Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day, Jimmy Carl Black.

and all of you beautiful mothers out there
(especially my martha and my mother louise).
I greatly respect the amount of constant
sometimes thankless work you do
on behalf of the future of our world.
cheers to mother's everywhere!

now let the 20 questions begin...


  1. Hey Adrian,

    What's the meaning behind your comment on KC's Absent Lovers: "Heard any good jokes? We're working again"? Were you actually making more music at that point or was it a subtle hint about the band's outcome at the end of the show?

  2. When performing Dinosaur, do you always have at least a few premature clappers at the pregnant pause near the end? I love to blast that insane explosion that follows.

  3. RE: twenty questions

    I have a 70s-80s question, please. I thought at the time that there were many similarities between some of your music and that of the Talking Heads, e g that you and David Byrne sang in around the same register, that I could have seen "Thela Hun Ginjeet" done by the Heads and "I Zimbra" by Crimso, etc. I was wondering what the musical "cross-pollination" was like between you and the Talking Heads. Did you get interested in "x" from them, did you turn them on to "y?" Did you find that you had some common stylistic influences?

  4. My wife and I are due to have a child in September and we wanted to ask the All-Seeing All-Knowing Madame Mecca some advice about naming the child. We'll give you a choice of two names and let you decide.

    If the newborn is a boy the name could be Gene or Toby. If the newborn is a girl Verity or Grace. Which names should we choose Madame Mecca? Which name will bring them luck and love in their future lives?

    Alternatively, are there any musicians you haven't worked with that you'd really like to hook up with for a musiKc ProjeKct?

  5. What is Robert Fripp's middle name?

  6. Hey Adrian,

    Did you have anything to do with the Eno / David Byrne album My life in the bush of ghosts? I don't see your name on the credits, but it's like I can hear your influence on songs like Regiment.

  7. I think that the Slicks are one of the best rhythm teams I have ever seen or heard, and that their energy and enthusiasm may have a lot to do with why the Side 4 tunes sound so hot. My question is: Who are your favorite (rock) rhythm sections of all time? Cheers and thanks!

  8. what was the most important thing that you learned from working with Robert Fripp and vice-versa?

  9. Adrian,

    I've been listening to Inner Revolution a lot lately.

    Would you consider playing the title track, This Is What I Believe In, or Everything on your upcoming power trio tour?


  10. Hello Adrian! Thanks for the Mother's Day greeting. <3

    Question: You work in a heavily drug infested industry and I've wondered about your experience. You certainly look great so I guess your consumption must have been none to minimal! I wonder about your experiences, particularly with marijuana and psychedelics. Ever experiment?

  11. Forgetting about style of play or specific need, and of course endorsement deals, what is the ONE guitar that I should covet?

  12. DTM staff:
    well, you've stumped the madame already.
    I have no idea what you're talking about. I have never listened to Absent Lovers.

  13. kathleen:
    yes we always do. I like it that way. makes it more suspenseful.

  14. the count:
    at the time there seemed to be an shared interest particularily in changing song forms and african rhythms from many artist in the "innovative" community. hard to know who influenced who. in the 80's writers always pointed out the similarities been the tone of mine and david's voices. we were both skinny boys, I guess. but as singers: there are many things I've sung that I can't imagine david singing. (no offense, david)

  15. darren:
    the Madame is clear on this one: names beginning with the letter G are most often associated with Success even when the person is devoid of all possible redeeming factors. case in point: gene simmons.

  16. penston:
    he has no middle name. his mother was a minimalist.

  17. mark:
    I had nothing to do with that one, even though I was around at that time and had already worked with eno.
    I do remember chris and tina's alternate title for the record:
    "my life in the gush of boasts". that was the beginning of the giant rift which developed between the chris/tina and david/brian factions.

  18. morningstar:
    how many am I allowed?
    1. paul and ringo.
    2. bill and tony.

  19. adam:
    robert is a good mirror.
    he causes introspection.
    I have mostly learned things (for better or worse) about myself from robert. what he has learned from me I don't know.

  20. rheayes:
    "this is what I believe" is one of those songs I can't imagine david byrne being able to sing. in fact I can barely sing it. but it might be one to do. "everything" is a piano song.

  21. tickledrop:
    yes. and that's as much as I'd like to say.

  22. Hi Adrian. My question (and thankyou) is this: What is the technique you use called where you tap the strings on the guitar to produce a harmonic. I noticed you usually tap over the pickups.

