Transcript:

Speaker I didn't get to New York until 1963. At the time that I was living at Ludlow Street and traveling everyday to work with Lamont and the group on Church Street. We rehearsed over there on Church Street for about a year and a half daily on a daily basis, and developed some some music that was pretty avant garde and based on based on an intonation system that we worked out ourselves. And often in those days, we were back from Church Street to Ludlow Street. There would be these kids on the street that would throw stones and we'd had long hair. And Tony and I would get hit with these rocks. And these these kids were just running around us saying, you the Beatles, are you the Beatles, you're the Beatles. And then I met Lou at Pickwick Records. And it was it was my my chance to go through. I have a second childhood. And the first reading was really to try and find a group that was going to go out in the road and support a record called Record by the Primitives Call the Ostrich. And what was really interesting to me was that they had done this record on a two track machine in the back of a of a of a plant and teaching the guitar to one note and just wrote the song and this particular tuning.

Speaker And I thought, that's that's my God, too. Let's see what this will lead.

Speaker But more than anything, it was really meeting with Lou in the in the in the coffee shop there and maybe a nice cup of coffee out of the hot water tap and sat me down and started quizzing me as to what what I really was doing in New York. And from that minute on, it was kind of. There was a sudden meeting of the minds of there about the meaning of risk and danger and sanity and and then spread out into the rest of literature and the arts and science and stuff like that.

Speaker And he was constantly bringing me lyrics and saying I wanted to know what exactly the record company would not allow into record. And as soon as he hit, he he mentioned it was kind of like red to a bull. I said, well, how are them gonna do it ourselves? And so we tried to a variety of groupings with different personnel, not all of which ended happily. And we with the most money we used to make was was really on the sidewalk. We went up to a hundred twenty fifth street in Harlem in front of the baby grand. And I had my viola and my recorder and Luria's acoustic guitar and we played and whatever the man and heroin up there. And we did quite well. It was in the summer and people were kind of free with their money.

Speaker And until utterly local, the local police officer showed up and said, look, things are getting busy here and you go down a 78 Broadway is another jazz club over there and bother them for a while.

Speaker So we did that. And all all the time trying to figure out how to bring these avant garde ideas from music to match his lyrical ideas, which, when put next to other lyrics that were flying around at the time, were really, really very strong.

Speaker They gained their strength from first person reportage. It was really whatever the character was in the song was identified with the singer and he he really had a lot of power from that. The these were well crafted lyrics and and his his repeated reference to Delmore. Schwartz got me interested in what Dalmau had written. And then slowly, there was this kind of culture that came out of Syracuse that I became aware of, not so much a culture, but a group of people. And shortly when we when we were joined by Sterling, it turned that there was there was the English department that had had a couple of alumni that were very forward looking people, though the one thing that that struck me wrote the lyrics, which I which were not there when we came to improvise because we started off as a with the notion that improvisation was going to be the solution to the band. That the way we could give Bob Dylan a run for his money was to go out on. And improvise different songs every night and lose expert at this. He could just improvise lyrics at the drop of a hat or anything. And he was. It was strongly influenced by coming directly from the subconscious. And I did it. The way that struck a chord mainly with the music was that the music was really dreamy music.

Speaker The element of hypnosis that came from the mix that I played from Le Monde and what I really liked in most of the rock and roll that was going on was this the repetitive nature of riffs and what was the best? What was the wonder if you could create that would exist and live happily throughout the entire song? It went and Drone was obviously one of them, but there were other ideas that came in and that that helped us along that that really came directly from this hypnotic element in the music that was in the avant garde at the time.

Speaker Nine questions.

Speaker We aim to please. Yeah. Yeah. It almost makes it look like you have a microphone. You see that anymore. That's better.

Speaker I would love you to talk about that. That is the velvet's that has become such an important influence ever since.

Speaker How would you describe that if there is one reason why the sound of the group really came from the way we to know guitars, all guitars were down to and the drums were really very, very bass. Do we have one example of how the sound remained? The same was that Mo had a drum stolen once at the dam. The only thing we had left to play with were garbage cans. So she put up with the stink of the garbage cans for one performance and nobody noticed the difference in the drum sun. So this thumping element that was there, plus the grating, kind of the viola. What you did was give it give it space. It gave you kind of landscape a really flat, wide open landscape in which this rhythm happened. And it was we were trying to be intelligent about our way of interpreting Phil Spector first fact, to have his rhythm and blues quotient that was backed with a kind of Bagneris, an orchestral backing. And so we thought that there was a combination here that might work. And, you know, it took us. If you if you pay attention to the banana box set, it shows you the distance that those arrangements came. And I was it this? It took about a year. So that first banana album was representative of roughly your year's work.

