Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lookalikes #22: John Cage, JJ Cale & John Cale

I never wrote a song called 'Cocaine'
I never told a lie
I never wrote a song called 'After Midnight'
But my name is Cale
You can call me John
Yes my name is Cale
I know, I know, I know
How that will be
– From What's Welsh for Zen, The Autobiography of John Cale (and a song occasionally performed live by Cale).

John Cage (1912-1992), influential American avant-garde composer, most famous for his composition 4' 33", consisting of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence. You really must hear it. Or not.

JJ Cale (b. 1938), American blues musician and songwriter, most famous for songs After Midnight and Cocaine, covered by Eric Clapton. Born John Cale, a Vegas nightclub owner employing him in the 1960s came up with the 'JJ' to avoid confusion with the other John Cale.

John Cale (b. 1942), Welsh, founder member of the Velvet Underground and record producer. Since leaving the Velvet Underground, Cale has released over thirty solo records of variable quality. He has also produced probably more, including The Stooges' first album, Nico's The Marble Index, Desertshore and The End, Horses by Patti Smith and The Modern Lovers debut LP.

In the 1960s it apparently embarrassed John Cale that people confused him with John Cage, a musician Cale respected. 'And I sometimes got the royalty receipts of JJ Cale,' remembers John, 'and I think the bluesman got mine'.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

When we played NY in '94, a local radio guy had the two Cales on his program. JJ Cale said, "Now I know who has been cashing my royalty checks." He was joking, of course, but if they had crossed in the mail, John Cale would have got the best deal.