Tuesday, March 11, 2008

John Cale - I've Got a Secret

Check out this astonishing footage from 1963 of John Cale appearing on an American game show called I've Got A Secret.

It quickly transpires that Cale's secret is that he participated in an avant garde performance of Erik Satie's Vexations which involved 10 pianists playing the same piece of music 840 times. John Cage was one of the other participants. The full performance lasted 18 hours and 40 minutes.

What's noticeable is that despite being on a tacky panel show and at times even being laughed at, Cale remains uber-cool throughout. A little over 12 months after this programme was recorded he would co-found the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed.

Special thanks to Rhys Davies from Cardiff who alerted me to this jaw-dropping piece of film. It is one of the most interesting collisions of pop culture and the avant garde I think I have ever seen.