Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend

“There’s a phrase in the that kind of pulls the song together. There’s a movie called Donnie Brasco and Al Pacino in that has this phrase that keeps going through the whole movie, “forget about it.” Is soon as he says it you just assume that everything is true. So life and death are things you do when you’re born, you just assume that that’s true.”John Cale (1042)

Dying On The Vine

“It’s about a change of lifestyle. It’s autobiographical.”John Cale (1042)

Antarctica Starts Here

“It’s just a cocaine song.”John Cale (1081)

Taking Your Life In Your Hands

“With the first song, ‘Taking Your Life In Your Hands’, you’re talking about a mother who’s being put away for homicide of a child and she’s talking to her children.”John Cale (1082)

Model Beirut Recital

“That guy at the beginning, the Palestinian, says, Beirut, you’re a whore and you’ve been raped. I spit on you… And the rest of it is just Israeli back-chatter. It was a pretty considered effort to deal with an obnoxious subject in a passionate, sympathetic way. That laconic edge had to be there. Singing with an Arab accent, poking fun at it.”John Cale (1083)

Strange Times In Casablanca

“Uh, yeah, and ‘Strange Days In Casablanca’ [Spanish: casa = house, blanca = white – Ed]. It’s really about, well, camels, limousines and taxis, about financing arms deals through the Vatican. How convoluted do you want me to be? P2…”John Cale (1083)

Last Day On Earth (The Album)

“‘Last Day’ is crowded – it has a lot of people in it. There is a community of mood or feeling from the people that are there, that is always present in every song. Superficially, I was thinking of it as a kind of a Brechtian landscape, and there were also elements of Blade Runner in it. There’s a contradiction between all the longing that’s going on – the lonesome kind of qualities – and the fact that it’s a crowded piece, all the songs are sung by different characters. It’s not so much pre or post Apocalypse. It’s suspended time. It may look as if it’s in one place, but slowly you find yourself in a kind of Sargasso sea: you can’t move anywhere, it’s not really the time it pretends to be…”John Cale (1084)


“That’s kind of a James Bond story.”John Cale (1084)

Music For A New Society (The Album)

“It’s about the forces that work against an individual succeeding at anything, I guess. It’s about heroes of all sorts: women who are in jail…”John Cale (1084)

Mercenaries (Ready For War)

“It was the post-Vietnam era, and we were running into a lot of people with Agent Orange afflictions, and obviously these people had nothing to lose. They’re sick of everything around them and they’re sick and that’s it. The feeling of danger from those people… you know, the wild card.”John Cale (1085)