john cale and friendsTen years after they first emerged from Warhol’s Factory, the Velvet Underground loomed larger than ever before in the CBGB-centered NYC punk scene of the mid-1970s. With Patti Smith leading the charge — she covered the Velvets frequently  — John Cale and Lou Reed suddenly found themselves with a whole new generation of acolytes. What to do with these feedback-worshiping followers? Why, get onstage with them, of course. This tape, recorded during the Bicentennial summer of ’76 (a fantastically fertile period brought vividly to life in William Hermes’ highly recommended book, Love Goes To Buildings On Fire), features Cale tussling with Smith, David Byrne and Chris Spedding for a rough-n-ready, 45-minute set. And of course, his Lou-ness also shows up to chug along on the old Velvet chestnut “Waiting For The Man.”

Byrne’s presence is intriguing — legend has it Cale was very excited about producing Talking Heads, at one point telling Brian Eno “THEY’RE MINE!!” Guess we know how that turned out. Smith is maybe the weakest link; she’s enthusiastic as hell, but her caterwauling backup vocals on the pastoral “Buffalo Ballet” come close to ruining a perfectly lovely song. One of the cooler things here is the spooky reading of “The Jeweler,” with Cale intoning a surreal short story as his cohorts create a wall of ambient noise worthy of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, the sound of the Underground boiling over. words/ t wilcox

Download: John Cale & Friends :: The Ocean Club – NYC, July 21, 1976

1. Ghost Story 2. Buffalo Ballet 3. You Know More Than I Know 4. Guts 5. I’m Waiting For The Man 6. I Keep A Close Watch 7. The Jeweler 8. Gun 9. Pablo Picasso 9. Cable Hogue 11. Baby What You Want Me To Do

7 Responses to “John Cale & Friends :: The Ocean Club – NYC, July 21, 1976”

  1. awesome find

  2. THANK YOU

  3. interesting to think of context of where each of these players were in their respective careers at the time of this recording. PS and DB were literally just getting started for one.

  4. second time through already

  5. patti don’t bother me too much. nice set.

  6. Thanks very nice.

  7. THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>