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Live at Rockpalast Forum, Leverkusen, Germany 3rd November, 2008
Live Overseas
Raven Songs 101
Side Three
Side Two
Side One
Inner Revolution
Coming Attractions
Salad Days
Desire of the Rhino King
Young Lions
Desire Caught By the Tail
Mike Garson, Adrian Belew, Gerry Leonard, Gaby Moreno, and 1 more… at TivoliVredenburg (January 17, 2018)
Venue: TivoliVredenburg (Utrecht, Netherlands) Find tickets
Adrian Belew Oct 18, 2017
speaking of speakers, I’ve had two of these baby dual 5” speaker Rolands since the late 80’s. they have a pull-out “warp” knob which creates an angry big fuzz for such a diminutive fellow. believe it or not this amp is responsible for the fuzzy guitar in I Am What I Am from the Young Lions record. I used a large metal file on the strings to create the guttural, almost animal-like sounds. not as useful for a pure clear tone but unusually big. it’s called an MG-10.
Adrian Belew Oct 17, 2017
about my choking incident last night, I am going to take that post down now. I am a little embarrassed to even have mentioned such a thing when there are so many people in the world who are truly suffering. last night I was so shaken by it. today I have a sore throat. silly. but thanks for all the supportive and informative comments and no worries, I always have chewed my food thoroughly which is why I’m usually the last to finish dinner. (or maybe it’s because I talk too much). like the song from FLUX says, “enjoy every minute”.
Adrian Belew Oct 17, 2017
by the way, tonight at home around 10:30 I nearly choked to death. both leah and martha gave me the heimlich and I threw up afterwards. had I been alone I’d be gone. the most frightening experience I can remember.
Adrian Belew Oct 16, 2017
some of you have asked for a picture of my first electric guitar, a Gibson Firebird. I bought it used at Hughes Music in Erlanger, Kentucky. they allowed me to pay $10 a week on it for 17 weeks. that’s right, $170! originally the guitar had a tobacco sunburst finish but someone painted it. (maybe I did, I can’t remember!) you can see how heavily modified the pickup setup was. that was done by my friend Seymour Duncan who lived in Greater Cincinnati for a while before he became a world-famous pickup designer. Seymour was an amazing guitarist back then. he fooled with different pickup combinations because what I really wanted was the sounds of a stratocaster. but that firebird had some unique tones of its own. so what happened to it? the disco rage happened. and for a while it was difficult to get live shows for bands anymore. all the clubs had converted to being discos. that’s when I met two guys, Barry Howell and Dave Rumpke, who were making great money playing in the Holiday Inn lounge circuit. Barry remembered me as the drummer for the denems and asked me to join them as their drummer. you can clearly see from the photo how starving I was and the Holiday Inn gig came with free rooms and meals. so I sold my Gibson Firebird for $300 and bought a small Ludwig drum kit.
