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April 28, 2007



this is far more enjoyable then the zappa segment, imo/
the "flow" of cages performance was riviting, the audience seemed into it, even if only on a superficial level/ good stuff!


I was applauding at the end of it, thanks for the post.


wow. the performance left me speechless. what an amazing find. pretty doubtful we'd ever see something like this on "modern" commercial television


the one word I would use to describe that is "delightful" which sounds silly, but it was.

Cage is so disarming, the quote "I prefer laughter to tears" is perfect, it puts the audience in a good frame of mind to witness the performance.

I agree that it was better than the Zappa performance on Steve Allen, but Zappa was young and just wanted to get on the show, so I suspect his composition for bicycles and orchestra was written more as a "hook" to get Steve Allen's attention, whereas Cage's piece was typical of what he had been doing for years, with no TV shows in mind.

Andy Zax

"I've Got A Secret" was by far the most free-wheeling and iconoclastic of all the '50s/'60s panel shows (perhaps not coincidentally, it was also the highest-rated). The show had shockingly hip musical taste during this period. In addition to the John Cage piece, the show also featured performances by Jean-Jacques Perrey and a very young John Cale.

fatty jubbo

I love the mechanical fish on the piano strings!


I don't think they treated him like a freak; the host just seemed pretty aware that the most of the audience had never seen anything like this before, and wanted to prepare them for what they were about to see.

The performance was fantastic, and yes, very funny. The whole knocking-the-radios-off-the-table bit is perfect. So very cool.

Dale Hazelton

Close your eyes and just listen, and Cages piece is incredibly atmospheric. The intrusion of man, the 4 radios playing would have been great. "I've Got a Secret" was a staple in our house when I was growing up, that and "Truth or Consequences". I think Gary Moore was one of the best MCs ever, always accommodating, giving the stage over to his guests and his celebrity panel, yet very witty in his own right. It's sad that great television like this, and shows like Grouchos "You Bet Your Life" could never be made again.


Thanks for sharing this video is greate for study and others artistics projects, i consider put this in YouTube because this documents are very important for others people who dont have Quiktime or other video players:

Vic Perry

Does anybody have - or know where to find - any of the famous Cage appearance on an Italian game show (famous because it was described in "The Bride and the Bachelors")?


i am actually glad the radios werent playing all at once... it wouldve simply been a mess of sound that the audience mightve viewed as representive of the whole cage approach ... namely , a messly mess of nonsense :>) hmm, i'm also thinking the bit about the radios not being plugged in mightve been part of the piece? either way, a great clip!


Brilliant. The audience may have laughed, but the ambiance and shape that Cage gave this work is masterful.

Dawn Tinto

Water Walk John Cage ... truly fantastic to see and hear this:-)))))))))))))
Love youse,


Great video! I'm now more determined than before to find the mysterious 1959 Cage partecipation to "lascia o raddoppia" (double or nothing), the italian quiz show hosted by Mike Bongiorno.

I haven't found it yet, but I really tried hard. I know few people who saw this (in)famous performance (Cage played three different pieces during his five appearences at the italian show) and they described it as fantastic! Unfortunately any of these guys recorded it.

I hope to post it here or on YouTube one of these days! In the meantime, thanks again for who shared and posted this great clip!



Thanks for sharing this video! I'm from Italy and I have been trying to find the "lascia o raddoppia" (double or nothing) clip for months. Unfortunately I haven't it yet.

John Cage was there for five weeks (five thursdays in January 1959) and answered to mushrooms questions, but I guess everybody knows about it. He also performed three pieces of his, one of which was "water walk", the same in the above video.

I spoke with people who saw the italian video ten years ago or something and they said it was fantastic! Toobad any of these guys had recorded it.

I hope to find it one of these days and share it here and on YouTube. The only related things available online are a pic of Cage with the host (Mr. Mike Bongiorno) and part of the dialogue between them (during the last episode Cage partecipated).


Samuel Vriezen

squarepuller: the sound of five radios playing at once is in fact usually more transparent than you might think. In Imaginary Landscape nr. 4 Cage had 12, and it's in fact a rather modest sounding work.


And here is a RealAudio link (from David Suisman's show of 29 July 02) to Cage's "Radio Music" (from the Italian Anthology label's great Fluxus Anthology) -- sublime, and, yes, "more transparent than you might think," and apparently performed in Italy, to boot.


This was great. Thanks.

Johnny Chang

WELL-RIPPED Station Manager Ken !! thanks....


Is noise musical?


Is music noisy?

john cage

If a truck drives by a music school, is that music?


I was lucky enough to see a performance of prepared piano and other pieces at the Whitney back in 77. He was a treasure.


Wow! And now we have American Idol. How much further can we regress?


Awesome video, he really didn't get on TV a lot. Wish the radios would have worked. What was the deal with the union dispute - is that real or was he being facetious??

"Where the bird flies, fly" - Cage

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