John Cale, Amsterdam 1995

58 John Cale 1995

John Cale, Amsterdam Magazine, August 1995

John Cale didn’t show a lot of enthusiasm when I met him in an Amsterdam Hotel for a portrait shoot.
“Where do you want me?” he asked. “Do I look at you or do you want me to act natural, minding my own business?”

“Just stay where you are, we’ll see what happens.”

He was sitting on a bench in the garden of The Grand Hotel, reading a magazine.
The light was very flat, coming from all sides.
I made a couple of shots but didn’t like what I saw.
“Come over here.” I asked. “Stand in the doorway, just inside the building. We’ll have some more contrast. Looks much better.”
“Interesting,” he said. “Going into the dark to get a better picture. Usually it’s the other way round.”
He seemed to brighten up a little. More interested in what we were doing.
When I told him who my friends in New York were, a few years after he made his first recordings with Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, and Nico and the Velvet Underground, he was really surprised. He used to know them quite well.
“My God.” he said, laughing. “How the hell did you survive?”
“How did you?” I asked and pushed the button.
I was sure it was a wrap.


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