John Cale has been directly involved in some of the most seminal moments in late 20th-century music. As a foundation member of the legendary New York band The Velvet Underground, the producer of The Stooges' first album, composer of avant garde and experimental music, pioneer of drone and important solo artist, he has created some of the most influential sounds and techniques in modern music. He has worked with artists such as Brian Eno, Patti Smith, Nick Drake, Siouxie Sioux and the Happy Mondays.
Here, in a relaxed keynote address to the Sydney Festival, he opens his photo album and shares the intimate stories of "someone who spent his time trying to f**k up sounds".
John Davies Cale (born March 9, 1942) is a Welsh musician, composer, singer-songwriter and record producer who was a founding member of the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground. Cale was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.
Though best known for his work in rock music, Cale has worked in various genres including drone, noise and classical. Since departing from The Velvet Underground in 1968 he has released approximately 30 albums. Of his solo work, Cale is perhaps best known for his album "Paris 1919," plus his mid-1970s Island Records trilogy of albums: "Fear," "Slow Dazzle," and "Helen of Troy."
Cale has produced or collaborated with Lou Reed, Nico, La Monte Young, John Cage, Terry Riley, Cranes, Nick Drake, Kevin Ayers, Brian Eno, Patti Smith, The Stooges, The Modern Lovers, Marc Almond, Squeeze, James Dean Bradfield, Happy Mondays and Siouxsie & the Banshees.
Velvet Underground founding member John Cale reflects on the conversations he had upon first meeting fellow bandmate Lou Reed, including how art, art critique, and art ownership affected their consciousness.