Just in case you were wondering about the state of this 45-year-old sometimes-feud, it seems to still be alive and well. In between recent performances at BAM last week, John Cale sat down for an otherwise low-key interview with New York Magazine’s Mark Jacobson, and it got a little uncomfortable when talk turned to his old collaborator.
Specifically, when told that Reed has publicly mentioned the possibility of teaming up for a live show of their 1990 album Songs for Drella, Cale “stiffened,” then started ranting:
“Who does he think he is, thinking he can just put an item like that out there? Things like that do not happen just because you think it is a good idea. It takes a lot of work to get the songs ready for live performance. Most of those arrangements are out of date. They need to be redone. Lou doesn’t have the patience for something like that. Never. Not for a minute.”
He also noted, “The problem with the Velvets was always a conflict between doing revolutionary songs, like ‘Venus in Furs,’ and pretty songs.” Which, ouch. If that’s not a top-of-the-line, passive-aggressive artist jibe, I don’t know what is. But then again, so is publicly implicating someone in a publicity-grabbing project before actually consulting them about it in person (or at all).
So, anyway, seems like we’ll have to wait a while to see if anything actually comes of this. If they did get it together to collaborate on some live shows, well, that would be great and totally welcome, but if not, periodically complaining about each other in the press is a pretty acceptable option, too. Whichever works.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.