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

Live reviews

Venus In Furs
Woman (yes, again'
Helen of Troy
Dancing Undercover
Turn The Lights On
Outta the Bag
Paris 1919
Gideon's Bible
Look Horizon
Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll
Set Me Free
Ship of fools
Sold Motel
Pablo Picasso
Cable Hogue

Amsterdam 2005-09-24

Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Review by Marga Taris

Aaahhhhhh, finally I get my copy of Black Acetate. They're selling the cd at the venue!

And for the first time ever I meet somebody who's actually subscriber to this Sabotage e-community (and webslave of 'Fear is a Best Man's Friend'). Hi Hans.

I was donated 2 different setlists by the stage manager after the show .. at least that's what I thought.

The first one was similar to # I in Brussels, but the second sheet of paper read:

Sold motel ... needle
Shadow crawls ...
Sold motel ... boulevard
Something ...
Beach blanket ...
---- chorus ----
Make it a journey ...
Send back ...
Mark down ...
Judge ...


Has John reached the (st)age where cribsheets become an essential item? Where have I seen this before.... hmmmm.

The set varied slightly from the Brussels one:


  1. Venus In Furs


  1. Woman

"How's that for you? It's a nice new song that's called 'Woman'"

and because mister Cale thinks this is a good song they played it for us again! Insane!!! :)

  1. Woman

(Or maybe they just hadn't rehearsed the one that should've replaced it. For A Ride perhaps?? They were pretty late for soundcheck compared to AB. At 5.30 pm the tourbus _still_ had to be unloaded !... whereas the vehicle had been parked in front of the venue for two days already, the nice girl at the box office assured me, Sherlock Holmes).

But John is right, it's an excellent song.

Funny triviality: precisely while I was collecting the Melkweg membership tickets for my friend and me, John and his whole entourage loomed up and had to walk past me. Where the f*** did they come from all of a sudden. I was firmly convinced they'd've been inside the venue for ages by then... sounchecking... as they should! :) :)

I do not wish to run into him, it will ruin my sense of myth-making! But I always seem to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Makes one feel like some kinda stalker, but hey, _I_ was here first. Same coincidence in Brussels, and to know that there's people around who are posting close to the tourbus or the hotel for _hours_ to get a glimpse of him.... Well the doors to the Max appeared to be locked....oh disaster, they now had to try for the other entrance The Old Hall and go past me again. John was 'incognito'! hahaha. Yeah, meaning he was wearing a white woollen little cap it doesn't get any sillier - , and walked with bowed head... in rapid pace. One can't be careful enough.

Back to the list...

  1. Helen of Troy
  2. Dancing Undercover
  3. Turn The Lights On


  1. Hush
Switch to guitar:
  1. Outta the Bag

Back to the keyboard again:

"This song is in B flat".

Does it really matter??

  1. Guts
  2. Paris 1919
  3. Gideon's Bible
  4. Magritte
  5. Look Horizon
  6. Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll


  1. Evidence
  2. Set me Free

Now that the acoustic guitar was operational again ( and obedient), JC looked triumphantly into the audience ... or was that my imagination?

  1. Ship of fools
  2. Things
  3. Sold Motel
  4. Perfect
  5. Pablo Picasso

Encore on acoustic guitar

  1. Cable Hogue

but first a 'loquacious' John happily announces:

"He was in E (pointing at leadguitarist) He was in B-flat (pointing at the bass player), and I was in G"

Now what's the point of this info? Puzzles me.... is it unusual, is the 'original' Pablo in 'C', or is this meant to help out the journalist who does a review for OOR magazine?

Somebody shouted: "Introduce us to the band John!!"

A rather time-consuming affair I'd say, besides, there's no way the blokes are going to remember all of our names anyway. OK, let me introduce the band to you then:

Dustin Boyer lead guitar
Michael Jerome drums
Joe (Joseph) Karnes bass

  1. Cable Hogue

For the final collective 'bang' John watched Michael J. like a hawk... but his drumbeat was seconds too soon, while John was still holding the guitar in expectation! Haha. Well, it can't always be Perfect.

John shrugged his shoulders and smiled!! no "we've made a mess of this one grimace"-, he wished us all goodnight, thanked us, then left.

It was a dazzling show again. An assault to the ears and eyes. And almost two hours! How does he do it?

The sound had improved since Brussels... at least for several songs. Magritte was always a favourite of mine but three days ago it simply didn't reach me. This time though it was one of the outstanding songs of the set. Gideon's Bible Magritte Look Horizon. One by one delicate songs with a beautiful melody, woven together, and forming the middle section of the concert - a place of quiet, almost the way a Beethoven Piano Concerto or sometimes Symphony is composed/built up, with the Adagio in the middle.

"Woman" is truly a great live song... almost in the category "Turn The Lights On".

Evidence, Pablo Picasso.... all as loud and energetic as it can get.

Striking detail of this show was the invasion of some teenage girls in the left frontlines all armed with digital cameras which they must have smuggled in somehow - as if they were sent for a schoolproject with the theme: 'Rock Star in action'. They didn't cease shooting photos throughout the show usually in a discreet way.

Still tricky.. he hates it. You'd have to be blind not to notice.

When JC made a reappearance on stage for Cable Hogue, one of these girls had taken position at his feet as it were and placed the camera obtrusively visible on one of the monitors right in front of him in stand by mode, ready for action! Just imagine. How brave!... and embarrassing. John who had watched this with mild disgust looked away, averted his face from her repeatedly, then gave her the 'warning look' the look that can instantly destroy one's happiness, but she didn't read bodylanguage apparently. She just wouldn't go, determined as she was to get the ultimate shot.

He then turned 180 degrees and played guitar showing his back to the audience. Halfway the song he turned back so that he faced us again. Mistake. FLASH! right in his face.

Yes, she had taken her precious picture, reducing every possible chance of a second encore to zero (Gravel Drive to name but one!)


Well, fortunately I can now indulge in listening to blackAcetate...... and it's a Wonderful piece of music I agree.

© 1999- Hans Werksman