J J Cale Video 'After Midnight'
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Mercury Records Biography, 1982.
A genuine home-grown roll-your-own Tulsa original, J.J. Cale qualifies for living-legend status. Although his songs, albums, and performances have been coveted by his peers and his fans for years, Cale sums himself up as "a guitar player who writes songs and makes demo records." Modesty notwithstanding, J.J. Cale has been called "the apostle of laid-back rock... perfecting a style blending elements of jazz, blues, and country-western." Melody Maker says of him, "Beneath the surface lies a native cunning of arrangement; while the notes may be few, they are chosen with unfailing aptness." The accolades for Cale come close, but the only true way to appreciate him is to hear his music. "Grasshopper," Cale's new Mercury/Polygram LP, overflows with musical riches, and may prove responsible for turning this modest master into a reluctant but certified star.
"When Eric Clapton recorded "After Midnight" it created a demand. When somebody has a hit song of yours, it opens a lot of doors for you -- you don't have to stand outside and knock anymore." Over the next few years, Cale shuffled home-bases among Tulsa, Nashville, and Los Angeles, all the while delivering classic LPs like "Naturally", "Really", and "Okie", as well as hit singles like "Crazy Mama", "Lies", and "Cocaine".
Cale has retained an astonishing degree of privacy and mystery about him over the years, which is, of course, the way he likes it: "When I first started getting money for music, I couldn't believe you got paid for doing it. Music is not a commodity. I never really wanted to be too famous. It's very uncomfortable."