    I've seen you do it (i think) on the RED video on youtube at around 44secs (

    With this, I was just wondering where you picked up the technqiue from or did you develop it yourself?

    Jon (England)

  23. You favourite Children's literature character (may also include animated productions) or a hero from your childhood (a fictional character would suit me most) :) ?

  24. joe:
    it would depend on what guitars you already have if any. in my case for example I already have very good strats and les pauls, rickenbackers, etc. so my choice would be a gretsch white falcon, something I've always wanted.
    but if you make me chose based on what I consider to be the very best guitar ever made, I chose the Parker Fly.
    hands down.

  25. sorry... i forgot an 'r' in 'your' at the beginning of my previous post. ;)

  26. Adrian, loved the Bears' Kiss It Goodbye download, especially with the bonus minute of the demo with a different chorus (bridge?) melody. I understand another Bears unreleased song, She Left Me, is upcoming as a Dust particle, but what about Wiser Idiots and Nobody Knows? I remember those being performed live frequently in 1985-86; were they ever recorded in the studio? demos?

  27. jdlh:
    I discovered it myself, but that's not to say someone else hadn't done it before. I move the pick to be held with my thumb and middle finger while touching the string lightly with my index finger. I move my hand up and down the string which pulls out different harmonics. it looks like it happens over the pickup because there is no need to move my hand further down the neck.

  28. mike zes:
    bugs bunny.
    and all of his pals.

  29. mike zed:
    that's okay, I misspelled "zed".

  30. scooob:
    first of all, I don't remember a song called "nobody knows". perhaps it has a different title?
    "wiser idiots" I remember well. it was never recorded in the studio but I once heard a nice live version of it. unfortunately I don't have it.
    "she left me" is coming up soon.

  31. It also looks very cool :) Thanks. I've tried myself but couldn't get it right. I'll give it a try now! Best.

  32. Adrian, as many as you wish. Those are two of mine. Other perennials: Mitch and Noel; Moonie and The Ox; Bill and JW; Pat and Trey; Bob and Deathie; Eric and Julie!

  33. hello again Adrian

    have you ever thought about working with an Architect to design your own house?

  34. morningstar:
    I agree with each and every one of your choices.

  35. tickledrop:
    I've thought a bit more about your question/comment. I firmly believe creativity keeps you younger. I wish everyone could have the outlets I have.

  36. Here are some lyrics from the song I referred to as Nobody Knows (which I assumed from the chorus) - these are probably way off, I'm going by a low-fidelity live audience recording, but maybe close enough to jog your memory:

    I get the gist of your question
    Dry your eyes ??? broken
    I'll make up some lies of my own
    Take myself out and go right on home

    I can't go back
    'Cause the fact is
    It's harder now
    I'm out of practice
    Tell me I'm writing this song
    All night long

    Nobody knows, nobody knows, nobody knows

    If I look like a professional
    I'm only green in a confessional
    I don't know why I don't eat
    People are so cruel and ??? so neat

    Nobody knows...
    It sounds so obvious, obvious, obvious...

  37. scooob:
    wow! now I'm truly intrigued.
    none of that sounds familiar.
    I'll run it by The Three Bears
    to see if they remember anything.

  38. The Madame Has Left The Building.
    it seems it's time to stop. thank you all for your time and interest. if there are any scragglers, go ahead and post and I'll try to answer later today.


  39. Thanks Madame for all the answers. Adrian, you are generous with your fans in many ways.

    I have uploaded an mp3 of the mystery Bears song I've been calling Nobody Knows. Have a listen, and if you want me to pull it down afterwards, just say so:

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. Here's a clickable link to the Nobody Knows mp3:
    Bears live 11/13/85

  42. I'm a scraggler - I got to go for brunch with my 12-year-old today. :) Which is a natural lead-in to my question: You seem like you have a very well-balanced life - you obviously value family and friends. So how do you get so much done? Are you one of those souls who need very little sleep?

  43. Hi Adrian,
    I'm sorry I missed all the fun this morning - I got caught up in work.

    BTW, I've made first contact with your agent, re the possibility of the ABPT playing a couple of gigs up here in Vancouver & Victoria, Canada. The groundswell of interest has already begun to make itself known (all you fans email me at, so hopefully I can get something happening here.

    My question: I have mentioned this is the past, but was not certain if you ever read it, but here goes...

