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

New York in the 60s

Inside The Dream Syndicate Vol 1:
Day Of Niagara (1965)

Inside The Dream Syndicate Vol. 1: Day Of Niagara 1965

About this album

Released in 2000. Table of the Elements TOE-CD-74. Note: also exists with a red cover (Japan on Captain Trip Records (C1CD-376)) and a lilac cover with blue letters with a typo (US).

Recorded April 25, 1965, New York.


  1. Day Of Niagara (1965)

John Cale: viola
Tony Conrad: violin
Angus MacLise: percussion
La Monte Young: saxophone
Marian Zazeela: voice

"These recordings are (part of) a library of effort that represented, for Tony and I at last, a labour of love. The power and majesty that was in that music is still on these tapes."

John Cale
"What I had learned first about John Cale was that he had written a piece which pushed a piano down a mine shaft. We hungered for music almost seething beyond control - or even something just beyond music, a violent feeling of soaring unstoppably, powered by immense angular machine across abrupt and torrential seas of pounding blood."

Tony Conrad

The original tape of this recording was supposedly copied by Arnold Dreyblatt, who was an assistant of La Monte Young, and that copy had been gathering dust for decades before it ended up with the record label, which might explain the below-par sound quality and other issues. La Monte Young disowned the release and there was talk about legal action. On July 10, 2000 he posted a statement on his website to that effect:

"The Table of The Elements (ToE) CD 74, "day of Niagara" April 25, 1965, is an unauthorized release of my music from my ongoing composition, The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys (1964-present).

I have taken the position all along for many years that I am the sole composer of the underlying musical composition on this recording.

It is my understanding that the performers on the recording can no longer contest my position because the three-year statute of limitations on their claims of co-authorship expired many years ago.

Further, I believe that my position is correct as a matter of substantive law as well. As I previously stated in an interview published in The Wire magazine (Issue 178, December 1998): "To be co-authors you had to agree that there was co-authorship, which I of course never did; also, in order to be co-authors, your section, whatever your contribution is, has to be copyrightable by itself, which the contributions of Cale and Conrad may not be."

The sound quality of my Original Master tape is certainly measurably superior to the "now restored and digitally remastered" CD made from the allegedly unauthorized copy of my tape that has somehow surfaced at Table of The Elements. Many of the reasons for the poor sound quality of the CD are enumerated in Section II, "Sound Quality of the CD" below. The version ToE wants to release is flawed and contains several problems that were created in the process of the unauthorized copying, not the least of which is that approximately one and a half minutes of music are completely missing from their copy."

© 1999- Hans Werksman