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Rock legend John Cale, whose musical influence was first felt almost four decades ago with Lou Reed in the Velvet Underground and who has recorded 22 solo albums while producing the likes of the Stooges, Squeeze, Nick Drake and Patti Smith, appears in a free show at Hendrix College’s Staples Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 4.
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Cale and his band are touring in support of his latest CD release on EMI, “blackAcetate.”
The show is part of the Hendrix Special Events series, which in recent years has brought singer-songThe 13-track “blackAcetate” is a harder, contemporary rock album than other more pop-like recent Cale releases. Cale worked with Herb Graham Jr. (Macy Gray) and Mickey Petralia (Beck, Rage Against the Machine, Dandy Warhols, Eels) on the record. It sounds inspired by a range of music from L.A. hip-hop to funk, spiced by Wales native Cale’s vocals, which range from falsetto to a Jim Morrison-like depth.
The multi-instrumentalist, who has combined classical and avant-garde styles with contemporary punk and new wave, has made his musical imprint not only though his solo work, which included collaborations with an amazing variety of artists, but with his pioneering production. After meeting composer Aaron Copland in 1963, he won a scholarship to Boston University Orchestra’s Tanglewood summer school. By that fall he was living in New York, where he first collaborated with composers John Cage and LaMonte Young. He met Lou Reed in 1964, and their collaboration evolved into the Velvet Underground. Initially based out of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, they later ventured uptown into Andy Warhol’s experimental artspace, the Factory, and beyond. Cale left the Velvet Underground in 1969 and launched a solo career the next year. He returned in the 1990s to a new Velvet Underground collaboration with Reed. The Velvet Underground was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Cale is only appearing in 12 U.S. cities during the tour. Doors will open Friday at 7 p.m., and no reservations or advance tickets are required. For more information, call 501-450-4545.