Adrian Belew Oct 15, 2017
last night in the car on the way back from dinner downtown my daughters and I talking about anagrams. no, not instagrams, anagrams. I regaled them with this tale about a very popular crimson song which involved an anagram. the 80’s King Crimson first began rehearsing and writing for what would become the 1981 Discipline record in Surrey England at Bill Bruford’s practice room in his house. it was there Robert and I began working hours every day crafting the interlocking guitar style so favored on those first records while Tony and Bill worked out their intricate rhythmic dance. I brought in a frantic jangly guitar riff for a song which would eventually be called Thela Hun Ginjeet. a strange name for a song. so how did it come about? in 1980 I was on tour with Talking Heads. we were in europe. it was winter. it was evening and we were boarding an airplane from the rear, walking up the outdoor stairwell was strange enough to begin with but then I overheard someone say John Lennon had been shot in New York City. it was believed he was dead. I was in shock! a Beatle dead?! John?!! our plane landed in Amsterdam where John and Yoko staged their infamous “bed-in” for peace. Amsterdam was blanketed in a thick fresh snow. it was nighttime and beautifully peaceful. I thought, “how ironic”. then we checked into the same hotel the bed-in had been staged in, the Amsterdam Hilton. how ironic can it get? I began writing a song about someone being assaulted in new york. the working title was “Heat In The Jungle” about someone being molested in a big city. heat being someone with a gun, the jungle being the city. that was the song with the frantic jangly guitar intro. I told robert my idea for the lyric and he was excited but he didn’t like the title. I said I’d figure out something else. after a very fruitful few weeks of creating this new version of crimson we parted ways and I flew home. soon it was time to regroup for King Crimson Round Two. as I packed for the flight back to england it occurred to me to take the Scrabble pieces for the words Heat In The Jungle on my 8-hour plane flight. on the flight I kept scrambling those pieces into anagrams. when I liked one I wrote it in my notepad. eventually I had a good-sized list. the anagram which I could hear myself singing to the music was Thela Hun Ginjeet. it sounded african, like the music itself, and a tad dangerous somehow. so the title Thela Hun Ginjeet is an amagram of Heat In The Jungle. synchronistic that when we finally recorded the song in a studio in england an incident much like the lyric itself happened to me on the streets of london. but that’s another story. photo by Bill Coupon.
Adrian Belew Oct 15, 2017
tonight I came home and walked in the door to this! Leah’s incredible self-inflating T-Rex costume! GRRRRRRR!
Adrian Belew Oct 14, 2017
please note: concerning CDB shows without me, if you will post your name, the name of the venue, and how many tickets you want a refund for I will give this information to the management and we will get it done. sorry for your troubles. please keep in mind the show will still be fabulous without me.
Adrian Belew Oct 13, 2017
someone reminded me of this lip sync performance from Peter’s Pop Show in 1989. I hadn’t seen it in years. boy, do I need lip sync lessons! still, this is such a great song. Mike Oldfield was the first person ever to call me to be a singer on a record. I didn’t even bring a guitar! (Mike is a great player himself). we recorded at Mike’s beautiful home studio in a lush area of the english countryside. he and his producer brought me in for one particular song which I did. they didn’t think I would be the right singer for this song “Holy” but I asked to give it a try. they were surprised at the result, which garnered me and Mike a gold record in germany. now you have my permission to go ahead and comment about my fabulous hair style.
Adrian Belew Oct 12, 2017
here is a different angle for an interview: a psychologist interviews two senior “avatars”. “just lie over here on the couch, mr. belew, and make yourself comfortable.”
Adrian Belew Oct 11, 2017
in 1978 I made my first trip to japan as the guitarist for david bowie. I have been back 19 times now and I’m just as excited and mesmerized by japan as I was the first time. our concerts in tokyo were shown live on tv to approximately one quarter of the nation (about 25 million people) which means one out of every four japanese watched me prance around the stage with david bowie while playing guitar showcases like “stay” and “station to station”. instant stardom. one of those people was a dear sweet funny and brilliant man named Mr. Kakehashi. he and I liked each other very much right from the start. so I was invited to tour the Roland Corporation with its president and inventor Mr. Kakehashi. Roland is the world’s large manufacturer of musical instruments. in my opinion more than any other company they have changed the face of modern music. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t used their products. I certainly have. at Roland Mr. Kakehashi and his assistants walked me through one of their large research and development factories. everywhere you looked there were products being taken apart and analyzed by their engineers. but mostly they were inventing things no one else had even thought of. we came to a stop in front of a small orange cube on a table. Mr. Kakehashi explained to me this was their next generation of guitar amps, the Roland Cube. “but it’s so small,” I said. his assistants suddenly produced a guitar and plugged me into the Cube. “play, please?” “sure”. I started playing and was amazed at the amount of sound coming from this little amp. “it sounds like a Marshall stack!”, I said. Mr. Kakehashi was laughing and obviously happy at my approval. “it is not ready for market yet, but soon,” he said. I said, “how much will it cost?” they didn’t know its price yet. he said, “you like?” I said, “I like it very much!” Mr. Kakehashi laughed, threw his arms in the air, and said, “PRICE GOES UP!!” if you ever bought a Roland Cube amp I probably cost you a little extra money. sorry.