    Would you ever consider doing an 'Unplugged/Up Close and Personal with the Acoustic Adrian Belew' type of DVD; a relaxed 'in your studio' style of concept, where you can play some pieces, whilst being able to give us a little insight into the thoughts and processes of your songwriting etc, thus allowing us to get a sense of the 'Man behind the guitar' so to speak. I think this would be a fantastic concept, one that would be a 'must have' for all of your fans.

    Thank you Adrian, for the opportunity to put forward my thoughts to you; as Scoob said earlier, you certainly ARE so very generous with your fans in many ways!

    Kindest regards,

  44. Hooray, scragglers!

    My question is -- Do you have hope for mankind's future on this planet? Your songs seem to have a lot of personal optimism and joy, but not much for the human race at large. Can you see us naked apes finding a way to live more harmoniously with each other and with the Earth?


  45. patti:
    no, I need as much sleep as the next guy. I'm just a hard worker who fortunately loves most of what he does. my wife martha takes care of 90% of the family needs. I do the cooking, grocery shopping, and the fun & games stuff, but she does the hard constant work.
    both of us often feel overwhelmed but we continue as best we can.

  46. belewboggfan:
    the up close and personal thing is something I would really like to do, but it's not the mode I'm currently in. thanks for the suggestion.
    more fitting is the suggestion of playing the Town Pump.
    that I can do.

  47. joe c:
    I'm sorry if I seem pessimistic. the human race just pisses me off with the things we do to each other and the ruination of our planet.
    underneath it all, I am an optimist.
    when I look the accomplishments of mankind I'm humbled and amazed.
    we naked apes can do anything we put our minds to. I mostly believe we will make a better world for future generations.

    because we have to.

  48. I found another version of the mystery song, supposedly a soundboard recording from a show at the Ritz, NYC, 11/22/85 (is this the show that Mick Jagger attended?). The lyrics are much clearer in this version - boy did I butcher them when trying to transcribe them earlier!
    Bears live 11/22/85

  49. Hi Adrian,
    Here's my question:

    Re: Dinosaur
    Is the 'clever predator' you refer to -
    a. a woman
    b. a record company

    Thanks for the insight.

  50. scooob:
    whenever I go to any of these you've sent I only hear the drum intro and that's it.
    sorry, but I still haven't heard a note of the song.

  51. belewhale:
    it's not a woman, but more the music business world at large.

  52. Is anyone else able to play the mp3 files I linked to above?

  53. scoob , just dl'ed em they play fine , thanks for the links !

  54. Scoob:

    I played the mp3 file w/o problem. (Mac platform)


  55. i know i am late , but after a close call involving a boating accident yesterday i feel that maybe the madame will shine her glorious wisdom down upon me in the form of psychic enlightenment. my quandry lies in the mystery of where did robert stephen learn how to drive? no just kidding. i really need to know what gauge picks does adrian belew use,srry gotcha again. i guess i had better go, i have wasted enough bandwidth for today. on that note , does the madame see a commissioned painting in my future, preferably something featuring a lawnmower perhaps?

  56. Where are all these great Bears recordings coming from, and how can I get my ears on them?!? Ay carumba, I need me some Bears!

  57. At the risk of beating a dead horse, here's another stab at the lyrics of Nobody Knows, or whatever-it's-called, which is probably still off but closer than my previous attempt:

    I get the gist
    Another kiss there
    Hide your eyes
    From your boyfriend
    I'll make up some lies of my own
    Take myself out the door and go home

    I can't go back
    And the fact is
    It's hard to lie
    I'm out of practice
    I'll tell her we were writing a song
    All night long

    Nobody knows, nobody knows, nobody knows

    And if I look like I'm professional
    I've only been in a confessional
    I don't know what this all means
    But it's so cruel, how did life get so mean?

    (repeat chorus)

    It's all so obvious, obvious obvious (repeat)

    Rob sings lead. To my ears, the middle guitar solo sounds like Fetters, and it seems like his songwriting style, or perhaps a co-write with Adrian?

  58. yes. and that's as much as I'd like to say.

    Right on.

    I firmly believe creativity keeps you younger. I wish everyone could have the outlets I have.

    Yes. Along with happiness.

  59. So, did the mystery of the forgotten Bears song get solved already?


  60. owen (and scooob):
    the bears played a 20-minute show yesterday for the non-commercial radio conference in louisville, ky.
    I asked deathy about the song, but forgot to ask rob and bob.
    evidently it was one of rob's songs we played only briefly then discarded. there was no studio recording made of it.
    I still can't for the life of me remember it, but scooob was right about the title and the song's existence.