JOHN CALE – a bunch of live stuff…
Here’s three different live shows spanning almost fifteen years by the great Welshman. I have no idea what year the first set with Nico comes from, cure since I was provided with hardly any info on it when I first got it. My guess is earlier-rather-than-later ’70s, since the material heavily leans on Nico’s post-”Chelsea Girl”/pre-”The End” period, when Cale produced “The Marble Index” and “Desertshore”.
The second is from Stockholm, Sweden, in ’75, with guest lead guitar by Chris Spedding.) It opens with the really strong track “Autobiography”, which (I think) doesn’t appear on any Cale studio album. It’s one of his strangest, since it really is a song all about just him (I dig the lines “My name is Cale/you can call me John” and “Don’t come from near/don’t come from west/I come from Wales”). I also found it interesting that “Mercenaries”, which appears on the live album “Sabotage” from ‘79, was in his repertoire as early as four years prior. This set also features a truly wretched cover of The Doors’ “Love Me Two Times”, but we’ll forgive him –
The third and final set is from German TV’s “Rockpalast” from ’84 — and my download of it here is unfortunately incomplete. Again, Cale starts it all off with “Autobiography”, and the funny thing is there’s ten years in-between this set and the previous one above — and yet, the two different performances of the song sound EXACTLY the same. Righteous! The one-two punch of this lead-off next to the song “Oh La La” make this set the best out of all three I’ve included here.
NOMEANSNO – live in Rome, Italy, 06.30.88
A truly great and unusual thing about this set is that their cover of Joy Division’s “Transmission” is virtually indistinguishable from any live recording of Joy Division doing it! Magic, on top of the already-awesome Nomeansno-ness to it.
LITTLE RIVER BAND – live in Melbourne, Australia, 1983
It’s unusual for me to post something from a band like this, but with Little River Band, there’s a nostalgic appeal for me. LRB were an Australian band who managed to crack the tough outer shell of the American market in the ’70s with their particular brand of smooth blather; my father was a modest fan of theirs. The audio from this was taken from a bootleg DVD of a concert recorded for broadcast on HBO in ‘83, back when singer John Farnham (who at the time enjoyed a successful Aussie solo career) was recruited to front the band. When it first aired, my father taped it, and would drag it out often to rewatch it. I grew attached to this recording when I found the tape a few years ago lurking in a closet, and rewatched it myself. Their studio albums are mostly awful, but some of these live renditions are fun. Of note is the funky track simply called “D”.
When I originally posted this on Post-Punk Junk, a reader accused me in a comment post of having gone “yacht rock.” I guess now I’m double yacht.