‘Spotlight on a Song’
Another week flashes by. Very productive moving forward in my 2016 album release. But weeks that fly by make me realize how quickly life is passing by and just how important each day is.
While collaborating with an artist this week, a beautiful song came on in the speakers of the establishment we were in. It made me stop what I was doing to listen. And then it occurred to me that it was one of my favorite songwriters whose musical contributions are extraordinary. John Cale: a founding member of the Velvet Underground.
Hugely successful, that’s just where Cale began. Since leaving the Velvet Underground in 1968, he has released approximately 30 albums! Of his solo work, Cale is perhaps best known for his cover version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”; which is the best version in existence. But his own songs will move you as much.
In addition to his extensive work of his solo career, Cale worked as a record producer and arranger on a number of albums including artists such as Nick Drake, Squeeze, Patti Smith and Alejandro Escovedo.
Cale was was heavily involved in New York’s drug scene of the 1960s and 1970s. Cale has said that, “In the ’60s, for me, drugs were a cool experiment… In the ’70s, I got in over my head.” He now feels his drug addiction negatively affected his music during the 1980s, and that he decided to clean up following a series of embarrassing concerts and the birth of his daughter. Cale has also hosted a documentary called Heroin, Wales and Me to promote awareness of the problems of heroin addiction, easy availability of the drug in his native Wales and thousands of addicts.
Give him a listen. And there’s endless more to listen to if you like it.
Strum a little…..