Speaker Right. I know you had very little time to actually record it, but you actually formed a lot of through.

Speaker It's yeah, you could say that the fact of the matter was that nobody would hire us to perform in my roles with it. Most of the club owners, you know, didn't didn't have the patience for what we were doing. We were insisting on playing original material. Most of the other bands that ever even got a chance at being on stage had to incorporate at least three or four top 10 numbers just to get attention. I hope people listen to what they were doing. And we went directly against the.

Speaker Perfect, a little bit about the other contributions of the other members. I know Maureen was here and she talked about how she got you off in one direction maybe.

Speaker Yeah. A lot of the experimentation that went on during the tour prior to the Sister Ray recording was very abstract. And Maureen would go out and. And hold hold a drumbeat. And I would tape down some keys on this on the piano. And it would start like that. Have gone for good a half hour like that. And Lou might come out. But extraordinary things have happened in these performances. And one of them, especially in San Diego, I remember that Lou, turned into the southern preacher in the middle of this experiment is the very part twelve or whatever it was. And that was exactly what these things were designed to do it. We were we were in our element when those things happened because, you know, it's just that organic culture that comes from authorization and nobody really knows what's gonna happen next in this.

Speaker They have confidence in everybody's ability.

Speaker Can you talk a little bit about Lou as a guitar player?

Speaker Yeah.

Speaker An important element, you know, in in in the staging of these sister rape. Twelve was that everyone got their role to play. Sterling would get his role. By that time, Sterling was really against being a bass player. He did not want to be a bass player. He wanted to have his chance at turning his guitars. And he really had a thoughtful. You'd think out his guitar parts very carefully. And they were really well educated phrases. And a very special guitar pass that he had crafted himself. Lou's, on the other hand, was done entirely off the cuff and probably based in violence and aggression because they were they they were they were really made it created out of noise. They were aimed at making whatever racket that you could make with as much volume and as much distortion as possible. But having be an organic whole. So there was a drone that could be done on the guitar. It was the drone that that that an ever increasing noise would give you.

Speaker You've said in the past that Lou and stratification with characters he was portraying in his songs and you call that method acting and so on. The first person the songs were autobiographical. Just talk about some of those ideas.

Speaker Well, a lot of the songs, I don't think the songs were that autobiographical. I think they were more into characterisation and portraiture than anything else. But at the same time, we really did not want to make it clear too much. We sort of try to try the light fantastic end and sort of danced around the whole issue, which really obviously made every made everybody convinced that we really believed in giving everybody heroin. And in some cases, we actually did say that. But we we weren't.

Speaker We weren't a hundred percent in. It was it was kind of trying to play the market. And, you know, when I was sterling, Lou, and I got when I got together, there was an evening on the radio in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Speaker I remember when things were going from bad to worse. And Sterling made some comment, an unpleasant comment about Frank Sinatra. And we had an union guy call up and ask, well, what are you doing with these rats on your program tonight? And Sterling immediately got frightened and wanted to leave. And, Lou, then not to be outdone, sort of said to the guy, you know, I'm glad people in your age group get cancer, at which point I thought I couldn't top it.

Speaker Listen. I cut off your ears. You're left. Do.

Speaker Can you talk a little bit about the beginning of this very briefly, at that stage, you remember that Bob Rubin was among the Lower East Side downtown performance elite were two filmmakers, Peter Hallock, seven, Barbara Rubin and Joe Sterling and piano. And it was a very busy time because people will go from loft to loft every night, projecting film on sheets, on on on canvases, on, on anything was the dancing, reading poetry, playing music. And Barbara Rubin, who who really was was fresh from a meeting with Bob Dylan, came into the factory and and announced to I think to divide that there was a band time that he should really come see.

Speaker And she brought Gerard and and Andy down one night and Gerard decided what what what a great music to dance with a whip to. And it went on from there. The next day we were up at the factory. And from then on it was like every afternoon at two o'clock we showed up at the factory to see what wonders were being done there.

