These experimental tapes from one of Velvet Underground’s founding members were thought to be lost to history until they were discovered in the possession of Tony Conrad, who performed and recorded with Cale as part of the Theatre of Eternal Music. In 2004 it was released by Table of the Elements as the massive 5 LP box set New York in the 1960s. “Summer Heat” comes off the first disc of that release, often referred to as Sun Blindness Music. Cale originally recorded this track in 1965, three years before Velvet Underground was formed, and the heavy distortion and use of repetition are characteristic of the Theatre of Eternal Music, although its members utilized a variety of instruments and recording methods. Angus MacLise, another member of the Theatre of Eternal Music, was living with Cale when he was recruited to join Velvet Underground. Maclise, Cale, and other members of both Velvet Underground and the Theatre of Eternal Music were heavily influenced by La Monte Young, who founded the Theatre of Eternal Music and ushered in a wave of minimalism in American music that still holds influence today. Below are some links if you are interested in learning more about this fascinating period in American music history.
Features an interview with La Monte Young where he describes his upbringing, musical training, and composition process as well as a lecture given in 1965 to the Halprin Dancer’s Workshop.
Unofficial John Cale fan site with lots of links & Cale-related resources.