Monday, June 18, 2007


5:22 volume 1 no. 4
straightaway I'll make apologies for the lo-fi sound of this one,
but it is one of the few offerings which was actually recorded
to a cassette tape which christy bley accidentally left running
while the GaGa band jammed together one night.
not even Flac could improve this one.

just so you know, a large amount of effort was put into
making all these downloads* sound as hi fidelity as possible
by using an extremely expensive computer system called
Sonic Solutions.
the cost is normally something like $300 a minute!
to correct sound flaws like hiss, hum, tape noise, etc.
thankfully our dear friend Bruce Marshall did it for free!
a lot of after-hours work and time spent by Bruce,
otherwise it would never have been affordable.
can you imagine what these hundreds of minutes
of music would have cost?!
bless you, Bruce.

as to the performance of 5:22 as mentioned
it was a late night jam at cwazy wabbit.
christy just happened to have her cassette deck running.
through the first half bill janssen plays sax,
switching in the middle to vocal and whistling guitar.
the second half also includes what must surely be
the first tape loop I ever made.
rich and I looped one little section (the last two minutes)
and then I recorded drums, moving a little off time on purpose
to change the loop slightly as it plays out.

the only thing left a mystery is how this piece
which was titled 5:22 at the time because
that was the length of the song
when we recorded it back in 1979,
has over the years become 5:33 in length!

* keep in mind these downloads range
from all manner of humble beginnings

such as 4-track recorder, cassette tape,
8-track, DAT or ADAT

all the way to full glorious digital sound.

saxophone, guitar, vocal: bill janssen
organ: christy bley

bass guitar: rich denhart

guitar and drums: adrian
recorded at Cwazy Wabbit Studio Springfield, Illinois in 1979
length: 5:22


  1. Tape time travel: cassette tapes can stretch and shrink over time. Or either the tape recorder you recorded the song with was running slow or the tape deck you used to make the digital copy was running slow. Who knows. Tape is a mysterious and difficult mistress. Thank goodness for digital.

  2. Hi Adrian this is my first time on your Blog… You are an inspiration in my life. Thank you for your music. The only way I can describe is... I am, like so many others, a huge Beatle fan. Like the Beatles you make me happy with your music. On a side note, it would be so interesting seeing you write and play with McCartney. Which by the way may I compare your latest CD (Eureka) with Paul’s. I feel both CD’s are very entertaining with quality original songs. I love the Bears catalog, what a great bunch of amazingly talented players and writers! My vote for song of the year “On”. In the past year I have become a fan of yours. I’m looking forward to seeing you play at BB Kings next week. P.S. I’d love to see the Bears in NY City! sorry for rambling...

  3. Yes darren, I think so but when I hear the 70's music as Yes, KC, ELP in digital remasters sometimes I miss hiss or this stranged pitch confution, I very enjoy the mellotron sound with this tape noise that seems like wind blowing at my ears (and it makes me fly he, he). Digital devices makes easy the recording process but I'll tell you my little secret:

    Sometimes I like to put a little hiss or noise with very high freq (around 16 - 18kHz) but with low gain.
    I recommend it if you use digital mellotrons, acoustic brass or strings... or just use tape simulation with a software or plug in like "SuperCollider" software.
    The digital age is here, and we can do ANYTHING with the sound and we can create any sound that borns in our brains.

    Or do I'm wrong Mr. Belew?

    No doubt, Thank goodness for digital and all thoise dirty secrets to make music!

  4. I remember seeing you in concert at The Wax Museum in Washington, D.C. in the early '80s. I'm pretty sure that Christy was in that band. (Was it the Twang Bar King tour?)

  5. Is there a link posted here somwwhere that I am missing?