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 Post subject: John Cale
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:28 am 
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The most recent 'Uncut' magazine has '10 records that changed your life' feature with John Cale.
'The record that made me hate Frank Zappa' is cited as being 'Thingfish'.

I can't quote verbatim, but he states that FZ had contempt for the music that he made himself, and seems to suggest it was all to spite his parents...

Now, Thingfish may not be the best FZ album, but at least it's fun in places.
I don't think I've ever knowingly enjoyed a VU or Cale piece of music-not that I've heard a lot. A more miserable shower of bastards I have never encountered.
Me thinks it's all sour grapes BS from the sixties-I bet Cale hated FZ long before Thingfish.

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:56 am 
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Afterall, the VU were a shittier group than Frank Zappa's group :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:27 am 
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Well lots of people are going to hate Frank Zappa anyway, so if that's the case, it may as well be due to Thing-Fish, which is a worthy object of hatred. Whether you like it or not, it IS provocative. Better that than, say, Hot Rats.

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:34 am 
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feetlightup wrote:
Well lots of people are going to hate Frank Zappa anyway, so if that's the case, it may as well be due to Thing-Fish, which is a worthy object of hatred. Whether you like it or not, it IS provocative. Better that than, say, Hot Rats.

I just find it hard to believe that it took him that long to hate Frank.

Having said that, John Cale has a few pretty good albums.


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:14 am 
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madcow1515 wrote:
feetlightup wrote:
Well lots of people are going to hate Frank Zappa anyway, so if that's the case, it may as well be due to Thing-Fish, which is a worthy object of hatred. Whether you like it or not, it IS provocative. Better that than, say, Hot Rats.

I just find it hard to believe that it took him that long to hate Frank.

Having said that, John Cale has a few pretty good albums.

I don't listen to John Cale that much, but I want to be a contrarian, too... When I get tired of Zappa (once in a while, due to over-indulgence), I listen to Lou Reed and Velvet Underground a lot. I became a fan of both Reed and Zappa in the late Seventies, and they are oddly complimentary to me.

Zappa told Ben Watson that there never was any rivalry between the Mothers and the Velvets, but that's his perception in 1993 and not necessarily the whole historical truth.

I equally admire lines like "broken hearts are for assholes, and your an asshole, too" and Reed's "all your two-bit psychiatrists are giving you electric shocks."

They're such talented lyricists, both 8)

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:01 am 
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I'll start off by saying that I tremendously respect a large portion of John Cale's solo work (in my estimation, far more talented than Lou Reed). So while I may understand that he didn't like FZ personally, I can't comprehend why he refused (and refuses) to at least give grudging respect to the product of a fellow musician. In my opinion his comments are much more hateful than Reed's because Reed's were just petty personal insults whereas Cale - a good musician in his own right - attempts to "intellectually" demolish the work of great composer. (Sterling Morrison also took shots at FZ which I also discount more than Cale's)

As others have said in this thread, John Cale's hatred of FZ dates to long before Thing Fish. He always seems to come back to dwelling on FZ's "relationship to music". I remember that Cale once said something like (paraphrasing) "Zappa doesn't care about music; he uses it as a weapon". But from his autobiography ("What's Welsh for Zen") he pretty much admits that the antipathy goes back to 1966 and the MOI/VU interaction but again he tries to "intellectualize" the hatred by focusing on the "relationship to music" angle:

Quote:
Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention opened for us at the Trip and Zappa immediately started putting us down on stage. He went out of his way to be silly and offensive. He really didn't know how to be any other way. He took full advantage of what we were doing. And it was a great band, the original Mothers. But there was something that really bothered me about Zappa's relationship with music. I thought, here was a man who really did nothing to make you want to like him, who did nothing that made you want to love music. Having been forced to learn music, the guy was so conflicted about his father and that strict regime that he would turn around and spit in the face of an art form. Behind this tremendous sense of humour was a scathing, sarcastic attitude towards music. And really the best part of music is how you get people to work, get people around you to enjoy it and how user-friendly music is to people