Speaker And the factory was a beehive of activity. It was so screens. We made Salvador Dali showing up, actors and actresses showing up and being there, being screen tested.

Speaker And it was something different every if every day.

Speaker And and we really had had been having trouble finding gigs. And we know they'd been told that we were not welcome anymore. Anyway, at the cafe while we were performing. And so we were very happy when Andy suggested we can perform for a psychiatrist convention.

Speaker We we we took that one on with glee and with that with the with a glimmer in our eye, we sort of went and launched into into the year into heroine and Venus in furs. And I'm ready for the man with the dancing. And and I think the response that we got from the audience was that these people really need some some consultation and maybe a long rest.

Speaker It got reviewed in the Times that I reviewed Kerslake.

Speaker But he do that at that event. I remember that was really angry and and justifiably so.

Speaker I mean, when I first met him news, he was regaling me with this with the stories of his experiences with psychiatric care that were very unpleasant and anybody had gone through what he'd gone through would would certainly be justified in having those feelings, mixed feelings about performing for them. And I mean, it's you can be barbaric in a in a in a in a doctor's office as much as you can on the battlefield.

Speaker Well, the phrase unindicted co-conspirators is sort of applies to Andy because he he was here, he lived by the strong work ethic. And when we had difficulty with getting material or focusing on some new material, Andy at one point drew a list of titles, Falu 14 titles, and said he'd go into this. And we did. And. And when he introduced Niko to the band, everybody was downcast.

Speaker Oh, my God. Is this what is does this mean? We've we've had really from my point of view anyway, I have to admit to the skepticism when moes was around, but how quickly solved itself and and I were Niko's was introduced. I saw it as a great headline maker.

Speaker And that was when I started thinking about Andy as the media manipulator, the master of all of that. And at one performance at the Rhode Island School of Art School of Design, I think I saw him in action with six o'clock news crew that came to us to interview him during a performance of the exploding passing inevitable. And he was lying on the floor with the silver ball, with the with the spotlight on it, spraying the room. And the interviewer had to kneel down to talk to him. He was sort of resting his head on his and his hand on the floor.

Speaker And I said, what are you doing on the floor so I can see the stars from here?

Speaker And it was so effortless and magical that that that was that was a real quality that he always had in my mind. Beautiful.

Speaker Well, you answered that question. The advance, you sort of answered my questions in advance. Anything else about the EPA? We a lot of people talking about what it's like being banned.

Speaker Well, there was a certain having the projections and the spotlight on other things other than the band suited our purposes very well. We we enjoyed playing in the dark and turning her back on the audience and occasionally insulting the audience. And it was one way of feeling that there was somebody out there because, you know, these low performing bands in those days, The Rascals, my szájer, because they came from Long Island and had a certain setup for their concerts that there were bars that they were performing. So when you went in, you're in Manhattan. We never functioned very well outside of Manhattan. And even in Manhattan we did. We obviously did not make things easy for ourselves with employment. So the exploding plastic inevitable is really a very good vehicle for us to go abroad and advertise ourselves. And really what is nowadays referred to as the experience industry. I mean, Disney does not tell you about Disney World. It tells you about how to experience Disney World. Its advertising. And you really teach people that what they're going to experience when they buy a product before they do it. So that was that was the that was the thinking behind it. And he was very effective with it.

Speaker So let's go to the first album, we got to be kind of Vernetta album. And you talk about your feelings about airplay. It was probably a very little evidence that album sales and, you know, you kind of.

Speaker Yeah, I'd tell me the way the Banana album stayed in our minds was was really different from the way it stayed in other people's minds. I think because we do it the songs and the way they were on that on that record were worked on. And and in my mind, I can only speak for myself, not Falu, that once those arrangements and that sound was gotten to, as far as I'm concerned, that was it. I mean, we'd done something that was unique and no one else could really imitate AM. And that kind of a throwback for me to avant garde and to, you know, the definition of originality in classical music and in art. And so following what sales, the art and it was really I never thought of sales as an indication of the influence that we had, that I thought an influence is really something much more abstract and philosophical and had psychological barriers. But elements that really if we were dealing with hypnosis and all of that, that this broke down a certain number of psychological barriers and made people. Surrender more or less in thinking. And there was there was something of all of that kind of rationale in in our in our belief that this album really existent existed not in a vacuum, but in a different time scale than other albums, because we were trying to at the time, the definition of a single was changing because you lost that loving feeling, came in at three minutes and 15, then went to five minutes with just once in your life. And that was very exciting. And we always had a long duration piece. What was so. Anyway, that's that's kind of the academic background, if that's what it is to do.

