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- "The viola is the saddest of all instruments."
- "I learn from thinking about the future, what hasn't been done yet. That's kind of my constant obsession."
- "The avant-garde makes more sense to me."
- "I'm content with making records, but I don't want to be doing the same thing all the time."
- "The value of having a computer, to me, is that it'll remember everything you do. It's a databank."
- "If you're all loaded up on love, you haven't got anywhere else to go."
- "The only reason we wore sunglasses onstage was because we couldn't stand the sight of the audience."
- "When somebody grabs a movement, you're kind of locked into it. It's all par for the course."
- "Being a living legend is such a precarious livelihood. It’s like being a bar of soap in a shower which doesn’t have any water in it."
- "I use cracks on the sidewalk to walk down the street. I'd always walk on the lines. I never take anything but a calculated risk, and do it because it gives me a sense of identity. Fear is a man's best friend."
- "I am a ham. I've no business being rock 'n' roll. I've said it over and over again that I'm a classical composer, dishevelling my personality by dabbling in rock 'n' roll."
- "I'm bent on proving that you can make living as musician and not die young and crazy like Mozart."
- "I only hope that one day John will be recognized as … the Beethoven or something of his day. He knows so much about music, he's such a great musician. He's completely mad - but that's because he's Welsh."
- "John Cale is fantastic, and he made the sound of the Velvet Underground."
- "Never knew whether John Cale wanted to be Elvis Presley, Frankenstein's creature or the young Chopin."
- "John Cale is a fucking elitist. He did not like the people he was playing for. He's Welsh, and they're all nasty bastards."