Wednesday, November 7, 2007

life is a carnivore...

"when you're on tour eating is the only thing
you can do
that isn't immoral or illegal."
a. belew

if it seems that food and drink
rule our world of creativity
that's only because: they do!
eric and julie are vegetarians
(I'm more of an octogenarian)
but all of us appreciate the dining experience
perhaps a bit more than the average person because
so much of our lives revolve around 3 things:
traveling aka the work
dining aka the pleasure
and performing aka the reward.

musicians are forced to be social creatures.
the work we do (creating) is often a group effort.
the pleasure of breaking bread is all important to our bonds,
which may explain why food and in particular dinner
has always been so important to me personally.
many people have commented that I seem obsessed with it.

martha once discovered a letter
from my mother Louise
from a time when I was still an infant
in which my mother revealed
that I had actually been starved
for the first two weeks of my life.
evidently breast feeding didn't suit me
back then

so the doctor switched me to feeding formula
and I've been a happy boy ever since.

my family rarely, almost never, ate in restaurants.
in fact, the first time I tasted steak I was 27 years old!
when we did dine out it was at a little place in Covington, KY.

the Anchor Grill was a real treat,
a true slice of Americana.
the dining room walls were crimson red.
mounted on the walls were large stuffed fish,
swordfish and marlin covered in nets,
and there was a light ball which made
slow revolving rings of light float around the room.
in one corner of the room there was
a toy bandstand, about two feet wide.
it was enclosed in glass.
inside was what looked like a big band jazz band
with figurines playing instruments
while swaying from side to side.
each booth had a small jukebox,
(we always sat in a booth)
the kind with buttons with letters and numbers
and a full list of current (and not so-current) songs
like love letters in the sand and beyond the sea .
when you put money in the jukebox
the little band would start up,
when the song finished they'd magically stop.
my parents would feed me coins,
causing the little band to sway
and with the rings of light floating around
the crimson fish-covered walls...
I felt like I was in an underwater heaven.

the Anchor Grill still exists today,
a bit tattered and greasy
but the little bandstand still hangs in the corner.

starving for the first two weeks of life,
never having tasted steak until my late twenties,
these things could explain my dining obsession
but I prefer to think it's the lifestyle I've chosen.
since the Anchor Grill I've been fortunate
to eat some of the best and most varied food
from all parts the world.

and now to be served great delicious food each evening
by the bass player in my band seems full-circle-fitting.
I'm thinking of putting up some netting
and getting out the old disco ball...


  1. Adrian,
    I love the Anchor Grill. The Prep. crew from the Cincinnati Art Museum would often head there for lunch. I remember that little band in the case fondly.
    Some of the best food I've had was backstage on the Tool tours. I think those guys share your view of eating right on the road as a way of staying healthy and happy.
    Buen provecho!

  2. ramiro:
    you're kidding! I can't believe you have been there. it was truly one of the reasons I began playing music.
    I thought you played in a place where little rings of light revolved around the walls and you ate great food.

    my idea of heaven: you play music, eat a delicious meal, play more music and you're hungry for another great meal.

    I once took my friend Graham Elvis on a tour of my childhood haunts. the Anchor Grill was a flood of memories.

    as I'm writing this I'm listening to "Beyond the Sea" number C4 by Bobby Darin.


  3. Why am I getting this ominous feeling that you intend to keep Julie there with you through Thanksgiving...

    Ha! She's all yours. Ever had tofu turkey?

    Just kidding. Julie, come home! I'm starving!


  4. hard to imagine that about the breast feeding thing, adrian....

    food and music and love. what else is there, I ask?

    have you had BBQ kettle corn yet?


    the Indy Lacto ( there it is again) Ovo Pescaterian

  5. Tofurkey! Now the infamous "they" are saying tofu isn't very good for you after all, nooooo it has to be fermented soy, as in tempeh. Tempeh?

    Oh well, time to go nuke my lunch. :-(

  6. This was so amusing, your descriptions of the Anchor Grill are great. Why red walls ??? Creating lovely and delicious food is another way of expressing creativity and love. As artists, thats what we do ! Kudos to Julie and Eric from one vegesaur to another.

    Bon Appetit Adrian !
    ps. Tofurky is the WORST

  7. well--well---what a beautiful post-
    but being served by the "beautiful
    barefoot bassist"-is a wonderful thing--from what i remember-at the house---there is room for the "ball" and "fishnet thingys"--
    wow---bobby darin--there's a sad tale---of a talent-who left too soon--i remember him doin-"splish/splash"--on black/white tv-
    sittin in a tub--all bubbly with
    soap--it was probably "the arthur godfrey show"--my parents were big-
    on the "ukeleleman"--bobby darin was certainly "ahead"of time--he kept trying to keep step with the
    rather quickly changing music scene
    rocker/big band jazzer-then right before he passed--"folkie"-love you all in "knoshville"--robbi's missing julie's cooking---keep
    the new music comin--love gary

  8. Vegetarian music- it rocks! I too love a good meal. Indian food is my favorite. Good to hear that there are some vegetarians in the extended family of musicians related to that band who's name cannot be uttered and yet will be reborn again soon!

    I haven't has steak *since* I was 27- and I'm still alive and pretty! Ade can attest to that...


    Will there be a special EP edition of Side Four pressed on tofu and printed with soy inks?

  9. From the back of the Anchor Grill's menu:
    "We may doze, but we never close." (They're open 24/7 except Xmas.)

    Hey Adrian is this where the Bears got the title to their song "We Never Close"?

    P.S. I'm headed to Chicago tonight to catch Mr. Fripp and the League of Crafty Guitarists. Any messages?

  10. ramiro:
    tell him I think he missed a 16th note at bar 57.


  11. Ade, has anyone told you that you write some of the greatest prose? Until five minutes ago, I had no idea that I wanted to experience dining in Covington, Ky.

    By the way: what was your favorite "exotic" meal from your days on the road?

  12. Ade, has anyone told you that you write some of the greatest prose? Until five minutes ago, I had no idea that I wanted to experience dining in Covington, Ky.

    By the way: what was your favorite "exotic" meal from your days on the road?

  13. Adrian - I'd love to buy you dinner. In fact, I'll MAKE dinner ... a killer steak on the grill.


    (P.S. When you played with the School of Rock at the State Theater in Virginia about a year ago, I later found out that you had dinner next door at Applebees. Prior to the show, I was in there takin' a leak and was going to have dinner but the place smelled like cigarette smoke and I couldn't deal with it, so I walked out. Had I seen you eating dinner, I would have paid your check! It's the least I could've done since you've provided so much pleasure to me, through your music.)