From the same autobiography, he implicitly admits the real reason for his hatred"

Quote:
For us the second half of 1966 was characterized by frustration. We could not understand why Verve were not planning to release our album any time in the near future. They blamed the delay on problems with printing the sleeve, which featured Warhol's peelable banana. Then they said they'd lost one of the master tapes. However, Verve did manage to release the Mother's of Invention's first album, Freak Out, also produced by Tom Wilson, which annoyed us intensely. Later the promotion department took the attitude "Zero bucks for VU, because they've got Andy Warhol; let's give all the bucks to Zappa"


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:31 am 
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Whenever I read any quotes from the Velvet Underground trashing Frank, it really reeks of juvenile "scene" rivalry to me. The book Please Kill Me describes VU's first trip out to L.A. and how Lou Reed was really pissed off to see that The Mothers were already doing stuff on stage that they had been doing in NYC.

John Cale is full of shit. Every one of Cale's criticisms could easily be thrown back at VU. Spitting in the face of an art form? Using music as a weapon? Didn't they proudly do that with stuff like "Sister Ray?" I like them as musicians, but everything I ever read about them makes them seem like the most detestable people on earth.

BTW, did you know that Moe Tucker is a Tea Bagger now? http://youtu.be/v30CZ_g2aqQ


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 5:04 pm 
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The way I always saw it is the VU were "art fucks" who took themselves W-A-Y too seriously!
No sense of humour! Dressed all in black and acted very "important!"

Zappa and the Mothers were all about the exact opposite!!
Everything was a joke and it was all so DADA.

Frank was a true original and one of the most important composers of the 20th century!!
Music was EVERYTHING to him!

The VU were art fucks who were all about 'cool' and "image."

The MOTHERS "had fun with it."
They were the real thing.


"shall we take ourselves seriously?"


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:39 pm 
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jeddy wrote:
The VU were art fucks who were all about 'cool' and "image."

Well, I agree that John Cale's "analysis" of Zappa is a load of bollocks, and VU were to some extent about cool and image, art fucks or not. But they sure left some great music, and that's more important in the end than all the past bullshit.

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:52 pm 
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Hi,

I'm not really as well versed in the New York thing ... but there is one thing about NY that is not good ... it has a tendency to make people think that it is "great" because it sold so many pieces, and a place as big as NY, selling 100k, or 200k ... is more than 95% of all the bands across the whole country do, and yes, in a way that makes them bigger ... but not necessarily better!

But in America, the money is the power and the law and you buy it! ... maybe not today, but tomorrow you will!

As such, the "commercial" product is very strong and important and what drives an economy in the music business that is completely tied up in the media, making sure that their investment pays off and then some.

While I like some of the things that Lou Reed had, and I supposed I could appreciate some of the stuff in the Velvet Underground catalogue, in the end, I find it a bit too self conscious and not "free" to enjoy, appreciate and do something. Kinda weird, since one of their most important folks around them, Andy Warhol, was a total free form nut on anything he did ... EXCEPT the pastiches of color that he did! But his films and other works are more about ... "it" and "is" than they are about anything like Marylin or Campbell's ... which is the side that made him famous ... guess what ... the commercial thing comes alive ... he's now a millionaire and can do anything he wants! His image is more important than the art! ... I did not find the music scene in NY that great, when compared to what was happening in San Francisco, LA and Chicago .... both of which had highly active "hippy" music, that NY was too stuck up and self consicous, or more than likely, too controlled by the media ... to appreciate something that was not "theirs". It can't be as good as ours and here come all the rock music writers ... making sure they intelectualize something that was not there! ... in fact, that is what Burroughs was about, isn't it? ... even James Baldwin is more than that! But for a NY'r, the Caseys and the California thing was for bums and hippies and idiots ... not for people! And I'm not sure that is right or good.