Speaker The way the album was was seen.

Speaker Well, I think if you have any say what Eppley is, you know, that example I gave of the talk show was about the only thing that we. I have no idea how he got on that show. But it was not for the crowd that we were.

Speaker We were really interested in not for the raucous. Do you know this was a radio station that played easy listening music. But we went into it, went into the lion's den with a sentiment ugly again.

Speaker So I thought the audience was not defined by the radio. I thought, you know, we had people that came to our concerts that didn't say anything.

Speaker They would just stand in the corner and stare.

Speaker And Lou was really interested in this group of people that would do that because they were they were silent.

Speaker They would come into the dressing room or not say anything and just stand there and be be very quiet and sort of be our friends. And.

Speaker That group of people sort of encapsulates for me the kind of audience that we that we like having around us, most of the audiences we had no patience for. In a way.

Speaker It's as if those arrangements are Colin.

Speaker So the element of the unconscious that was in that we all so much enjoyed about loose improvised lyrics got there faster than the arrangements that we were doing. The way the arrangements really settled down after work was you just do it over and over again. And then in a break, you wouldn't be thinking about what you were doing or maybe hearing a song you wouldn't be thinking. Were you doing any come up with something else, that kind of shift in perception that comes from, you know, rote playing or whatever or suffered gnosis or whatever it is, was the closest we got to that kind of lyrical.

Speaker Creativity that that Lou had had his finger on.

Speaker With this gets me maybe we can talk about the second way and some obviously feedback. Let's start.

Speaker We were always concerned about capturing how we will live in the studio. By the time the second album came around, we were really concerned about that because we were. We thought we were.

Speaker We thought we were very excited. We were alive. And really, how do we get that? And also, we wanted to do something that was kind of like a BBC radiophonic workshop approach to storytelling, which was in Lady Godiva operation. And we'd sort of done our what we felt was a gesture towards pretty songs. And now it came with Sister Ray came the time to really show what we were like, life.

Speaker And it was really a question of just turning up your arms and blasting away. And Gary Coldren was in the booth at the time, had this little draw that that I found about later, that whenever we'd take him down a take, we'd go into the booth and we'd ask him to turn it up. And we discovered where the volume control was on the board and we'd go up and just push it up. And he would then reach down into the drawer of his left hand, turn the master volume down and just sit quietly while we just kept turning it off and he turned down. And when it came to Sister Ray, there was a little plot afoot as to. I knew it was going to happen, that there were booster boxes and distortion buttons. And so I kept something in reserve knowing that I couldn't do that while I was playing keyboards.

Speaker And Sterling sort of said after that, it kind of took his breath away when the volume sort of popped up out of nowhere and the escalation was complete. I mean, there's there's absolutely no no separation of instruments at all, which has its own charm. And that was kind of the way we left it.

Speaker So in that particular.

Speaker I think Thomasin was right. I think Thomasin was excuse me, although, again, I think Tom Watson was quite surprised when he came out of the backroom to find out what we've done.

Speaker Karen has been asking about all smiles. Any particular care just.

Speaker By the way, just curious to know if you had any thoughts on why it wasn't Andy Warhol's famous fair. What is it about this town that seems particularly relevant to the time you think that?

Speaker I think it's and I think Andy's love of all tomorrow's parties is really about the topic itself, about someone who whose dress never lived up to the to the occasion.

Speaker I'd love to jump a little bit less, you want to have a comment about your leaving the band. That's up to you.

Speaker Well, I didn't. I didn't leave the band voluntarily.

Speaker It was a coup. And the person organized the coup did not deliver the coup to Grant. Sterling came by and mentioned that that the band had been disbanded. So. That was it. There was no discussion.

Speaker Jumping ahead to 72.

Speaker I know you play at the balcony. You talk about how that came about or what you were all doing at that point.

Speaker Yeah, I'm really vague on it. I'm not very good at the Bataclan tapes.

Speaker I really don't remember why we were all three at the same place. I know that I was invited by Nico to come play, but I don't remember why lose.

Speaker Do you know anything about the Harry Smith, the bottom line?

Speaker No, no. You play guitar on a couple of tracks.

