Monday, December 3, 2007

The Lone Rhinoceros (original demo)

the lone rhinoceros (original demo)
volume 1 number 6

to know the history behind this song you need only to read the blog
Anecdote #404 The Birth of The Rhino from february 24.
there you'll find out I wrote the song with ringo starr in mind
one night while staying at david bowie's house after having
dinner at the charlie chaplin mansion in switzerland.
phew...never were so many names dropped in so few words!

the melancholy ringo english voice as I called it
is exactly what I'm affecting on this early Cwazy Wabbit demo.
I have two distinct memories of this session:
a) playing a set of orchestral chimes borrowed from the local school band
and b) playing the rhino guitar sound at the very end of the track.
it was such a moment!
I had no idea it would happen, it just came out!

even though this demo was made on cwazy wabbit's
low-fi 7-track tape recorder (one of the 8 tracks rarely worked)
I was so afraid I'd never be able to capture the rhino
quite the same way ever again so
we lifted the ending guitar from this demo
to use for the master recording found on lone rhino.

piano: christy bley
bass guitar: clif mayhugh
guitar, drums, chimes, and vocal: adrian
engineer: rich denhart
recorded at Cwazy Wabbit Studio in Springfield, Il.
sometime in 1979
length: 4:13


  1. Terrific piece! Little did I know how much this one song and album would directly influence everything that came after. This album is amazing Adrian. I'm grateful to my friend for showing me and grateful to you for keeping on with your passion. Thanks.

  2. I've been going through an all-Beatles phase for several months and haven't been able to get enough of them and their music. The funny thing is, that prior to that, I was going through an all-Belew phase. I must admit though, for the past few months I haven't listened to any of your records. Well, that's not true. I did put on 'Big Electric Cat' while my cat had a good time with some catnip not too long ago. Anyway, I had a dream last night that, while out Christmas shopping, I stumbled upon an 'Adrian Belew Complete Scores' book. It was not only complete with all the instrumentation of your songs (except Heartbeat which I couldn't find) but it also contained pictures of your artwork and even a picture of you hangin' with Pablo Picasso in his studio. When I brought the book home I'd noticed that it also came with a DVD and a hand-held speaker/sculpture which was suppose to enable the viewer to hear the audio. The only problem was that I couldn't get the audio to synch up with the DVD. That was about the end of that dream. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep for about an hour and a half. Later, I had another dream in which I was trying to figure out the chord progression to 'Bad Days' on my guitar. When I woke up this morning, I remembered the progression and immediately went to play it. I was wrong. I really like the demo of 'Lone Rhinoceros'. Your work means a lot to me and has been very inspiring over the years. Keep it comin' Mr. Music Head!

  3. I've known your work for some time on talking heads, frank zappa and specially king crimson. But today was the day i discovered the lone Rhinoceros, a version you did on 1995 acoustic belew.

    It' beautiful.

    It comes as a great birthday present. Simple stories are the core of almost everything that is human.
    So, looking today for a guitar tab for the song (i'm not much of a guitarist) i found your blog.
    The song has reminded me of something, so please let me recommend a reading: Italo Calvino's "Palomar". In particular, a short story in which he speaks of the albino gorilla in spain, copito de nieve.

    The story keeps coming to my mind as i listen to The Lone Rhinoceros.

    Thanks a lot for your music, it's been a very happy influence for the way i see my world.
    Hope the book is a small (exchange? can't find a word for this) of what you have given to us.

  4. Adrian I have been followed your work from the beginning starting with the late Honorable FZ. Being a multi instrumentalist myself and a former professional jazz musician and multi media performer, I would just like to thank you for all your work; and inspiration as a master player to always work on technique. Mastering an instrument or style or vocal technique is what in the end will give you an ego strength that will hold you together and prevent self doubt. I have seen you live only once with the Bears,a great show. You seem to be a humble person and I have read that sometimes you make yourself available after shows to meet the people who come to see you. The most talented: and continuously evolving people I know and have met are very humble, and their ego keeps them grounded.

  5. Incredible to read about the Rhino. I cruised over to Anecdote #404 and read that post first before this one. I always loved this song and the album. It was a great fun album my friends and I listened in our adventures.

  6. It is a great piece of inspiration specially to share with so many great artists. From Ringo, Bowie and finally Chaplin. I bet that a least one of them need this kind of inspiration General Viagra