John Cale reflects on his friendship with David Bowie in a new song, “Night Crawling”.
“I can’t even tell when you’re hooking me / We played that game before,” sings the former Velvet Underground member in a sonorous tenor over thick synthesizers, shimmering piano and jazzy drums. An animated video of the track, created by Mickey Miles, shows him with dark long hair, which he played in the seventies, swinging through a New York City bar with a constantly smoking Bowie.
“The past two years have been one hell of a thing and I’m happy to finally share a glimpse of what’s ahead,” Kale said in a statement. “This was the period in the mid-seventies when David and I would meet each other in New York. There was a lot of talk about doing some work, but of course we ran in the streets, sometimes until we Can’t keep a thought in your head, lets really get a song together!
“One night we managed to meet for a benefit concert where I taught her a viola part so we could perform together,” Kale continued. “When I wrote ‘Night Crawling,’ it was a reflective moment of special time. The kind of NYC that held art to its own, strong enough to keep it safe and dangerous enough to keep it interesting. I’ve always Thought the two of us would go one more time recording together, this time without forever interfering with our heads! Reality says it is a logical impossibility.”
Kale wrote “Night Crawling” and played synth, piano, drums and bass on it. The only other contributions come from former Mars Volta drummer Deantony Parks and vocalist Dustin Boyer, who has been collaborating with Kale since 2005.
“Night Crawling” is Kale’s first new musical — who turns 80 this year — since “Lazy Day,” which came out in late 2020. Kale will tour the UK this fall.