Speaker Oh, that was a there was a concert I gave it to alone and have an ocean club with Patti and Lou and David Byrne. And I was kind of a tribute to Mickey Ruskin. Mickey Ruskin's generosity towards everybody in the art world in the 60s was was legendary and kept a lot of artists alive. At Max's and later on moved down to a place called Lower Manhattan Ocean Club.

Speaker And I happened to be in town when when when the opening night was the night I put it put together a small group of people to perform for the opening night.

Speaker And then slowly the second night, we we got more people. And one of those events had Patti and David Byrne and Lou Ann. That was a I hadn't seen in a long time. But we all we all felt that Mickey was owed something special.

Speaker And speaking of clubs, I know that you were heralded as very involved in the hope of new wave dates just for the musicians.

Speaker Can you talk about why you think that was true? And maybe give us a picture of the CBD in that period in the 70s?

Speaker Well, the punk movement really was about high speed rock, in a way.

Speaker And the one struggle I remember that the Velvet Underground had was to try and slow things down. And that was always a point of contention between you and I. That you come up with some very fast rock and roll songs that were great because there were throwaways. They were fun. And that was it. But I would always try and slowing down and make them sexy. And that that's kind of what I always liked about the band free was that the voting was so laid back. Adams. It was really effective. And so the punk movement was was was kind of puzzling because we were paid a lot of tributes by bands that I.

Speaker I really had difficulty responding to, in a way.

Speaker I mean, that's that's the value of Venus infers to me is that it was slow down.

Speaker And Patti Smith, can you talk about her? I know you've worked with her quite a bit. Do you see any of her coming out of any way?

Speaker No. I think the party came strictly out of the stones. I mean, I think Patty wanted to be Keith Richards and.

Speaker But Lou lyrically was really incredible in a different way. I mean, had had a much greater sense of of the of mythology. I think Lou created mythology on the street.

Speaker Can you talk about that a little bit more of what that means?

Speaker I'll try and do with our show my ignorance of mythology.

Speaker That the Greek mythology is has characters in it that seem to recur in everybody else's dreams. And this is one of the things I think that happens with those signs that there are characters recurring in different characters as dreams of different songs.

Speaker And they maybe have different names, but they're they're all aspects. It's kind of they're each other's alter egos.

Speaker I guess I'm up to songs for Drella, even though you got together.

Speaker You did. I'd like to do something like that. For me, I think it's one of the great albums around ever.

Speaker It's an amazing album. And.

Speaker It's sort of tells me more about who Andy was than anything I've ever read about, in a sense.

Speaker And it's so complex musically also. Can you talk about first how that came about, how you decided to collaborate again on this particular one? I know you saw each other at his funeral.

Speaker So I should go from there. Yeah. At the at at the.

Speaker There was a memorial service for Andy at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Afterwards, there was a reception at at a nearby club that was prepared for everybody. And I went there with Jewish novel. And I was talking to during about the piece that I was trying to write for, for Bam of that was sort of a requiem. And he said to me, well, you know, we got to we got to do something.

Speaker We got to do something for Andy. And they sort of hung in the air. And then I had spoken to Lou in many years and we sort of Chicanos and and spoke and Julian then came along and these usual energy and sort of throw to this whole idea. And I went to see Harvey Lichtenstein at Bam and mentioned that there was this idea there could be a reality.

Speaker And from there, we were then set out to write a piece that we had no idea what it was to begin with. It was it was impressionistic. And neither of us really had very good memories about what happened, how it happened or why. And it took a little bit of work, but it only took us at the most three weeks. I think we got into a rehearsal room, sat down, had tape recorders running, and I remembered some things that Lou didn't and Lou remember things that I didn't. And I know that it was a it was a contentious piece of writing for him because there was a certain amount of a certain amount of anger between Andy and Lou.

Speaker And that never was resolved. And I didn't know how that would get resolved. And it didn't actually abuse it. I mean, that was kind of one of the honest things about the piece, was that it was still there. And in spite of it, it was it was done as a tribute and as a labor of love. And was.

Speaker Was an elegant piece of of of reporting, really of.

Speaker Reporting how misfits get together and create art.

Speaker And I mean, I thought those days, you know, they're still kind of it once you've gone through.

Speaker So there's a little Cultural Revolution thing about all that time in the Cinematheque and all that and how busy everybody was.

