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John Cale: Paris 1919

Mick Gold, Let It Rock, October 1973

IN THE PAST John Cale has appeared to be engaged in investing themes of madness and chaos with a deranged from of classical dignity. I saw him play with Lou Reed and Nico in a one night reunion of the Velvet underground in Paris last year and he seemed to be a most unlikely man. Dressed in a Shetland pullover and plain slacks he had about as much charisma and identity as a computer salesman, as he carefully played blood-clotting trills and rasps on his viola to give 'Heroin' a brain-damaged sense of conviction. The man seemed far removed from the music he was making, watching with dispassionate interest as an audience of sixteen-year-old maniacs covered in glitter flicked lighted matches at each other and fell on their stoned faces in an eerie acting out of the Velvet underground's themes of juvenile corruption.

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