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

John Cale on screen

TV Appearances: the sixties

September 16, 1963 - I've Got A Secret TV show

Cale is one of the eleven performers of Vexations, a composition for piano by Eric Satie, who wrote about this:

"In order to play this piece 840 times the performer should prepare beforehand in deep silence and serious immobility."
Cale on I've Got A Secret

Cale was invited by his mentor John Cage to be one of the performers. The performance at the Pocket Theatre in New York started on Monday September 9 and lasted for 18 hours and 40 minutes.

He appeared shortly afterwards as a guest on the September 16 episode I've Got A Secret TV show and played through it just once. Karl Schenzer, an Off- Broadway actor and the sole audience member who sat through the entire performance, was also a guest on the show.

December 31, 1965, Walter Cronkite Show, CBS

The Making of an Underground Film about Piero Heliczer's film Venus In Furs, with the Velvet Underground performing Heroin, Heliczer joining in on saxophone.

February 7, 1966 - USA Artists, WNET-TV, NYC

Show about Warhol, on the eve of Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Andy Warhol presents the Velvet Underground, and the band plays Heroin and Venus In Furs. This presentation is available in the Aussie What Goes On box set, and the songs appears on several bootlegs. The Lou Reed - Rock And Roll Heart video/DVD offers also part of the WNET stuff.

January 8 [& July 15?] - 1967, Upbeat, Local TV show, Cleveland, Ohio

Velvet Underground appearance with Guess I'm Falling In Love performance. The Cleveland TV Guide lists for January 8, 1967: "Upbeat - with Marvin Gaye & Tammie Terrel, The Music Explosion, Velvet Underground, 5th Estate and Donna Sears." In Psychotronic #33: The Velvet Underground (!) were on twice. Jamie Klimek (of the group Mirrors) saw them play many times. "In the period April 67 to March 69, The Velvets played Cleveland 7 times. After and appearance with the EPI at the Public Hall, they returned 5 times to play at La Cave. In early 67 they did Guess I'm Falling in Love (not on LP) on Upbeat! with Cale. On Oct 2 1968 [sic], the VU came in for another 3 day stand. This marked Doug Yule's first public appearance with the band. They played Run Run Run (from the first LP) with different lyric-live on Upbeat!"

May 11, 1968 - Upbeat, Channel 5, Cleveland, Ohio

In Angus MacLise's Brain Damage in Oklahoma City CD liner notes, Tony Conrad says: "On May 11 [1968], I tape the Velvet Underground actually appearing on TV--at noon on local Ch 5's "Upbeat" with the McCoys, Yarbirds, the Outsiders, and--Harami."

June [or July 15?], 1968 - Upbeat, Local TV show, Cleveland, Ohio

Velvet Underground appearance with Run Run Run performance at a local TV show in Cleveland.

Tom Cramer says:

"The Velvets performed live on the Upbeat TV show in June 1968 (not June 1967). Moreover, contrary to Sterling Morrison's recollection, they performed a blistering, buzzsaw version of Run Run Run. Their rendition of Run Run Run went beyond their alloted time: thus, Upbeat cut away to a commercial while the Velvets were engaged in feedback frenzy with Lou's back to the camera."

»Special thanks:

Ken Clarke

© 1999- Hans Werksman