Adrian Belew Oct 10, 2017
here’s the Laney. it’s a Lionheart L5T-112.
Adrian Belew Oct 10, 2017
today I did something I never do. I went to Guitar Center and tried out amps (mostly vintage ones) for 3 hours! because of my quest to learn everything possible about foreign-made vintage guitars from the 60’s, I have naturally been lead to the very important next step: amplification. a Galanti Grand Prix made in Italy doesn’t sound much like the typical American guitar. it seems they depend more on certain types of amps to bring out their uniqueness. so... I took my Galanti (which has just been modified to bypass the “tone sucker” circuitry) into the store and began plugging into things. what I was hoping to find was a small vintage amp in good condition with one speaker and a price tag that wouldn’t choke a large horse. I started out methodically working my way through the smaller amps and soon found myself in the fat 4-figure world which is truly where the word “vintage” kicks in. yow! the prices for old beat up things! and to think of the things I should have kept. in truth I have kept SO MUCH, which is why I pay the rent equal to a nice 2-bedroom home every month just to have 3 storage rooms of things I never see or touch. early on in my search I realized two things: a) Italian guitars love Fender amps, and b) the most recent lines of Fender amps sound as good, no, even better than the old tattered ones. my process of elimination would have looked hilarious as one of those sped-up films. for hours I was running around plugging into everything. I nearly plugged into the ear of an earnest young man who was feverishly playing Standard Guitar Lick #19 over and over. in the end it came down to a very nice new-ish Fender Reverb or a surprise amp I knew nothing about called a “Laney”. they both mated perfectly to the Galanti. I chose the british-made tube amp Laney mostly because it had a Celestion 12” speaker, which was something I was hoping for. $600. I will have to wash dishes at home for weeks. I still want the Fender Reverb but maybe one of my old buddies from Fender will take pity on me and send one my way. since I started this “vintage 60’s guitar safari “ I have started writing guitars pieces with a specific sound in mind. hopefully I now have it.
Adrian Belew Oct 04, 2017
when I get interested in a new subject I tend to exhaust it by finding out everything I possibly can. recently Italian-made electric guitars from the 60’s have come on my obsessive radar. following loads of research I can now say I know a good deal about them. so much so that my searching resulted in purchasing this 1965 Galanti Grand Prix. after hearing the sound of parisian guitarist JL Prades’s Galanti Jetstar I had to have something similar. one curious thing, in order to get the sound JL has, you have to bypass two capacitors inside the guitar. wiring surgery which I will leave to my expert Joe Glaser. the condition of the Galanti is pretty close to that of the Crucianelli PANaramic and it works perfectly, keeps tuning, and plays well. together they make two of a perfect pair.
Adrian Belew Oct 03, 2017
despite a sad day of horrific events I just had a half-an-hour textfest with my buddy Billy Bob Thornton which restored light into my life. Billy B knows Tom and was close to Harry Dean. it's amazing how uplifting a friend can be.
Adrian Belew Oct 02, 2017
it seems so often now someone I know or have met is falling off the earth, it's getting very uncomfortable and a bit scary. this is me and Tom Petty last October 23 at the Parnelli Awards. RIP Tom, so many people loved you while you were here.
Adrian Belew Oct 01, 2017
with all the ruckus of the last two weeks I was unable to express my sorrow at losing my friend and fellow Kentuckian Harry Dean Stanton. we hung out a few times over the years. he reminded me so much of my fathers side of my family, I felt instantly at home with him. he was born a year after my father. he could have been my uncle. Harry Dean was a very special person, the type of person one rarely meets. although he often portrayed criminals, I think he was an angel. there was something about him I was so drawn to. he died at 91 after a remarkable acting career. wiki him and you'll be amazed. Harry also played guitar and loved to sing. ironically he was there the night Stewart and I first played together (1986?) at an event in San Francisco featuring rock music in films. he performed the music from Paris, Texas with Ry Cooder. the man was full of greatness and humor. I will truly miss you Harry Dean.
