Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Paris 1919

Here's a video from a concert given last year by John Cale in Amsterdam. The song is Paris 1919 from the 1972 album of the same name. It was a magnificent work and has remained one of my favorite works since then.
I first saw John Cale playing with The Velvet Underground. I saw them at the Michigan State fairgrounds in 1966. At that time Nico was performing with them and they were an entire experience called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a collaboration with Andy Warhol. It was quite an experience for a 15 year old kid, at the time, with the very bad accoustics, the effect was like an Arab woman screaming in fear over an air raid siren with a beat. John Cale played Viola, Lou Reed played guitar, Sterling Hayden bass and Mo Tucker as the primitive percussionist and of course, Nico wailing away.
There were strobe lights, smoke and dancers with whips. I enjoyed it immensely.
I really was a fan of John Cales post Velvet work and have been discovering his pre Velvet work as a composer and film maker with Lamonte Young.
Here he is in 2007 looking rather good and voice still intact recreating one of the great lost records of all time.

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