeline: 2002

Eno and Cale

Playing with Eno for Andy

On February 3 Cale performs with Brian Eno at the Tate Modern in London. The Museum hosts an Andy Warhol retrospective. The duo played five songs, with a notable cover version of Frozen Warnings, a Nico song. He is interviewed by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian as part of their "15 minutes" series:

"When we went up to the Factory it was a real eye-opener for me. It wasn't called the Factory for nothing. It was where the assembly-line for the silkscreens happened. While one person was making a silkscreen, somebody else would be filming a screen test. Every day something new. I think he was dipping into anything he fancied.

The band had written the first album before we met Andy. He found us very much in the raw and gave us the kind of protective shield we needed. We adamantly went our own way and made things very difficult for ourselves. We drifted off into this netherworld of art and music and film. Everybody on the Lower East Side was trying to do the same thing: destroy the formality of the audience. We found a location and an atmosphere that were very conducive. Andy wasn't a musician - it was more of an intellectual camaraderie. We would travel around with his entourage. Edie Sedgwick would take us all out and pay the bill."
Shivaree - John 2/14

Shivaree covers "Fear Is A Man's Best Friend"

Americana band Shivaree covers Fear Is A Man's Best Friend on their John 2/14 CD single.

Hallelujah on Scrubs soundtrack

The soundtrack of Scrubs, an American TV series includes Cale's version of Hallelujah.

N(eon) poster

Narrating N(eon)

Cale provides the voice-over as the narrator in N(eon), a short movie directed by Dave McKean. McKean was the designer of Cale's autobiography What's Welsh for Zen.

He would also create illustrations for Cale's self-penned paranormal bedtime stories on the CD that came with the limited edition of Tim Mitchell's Sedition and Alchemy - A Biography of John Cale in 2003, and the cover for the Circus Live album in 2007.

An Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music Vol. 1

Trance #2

Belgian label Sub Rosa releases a 2CD set, An Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music Vol. 1, as the first of a seven disc series. Features Trance #2, a Cale / Tony Conrad / Angus MacLise track recorded in New York in the early sixties.

This track and other recordings featuring Cale can be found on the Angus MacLise 2CD The Cloud Doctrine (2003).

Mercury Rev

Mercury Rev covers "(I Keep A) Close Watch"

American indie rock band Mercury Rev cover (I Keep A) Close Watch on their CD single Little Rhymes.

VU & Nico deluxe edition

The Velvet Underground & Nico deluxe edition

Polydor releases a 35th anniversary deluxe edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico. The 2CD set contains the stereo and mono mixes of the album as well as the single versions of All Tomorrow's Parties, I'll Be Your Mirror (with alternate ending), Sunday Morning and Femme Fatale, plus the five tracks of the Nico album Chelsea Girl with involvement of the members of the band.

The unreleased Miss Joanie Lee does not make it unto this edition, due to copyright hassles, but is included on the 45th anniversary box set released in 2012.

Essay by Dave Thomas. Peelable banana.

Gordon Gano

Helping Gordon Gano

Cale performs one song - Don't Pretend - on the Hitting the Ground album by Gordon Gano, frontman of American folk punk band Violent Femmes. He is the sole musician on the track, playing piano.

Each song was performed by a different artist. Other artists on this album include Frank Black and Lou Reed.

Poster for New Scenes from America - Nye scener fra Amerika

New Scenes from America

Cale is the composer of the soundtrack for the short film New Scenes from America / Nye scener fra Amerika by Danish director Jørgen Leth.

Jørgen Leth's personal, poetic view of America, shot in New York, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California in September 2001. Jørgen Leth and his cameraman Dan Holmberg decided to make a follow-up to their own classic 66 Scenes from America (1981), particularly famous for the scene in which Andy Warhol eats a hamburger.

They wanted to portray the mythological America, the endless highways, the gas stations, the diners, the motels, the cities. The people in the film include cult figures like the poet John Ashbery, the composer John Cale, the actor Dennis Hopper, and the photographer Robert Frank. The latter's book from the 1950s, The Americans, and the paintings of Edward Hopper inspired Leth and Holmberg, who filmed in the same tableau-like style as for their first film, with no camera movements. John Cale wrote the original score for the film.
Trash Palace

Trash Palace

Cale performs on Positions, a song cycle by Trash Palace. He does the vocals on The Insult, a track which he co-wrote. Other members of this group include Brian Molko (Placebo) Alison Shaw (The Cranes) and Cozette. Positions is released on Discograph Records (DGCD 81047). Available as an import or through Amazon (France).

What's Welsh For Zen

Welsh for Zen on stage

A stage version of What's Welsh for Zen - a theatre piece about his own life with lots of new music - was announced to take place at the Hebbel Theater, Berlin, Germany.

It would feature an actress and a saxophone player. The project never gets off the ground.

Performing I Wanna Be Around - Hootennany 2002

Singing with Jools

Performs I Wanna Be Around and sings on My Sweet Lord with Sam Brown, Beverly Knight, and David Gray at the New Year's Eve Hootenanny show, taped on December 15, 2002. The performance ties in with the Small World Big Band album by Holland (2001).

The live version of I Wanna Be Around is released on the Hootenanny DVD by Jools Holland (2003).

© 1999- Hans Werksman