- Covered Up: A slightly unusual case, in that it's his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" that forms the basis for just about every cover of the song to follow.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: He could be considered one for the Velvet Underground, as there are a lot of people who think the band went downhill after he left, and even people who like the Doug Yule records generally admit that Yule didn't do as much for the band's sound as Cale did (although Yule also usually averts being a Replacement Scrappy). Cale has also been credited by one of the engineers of the album as the de facto producer of The Velvet Underground & Nico, since he was ultimately responsible for a lot of the arrangements (and therefore, the band's sound), but Cale himself defers and says Tom Wilson was the real producer of the album, as well as the best producer the band ever had.
- Never Live It Down: The "Croydon Chicken Incident" in 1977. He chopped a chicken's head off on stage in the middle of "Heartbreak Hotel" and threw it into the crowd, where it landed in someone's drink. Two of his band members, who were vegetarians, quit on the spot. It's come up in almost every interview he's given since.note
YMMV / John Cale