Speaker And really, the work was what was important. And that, you know, I think that that was kind of what was foremost in our minds.

Speaker You talk about what it's very intriguing to like three weeks later, you were starting to do this. Talk about what it's like. You've written these lyrics and you some. What was that? Can you take this particular song and talk about how it was formed? One of my favorites got the style it takes. You're singing?

Speaker Well, the way the way we separated off the songs was by sound. First of all, there will be a certain amount of violas songs and you'd parcel them off. You say, okay, well, the songs can vertical. So with that, that will work with the viola. Then there was a lot of synthesizer stuff that w that I was really fighting against because I didn't like synthesis, but they gave the piece a lot of orchestral qualities that I that that helped at the time. The.

Speaker I still insist remains true, that you can still do Drella without any synthesizers at all.

Speaker So the piano parts then became somewhat orchestral. I mean, the concerto piano parts in a way, and. The string and anything that was sustained had to be very carefully done so that it didn't step on Leuser Unloose voice his range.

Speaker So I think it broke itself down in two riffs and hardly ever got bogged down in chord changes and.

Speaker There were a lot of topics that were covered and the topics were shared out among the different different moods of the pieces. And slowly, as the pieces evolved, once the I mean, the most the most difficult part of all of it is once you come up with the idea with remember it and wants to really construct a song and how. OK. Now we've written this song. Now we've got to learn it.

Speaker And you had to.

Speaker You had to play it several times in order to develop with the direction the song was going to be. And so there were a lot of ideas and and considering a number of songs, there had to be a very strong focus on what we're actually going to cover. And the shooting and all of that was was really was part of it. And since we started with the gift and then we done Lady Godiva, then what was natural was to have a short story. And.

Speaker Well, I didn't want to say that was that the that the diaries were out at the time? Yeah, and a lot of what was in the short story sort of echoed what the diaries had about about that.

Speaker But what was really important was that each song had its own character and that.

Speaker But it started off as being a fairly ambitious project. We could have had a symphony orchestra because there was a requiem that was there. But eventually we just sort of. By the time we'd written the songs, we were kind of so exhausted with it would with having these these things that were really different that, you know, there was little time to go and start having grandiose ideas and orchestrations. And anyway, we thought that it was they might be more interesting for everybody concerned to have just the two of us up there performing so that everybody could see what it was that the two of us had in common. And not so much in common the would be of interest. And that sort of worked. We have performed it, I think, a total of four times, maybe five, five with Tokyo.

Speaker And it's a shame.

Speaker I thought.

Speaker But it's not like nobody, but, you know, like nobody, but nobody, but, you know, I really thought that nobody but you, Lou, had been hiding that one in the wings and said, no, I've got a single for the piece.

Speaker I can't. I've never floated that proposition. It certainly seemed to me to be the closest thing that we'd ever come to.

Speaker And at the end, of course, the last song about me. Yeah. It's very my daughter listens to it. It just tears, of course. But it's just an amazing moment. Talk about that song. Maybe it's just that he's dead and. This is sort of what you were trying to do. It reached a certain way through this.

Speaker I know it's I think it's Lou's ability to put everything in context and something's up. And it was really very personal statement by him.

Speaker I was no different from 66, 67, 68, period.

Speaker And then when you're back with him at 70, I'm sorry to, I guess doing 90 in 1990. Any similarities?

Speaker No, I think you do. The written word was certainly more important in Drella than it was in the white light.

Speaker Right? He didn't. And the Banan album, there was no room for improvisation in Drella.

Speaker It was very important to have everything, all that all the T's crossed and the I's dotted.

Speaker You also hear that you singing very clearly and losing very it's very, very hard to sing that boy the vocals. It's quite different.

Speaker Yeah, it was. It was really. What. What the what the two personas really amounted to on on in an exposed venture like that.

Speaker I'd love to talk about now Cardi A., which was 1990, and I guess that was the first time you guys played again in a long time.

Speaker Could set that up for us and tell us.

Speaker I think when we got to come to the country of our nation, there've been a lot of work, preparatory work done. To make sure that everybody was playing off the same page. And it really was was due to a lot of the effort that Marty Bo put into the handling of the situation. And it was expertly done.

Speaker Nothing was expected of anyone. No one was asked to do anything.

Speaker And I think with that kind of handling, I think it was the best way to get everybody to do something. And the the one.

