Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Camel Looks So Tired




On February 13, 1978 Squeeze released their debut album. It wasn't just produced by John Cale. It was hijacked by John Cale, who apparently wanted the band to make a punk-rock concept album about body building. So out went the material  by songwriters who would soon be compared to Lennon and McCartney. Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook has to come up with new material on the spot. It's a great story but the resulting album isn't really anything to get excited about.



The boys have figured out a good way to respond to questions about Cale whose band, the Velvet Underground released an album that gave Squeeze its name. Here's Difford in New Times:

John Cale really was...not very talkative when we made a record with him. I was kind of there asking questions and probing him...but he wasn't very talkative. He would point in a direction and we would go, but he didn't make much small talk at the time. But just to be in the room as someone as famous as him at that time in my life was enough. I've got all his solo records, and still play them. I adore his eccentricity. 

I read something in Mojo Magazine that suggests he wasn't at his most lucid or productive time during the making of that record. Is that fair? 

 He was a bit off-pieced. But it didn't really matter. It was just great having them. Sometimes people can be in the room and just change the order of events just because they are there. Sometimes when people have been flying and they have jet lag, I get jet lag too just from being in the room with them. It just shows how powerful human personality can be really.


The band produced the U.K. Top 20 single "Take Me I'm Yours" themselves. Good call. Featuring Tilbrook singing high and Difford low, it's the best signifier of things to come, as opposed to "Bang Bang", a song they would most likely rather forget.


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