Trade in your item
Get a £9.50
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

What's Welsh for zen? : The life of John Cale Hardcover – 14 Jan 1999


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, 14 Jan 1999
£37.00
Paperback
"Please retry"
£35.00

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • When you trade in £15 or more you’ll receive an additional £5 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for the next time you spend £10 or more.


Trade In this Item for up to £9.50
Trade in What's Welsh for zen? : The life of John Cale for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £9.50, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (14 Jan. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747536686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747536680
  • Product Dimensions: 30.5 x 22.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 366,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

John Cale has been a presence on the New York art-punk-rock scene for more than 30 years. He is a classically trained rock musician, avant-garde composer, arranger, producer, film scorer and occasional fashion model, but he is best known as a founding member of the influential 1960s group The Velvet Underground. This searingly honest autobiography from one of the originals of rock music depicts the crazed and inspired times of this 56-year-old Welsh musician.

No ordinary tale of sex and drugs and rock'n'roll, Cale's story tells of a career working with such disparate artists as John Cage, Nico, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Squeeze, Brian Eno and Andy Warhol, and is sprinkled with revealing quotes from other survivors of the Factory era. Lou Reed is also a major player. The co-founder of the Velvets and Cale's sometimes collaborator, confidant and nemesis, Reed haunts this book from its opening lines. This book seems to be a form of therapy for Cale as he legitimises personal grievances, unpeels his emotions and reconciles the ghosts and demons that frustrate and drive him.

The essence of What's Welsh for Zen? is the question of style versus content and the book itself has a state-of-the-art design with the text presented in unusual formats combined with a huge selection of photographs, drawings, documents, letters and lyrics. --Jane Evans

About the Author

John Cale has led an extraordinary, often hilarious life at the cutting edge. A volatile personality, an innovative thinker and an expressive storyteller, he has wrestled with drugs, alcohol, and fame, yet is now at the peak of health and artistic achievement. He lives in New York City. Victor Bockris, a veteran chronicler of the Beats and the Factory, has worked closely with Cale to produce what will undoubtedly become one of the most vivid and revealing insights into the heart of the rock world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 6 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I thought this autobiography was very real and honest. An intimate and raw portrayal of a hugely creative man keeping head above water in a world where all that stands for 'reality' seems to him to be hazy - or at least that is my subjective impression. It is a very sweet inflection. And very revealing. The book is not only revelatory about the man, his contemporaries and their environment; but is a rock of sympathy and support by example for any creative person battling with the need to maintain their creativity, and to let it grow and survive in the real world. A surpisingly tender and inspiring read. John Cale: The human, the talent, and the struggle in between. The only slight drawback is that I felt the design style a little derivative, self-conscious and formulaic. This jars because it clashes with the originality of Cales own work. There are plenty of photos to feed the text however, which works very well.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Jan. 2005
Format: Hardcover
I devoured this book about one of my musical heroes and have found it good. It's not perfect though, I would have liked more background on some of the albums (people involved in the recording, events etc) especially Cale's work with e.g. Nick Drake. The editing is a bit sloppy. In one place early in the text, the title of a newspaper has just been left out, and Cale's collaboration with Bob Neuwerth is called Last NIGHT On Earth (it is DAY).
The chapters are: I Was Dreaming About My Mother 1942 - 60; Under False Pretences 1960 - 63; With La Monte Young In The Theatre Of Eternal Music 1963 - 65; A Radical Turn Of Events 1966 - 68; Flying Solo 1968 - 68 New York; Company Man 1971 - 73 Los Angeles; The Island Years 1973 - 75 London; In Dangerous Orbits 1976 - 80; The Terror Of The Moment 1981 - 85; Songs In The Key Of Collaboration 1986 - 90; Death Meets The Velvet Underground 1990 - 93; In Mortal Hope 1994 - 98.
At the start of the later chapters, some song lyrics are reproduced and the albums recorded in that period are listed. A proper discography at the end would have been preferable, and an index would have enhanced the value of the book as a reference source.
This autobiography provides valuable insights into John Cale's personal life and artistic development, and early reflections on Andy Warhol, The Factory and the legendary Velvet Underground. Great photographs and illustrations make for a very pleasing design. The book is certainly worthy of the man and his achievements.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
the book is something i wished for for years. now ....alot of direct quotes from articles over the years , perhaps some of it has become to hazy for mr. cale .some wrong names ,and alot of stuff out of order. wish there was a little more on the actual recording of the music.it was interesting to find out about some of the more personal things , like his marriges . anyone reading the book can easily enjoy the many music - biz stories from back when. .....
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback