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John Cale & Friends - Ocean Club 1976

A musical ‘event’ took place recently at NY’s Lower Manhattan Ocean Club when John Cale and Lou Reed (both founding members of the legendary Velvet Underground) performed together at midnight, two nights in a row. Missing was their original chanteuse, Nico, who resides in France. But on hand was Patti Smith straight from her recording session uptown - who joined in with vocals, piano chords, ‘lead noise’ on electric guitar and much enthusiasm.

Cale played piano and guitar, Reed was on electric guitar and feedback, and the impromptu band was completed by guitarist David Byrne, leader of The Talking Heads. John laughed and said it was ‘like old times’ as they performed Cale-classics ‘Gun’, ‘Fear’, ‘Guts’, ‘Buffalo Ballet’ and ‘I Keep a Close Watch’ (a gorgeous ballad that Frank Sinatra should immediately record). Nostalgia freaks applauded madly when the group played a Velvet’s oldie-but-goodie, Reed’s ‘I’m Waiting For My Man.’

Witnessing the one and a half hour shows were Andy Warhol (the Velvet’s original sponsor, he taped the performance), Clive Davis, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, Rick Danko, The Patti Smith Group, John Paul Getty III, Garth Hudson, The Ramones, Mick Ronson, Television, Bobby Neuwirth and scenemakers / friends who had been tipped off about the evening in advance.

Cale, who has released three solo albums (‘Fear’, ‘Slow Dazzle’, ‘Helen of Troy’) in the past few years, is being heavily pursued by several major record companies. And Lou Reed told me that he may have a change of record company soon.

Following the shows, Cale and Reed greeted friends and posed for photos in the large basement ‘dressing room.’ Lou said that his next album would be titled ‘Nomad’ - a sly reference to that possible label switch? (The word on the street is that Lou may sign with Arista. Stay tuned.)

'I'm using the same musicians I did on 'Coney Island Baby' ', Lou revealed. 'The song titles are 'Leave Me Alone', 'Goodbye Adelaine', 'You Don't Know What It's Like' (that one's sort of bad limbo), 'You Wear It So Well' and 'Choose and the Chosen'. I'll tour in October, but this time I'll do it right,' said the man who has maintained a rather low profile for the past year.

Lou’s new manager and worldwide representative is Johnny Podell, who has breathtaking plans for Lou’s forthcoming world conquest. He wants Lou to be on the road from Oct. I5 through Dec. 31 in the U.S. and Canada, with Hawaii, England, Europe, the Far East, Mexico and South America to follow. That should take Lou until April, according to Podell, when he’ll record another album. And - Lou said that he plans a movie based on his ‘Berlin’ album. Whew, some ‘comeback.'. (source)

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