Velvet Underground bassist/violaist John Cale performed a moody, arty solo take on his band’s already moody and arty debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, last spring in Paris. That epochal album will turn 50 this coming spring, and Cale will celebrate by performing it again, on May 26 at Liverpool, England’s docklands, and in New York City on a date/venue yet to be announced. Quoted in The Quietus, Cale offered:
I’m often reluctant to spend too much time on things past, then a time marker shows up — The Velvet Underground & Nico turns 50. As so many bands can attest to, it is the fulfilment of the ultimate dream to record your first album. We were an unfriendly brand, dabbling in a world of challenging lyrics and weird sonics that didn’t fit into anyone’s playlist at the time.
Remaining ferociously true to our viewpoints, Lou and I never doubted for a moment we could create something to give a voice to things not regularly explored in rock music at the time. That bizarre combination of four distinctly disparate musicians and a reluctant beauty queen perfectly summed up what it meant to be The Velvet Underground.
Tickets for the Liverpool show will go on sale Friday, October 28. For a taste of what to expect, here are a few of clips from the Paris show last spring, including Saul Williams guesting on “Heroin,” Mark Lanegan singing “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” and Lou Doillon singing “Femme Fatale.” Hopefully that all happens again at the New York show.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend’: Two clips of John Cale live in 1975
Nick Cave, Chrissie Hynde & John Cale playing together on the BBC, 1999
Lou Reed, Nico and John Cale do Velvet Underground mini-reunion on French TV, 1972