But of course, here we are trashing NY'ukkers! But you wanna see something funny? .. check out Wayside's wannabe Frank copies that they release all the time ... it's sad and pathetic and I guess copying with a different instrument is the sincerest form of flattery! ... I think that the most original thing that NY had was The Ramones, and I'm not sure they were that original ... I really thought the Velvets were much more interesting and so was Lou later! Then Laurie and Patti ...

And the main issue with the "artists" in America, is that the media has made it so combative, that America has 4 major scenes, and they are so separate as to make it almost completely different countries, and they do not care, or appreciate the others in this same country ... and the lack of respect HURTS all of us and the art form. America is a big place ... and there are going to be a few different things in it ... you could say ... there is NY, then Chicago, then SF then New Orleans and then Memphis/Nashville ... and that's like 5 completely different countries ... but we are not capable of saying ... it's all music, it's art ... but we are not smart enough to say that ...

I don't care that John is playing stupid or that Frank said something silly ... it's all about "America" and it's our expression and there is no right or wrong, or whatever Frank thought at the time, and I think he knew that ... and was probably saying it, because he over heard someone say 5 minnutes earlier how great JC was!

Maybe I'm seeing too much into this, but I have to tell you that JC never got my attention as much as Frank did ... but I have not, also, listened to JC as much as I have Frank to be fair.


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:54 pm 
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Wanker. (John Cale that is, and I never would have thought that if I hadn't read his comment ... pathetic .... )

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 10:13 am 
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some artists prop up the serious side and others piss all over it.

It comes down to personal expression.
Frank liked to piss all over it.
Sometimes he would piss all over his own art.
(and that's all the critics seemed to see)

In the end I don't think he would even say what he was doing was 'art.'


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 1:06 am 
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jeddy wrote:
some artists prop up the serious side and others piss all over it.

It comes down to personal expression.
Frank liked to piss all over it.
Sometimes he would piss all over his own art.
(and that's all the critics seemed to see)

In the end I don't think he would even say what he was doing was 'art.'


In Thing-Fish he had his artists pissing all over the critics --

Zappa's ideas about the status of his own work changed through the course of his career. He undoubtedly had artistic ambitions in the beginning, but became suspicious of the term 'art', and came to view it as a hollow concept. For a long period, he insisted that his stuff is mere entertainment, not to be confused with 'higher' forms of self-expression, such as 'art'. Check out the Perfect Stranger liner notes for a particularly succinct expression of this attitude.

I believe Zappa continued developing his ideas to the end, and have seen an interview from the Nineties which suggests that he knew that his form of expression was as personal and artful as any established art form.

But he was still suspicious of the art world rhetoric, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:01 am 
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All I can say is:

Pot, may I present kettle!


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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 12:17 pm 
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cyst-array wrote:
All I can say is:

Pot, may I present kettle!


With Cale as pot and Zappa as kettle, I presume.

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Dark Clothes wrote:
cyst-array wrote:
All I can say is:

Pot, may I present kettle!


With Cale as pot and Zappa as kettle, I presume.


Although Zappa did admit to trying pot on several occasions

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:30 pm 
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Here's the article http://thereisasite.blogspot.com/2010/11/john-cale-hates-frank-zappa.html
They're just very different musicians, so it makes sense that John doesn't like Frank. Pisses me off that he tries to analyse someone as complex as Frank in such plain terms (i suspect he's probabbly projecting his own past experiences and conclusions) but he's giving his point of view, what did you expect? he's into those 10 minute drones. :wink: He has some good foot tapping tunes i guess.

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:55 pm 
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Who gives a shit? I like both. Lots of people hate both Frank and John Cale. It doesn't matter one bit to anybody. I wouldn't listen to Cale or Frank if they told me some band was shit. It's called personal taste. Just enjoy the music you like.

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:16 pm 
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optional entertainment :smoke:

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 Post subject: Re: John Cale
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:17 am 
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Guy Cool wrote:
I can't quote verbatim, but...


sounds a bit dodgy to me. I love both their music. can't imagine cale not appreciating at least some of frank's music.


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