Speaker Unresolved issue was Sterling's feelings about Lou and Lou's feelings about Sterling and Sterling's loquaciousness, one one out every time. And by the time we got up from lunch that afternoon and.

Speaker When I get off stage after playing heroin again, I.

Speaker I think I said to. They are going to cry or something and Lou said is really offended.

Speaker Said something, got to cool it.

Speaker So.

Speaker I think without that. Without that event, I don't think that the, uh, the tour would have happened at all. And. It's part of the way to having something a little more substantial happen.

Speaker And I had no idea that it was it was really going to happen all. I think I knew that when when all the talk about the reunion was was was about to happen, that they were going to be competing philosophies about what we were really supposed to do.

Speaker And I was I really thought that Lou was interested in doing.

Speaker Totally new things, I think. I think he was kind of intrigued by the idea that we could really go out there and do anything we wanted and we didn't really have to go there and parody ourselves and do the old stuff. And somewhere along the way, go way late. And we ended up.

Speaker Sort of doing pretty well for four for a band that hadn't played together for a while, and as long as we were doing our own gigs, it was it was it was satisfying. But I think something happened when we latched on to the U2 tour and we became small fish in a big pond. And that just was so corrosive to the integrity of the band that it it ended much sooner than we should have.

Speaker Maureen talked about that. You had it going. Nobody. You guys thought that there would be a lot of people there hoping you'd fail. Just. All the audience in a sense. And she said, no, it's going to be very young people who always want to see the others. And it turned out that she won the bet. So any comments on that? Can you tell that in your own you're from your own point of view?

Speaker I, I don't. But but there's.

Speaker I couldn't tell who was in the audience. I mean, there were too many people. I missed it when you got into the YouTube thing. It was impossible. I mean, I'm there's absolutely nothing I can say about the way we were we were treated by you, too.

Speaker I mean, they're really officers and gentlemen.

Speaker And we were treated very well.

Speaker I'd like to just go back for a second to when you played everybody. I've seen the tape of it and it's chilling to watch.

Speaker I mean, I felt just goosebumps watching this reunion of this unbelievable song by the four of you. And I mean, I could see you must have felt that way. And I know Maureen said your daughter started crying and was truly an incredibly emotional moment.

Speaker So was that the way it was for the audience? You just talk about that. I can get footage of you guys to play some of that.

Speaker It was a very hot day. And in just outside of Paris and playing outdoors, we didn't really know how to how to. We we never saw a man or anything. And it was kind of we lifted her own. I improvised. It was great.

Speaker I was just like, you know, where we started. So it's kind of funny, you know, in a stressed out kind of way.

Speaker And it wasn't planned really means that they you guys were playing Cinderella.

Speaker You know, we got to play a couple of songs and then we came off and said, let's do it.

Speaker Unloosed. Yeah, I was surprised.

Speaker OK. I'd love to talk to her for you.

Speaker Did you want to play? Did you try the new material? You were content?

Speaker Well, they were. There were there were three schools of thought. One was came from Lou's manager, Sylvia. That was really content with with whatever managed to propel Lou's career. At the time, Lou was really intrigued by the notion of writing new material and improvising material on stage.

Speaker And I was very eager to do that in the middle of the rehearsal, the first week of years of year, three weeks to prepare. We we got into the room and we started playing together.

Speaker And Moment Sterling then got very excited and understandably so in some of the other material, which I didn't know there was.

Speaker So it wouldn't be nice to hear the song. Would it be nice to hear that? It was great. And I. I learned the songs, but by that time it was obvious that there were limited options here and now for leaving a big hole there for just a big question mark.

Speaker What are we going to do there? It was all fill up and it just happened. Not by sleight of hand, but by real enthusiasm for different things. And no one could really pull the ship back upright again and try and try and forge ahead on Pasture's new.

John Cale
Interview Date:
1997-08-26
Runtime:
0:57:52
Keywords:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-5m6251g471, cpb-aacip-504-9c6rx93x0d
MLA CITATIONS:
" John Cale, Lou Reed: Rock And Roll Heart." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 26 Aug. 1997, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/270
APA CITATIONS:
(1997, August 26). John Cale, Lou Reed: Rock And Roll Heart. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/270
CHICAGO CITATIONS:
" John Cale, Lou Reed: Rock And Roll Heart." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). August 26, 1997. Accessed June 25, 2022 https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/270

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