Adrian Belew Sep 29, 2017
PLEASE NOTE: concerning the Celebrating David Bowie tour dates which were just announced: I am definitely doing the shows in the UK Europe and I'm very excited about it. however, Gizmodrome intends to be touring early next year as well and our rehearsals in Milan are now booked for February and early March. (can you imagine shuffling all these schedules? phew!) long story short this means I am unable to do the US part of the CDB tour. the CDB band is meant to be a "revolving" lineup with guest artists coming and going. I hope to be a guest artist for more of the shows later in the year as my schedule allows. It is sure to be a fabulous show in celebration of the entire span of Bowie's work, just as it was earlier this year. I look forward to being there as often as possible. I'm sorry it has taken this long for the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place, but that's how this business goes. ok?
Adrian Belew Sep 29, 2017
and from the front. I love the 1959 grill treatment which looks like custom cars of the 50's.
Adrian Belew Sep 29, 2017
today I spent the whole day writing a new song on my Italian Crucianelli guitar. maybe it will work for Gizmodrome. meanwhile, dinner time in the tbird at the mexican. yeeeha!
Adrian Belew Sep 29, 2017
Ahmet Zappa issued the following statement to Pollstar of behalf of the ZFT, “I respect that Denny Walley and Adrian had a change of heart since we last spoke, but my hope is that once they see the artistry of the technology, how it honors my father and provides an incredible Zappa experience, they’ll change their minds – they’re the best and the door is always open for them to come back.” so there you have it. just for the record my decision to decline had more to do with my already overstuffed schedule and the need to keep creating my own new music than anything else. the end.
Adrian Belew Sep 26, 2017
those of you who don't subscribe to the "trollistic" doctrine sure are nice people. last week I made a new friend of a facebook follower named Steve Steinhauer. he and his wife joined us for dinner at cinco de mayo and surprised me with a gift. the 1964 Crucianelli PANoramic electric guitar pictured here. (thanks steve!) it plays amazingly well, sounds great, stays in tune, and is in terrific condition as you can see. the only thing amiss is the proper twang bar. I have searched the net for information about this italian guitar maker and found they started as an accordion company in late 1800's and ended up making guitars for Vox during the 60's music explosion. if anyone can fill in more details about this guitar (or any 60's italian-made guitars) I would be happy to take you to dinner at cinco too!
Adrian Belew Sep 26, 2017
Adrian Belew Sep 25, 2017
Voted Most Likely To Recede. pictured here is my name tag from our Boone County High Class of '67 reunion. it's my senior year picture. boy, look at that hair! my classmates were wonderful. a good-looking bunch too! I predict longevity for the class of '67. everyone was super nice and many of them congratulated me on my work and especially the oscar. I look forward to our next outing.
Adrian Belew Sep 25, 2017
here are my final thoughts on the entire Zappa affair: respectfully count me out. I will not be playing Zappa music in the foreseeable future in any situation. this whole thing is far too caustic and divisive. I will say I have always admired Dweezil for playing his father's music and playing it so damn perfectly. I remember time spent with young Moon and how much I really liked her. recently I met Diva for the first time (she works on Billy Bob Thornton's tour) and she was very nice to me. though I have yet to meet Ahmet in person, he too has been nice to me. earlier this year he asked me to write liner notes for the upcoming Zappa Halloween box set and he treated me respectfully. I do know one thing: Frank loved his family. I have many positive creative things to do. I hope you all will enjoy them. none of them will have anything to do with the current Zappa universe, but I will always revere and love Frank.
Adrian Belew Sep 24, 2017
if you ask a girl to marry you and she says, "I will consider it" she DID NOT say YES. in fact she only said she will think about it.