Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale


Cale is mentioned in a lot of books. Two biographies have been published, both with Cale's consent.

Read and destroy everything you read in the press
Read and destroy everything you read in books
It's a waste of time
It's a waste of energy
It's a waste of paper
And it's a waste of ink
Whatever you read in the books, leave it there

John Cale - Sabotage

Cale books

Sedition and Alchemy

Sedition and Alchemy - A Biography of John Cale

Tim Mitchell
ISBN: 0 7206 11326
£ 14.95 / € 25,64
Limited edition:
ISBN: 0 7206 1207 1
£ 25.00

Published in 2003. Written with the full cooperation of John Cale and incorporating exclusive interviews with important figures from all phases of the musician's 35-year career.

Also exists as a hardcover limited edition (500 copies). This includes a free CD contributed and signed by John Cale containing an exclusive, previously unheard and commercially unavailable song entitled Imitating Violins.

Sedition and Alchemy deluxe edition

Also on the 1-track CD are Rick Myers' artwork images from the 5 Tracks EP and one of John Cale's self-penned paranormal bedtime stories accompanied by illustrations courtesy of Dave McKean.

French translation: Sédition et alchimie

A French translation by Serge Lefaure was published in 2005 by Camion Blanc:

Camion Blanc
France, March 2005
Paperback, 15 x 21 cm , 329 p.
ISBN: 2-910196-99-2

What's Welsh For Zen

What's Welsh For Zen

The Autobiography of John Cale
John Cale & Victor Bockris
Designed and illustrated by Dave McKean
Bloomsbury Publishing, 1998/1999
ISBN 0 7475 3668 6

Must have for the serious Cale enthousiast. Lots of information about his childhood and early days in New York. The book is dedicated to Sterling Morrison:

"I thought it was the right thing to do, dedicating my book What's Welsh for Zen to Sterling. I think everyone discovers things after a person is gone. In my case, it happened while I was working on Some Friends. That realization caught me by surprise. I was writing Walking On Locusts. There was a string piece I'd written for Julian Schnabel's movie, the flattest piece of music I've ever made, no structure or profile. And I kept working it over and over again, and all ofa sudden these lyrics started coming out. It was involuntary, but I realized quickly what they were about. It had this solitary effect, suddenly there was something in the back of your mind you weren't talking about but really felt. That was how Sterling's personality affected me. Much later."

Two different front covers. Also exists as a special autographed, hand-numbered edition (1000 copies) in a box: 272 loose-leaved pages and 12 pages of full colour. He sends a copy of both versions to Lou Reed:

"Dear Lou,

Out of respect for our past (both glorious and inglorious) I have sent you under separate cover both the special edition and the book version of my autobiography. Please accept them in the spirit in which they were offered . . . I also hope it brings you, at the very least, a distant smile of amusement. After all, it really was the most outrageous fun, wasn't it?"
What's Welsh For Zen (french Edition)

French translation

A French translation is published in 2011. Translator: Jean Cuesta. Cale attends the presentation of the book at Librairie Atout Livres in Paris on May 30 for a Q&A and book signing.

What's Welsh for Zen? Une autobiographie de John Cale
Broché: 272 pages
Editeur : Au Diable Vauvert (13 mai 2011)
Collection : ALBUM
Langue : Français
ISBN-10: 2846262934
ISBN-13: 978-2846262934

L'accademia In Pericolo

John Cale - L'accademia in Pericolo - Minimalismo, Rock e Neoclassicismo

Stefano Bianchi
Auditorium Edizioni, Italia, 1997
Paperback, 96 p.
ISBN 8886784066

Biography by an Italian journalist and Cale fan.


John Cale Songbook

Unofficial songbook with most of the transcribed lyrics, interviews and discography up to 1990.
Text in English and German.

500 numbered copies were made. A work of labour and love, tons of errors included.

© 1999- Hans Werksman