Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Anecdote # 28

My First Studio Recording.

Eno is a nice name. even nicer backwards. One.
on three occasions I've worked with eno in the role of producer.
laurie anderson's big red
and talking heads' remain in light.
but the very first record I made with eno was
david bowie's lodger.
it happened to be my first studio record ever*.
eno was producing along with Tony Visconti
and david was...well, being brilliant.
but before I get into the making of lodger I should give you a colorful background of where the deed was done.

in Lake Geneva, Switzerland there was a popular lakeside casino which sometimes featured name bands in concert. one such event was Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention. long before I worked with frank, they played a show at the casino. as the story goes, someone with a flare gun shot a flare into the ceiling while frank was playing, the ceiling caught on fire, and the casino burnt to the ground.
frank told me after they evacuated the building he and his band walked around the lake to their hotel where they sat and watched the place burn down with all their gear and instruments inside. the next day there was nothing left. even the cymbals had melted.
this is of course the story which prompted the song smoke on the water by Deep Purple. the casino was re-built and expanded to include a recording studio. it's where the Montreux Jazz Festival is held each year**.

at the newly-built studio we recorded lodger in late 1978.
we stayed in a nice big swiss hotel right on the lake.
my room had a large canopy bed with thick wooden posts.
it was the most comfortable bed I'd ever slept in.
a set of french doors opened out onto a small balcony
overlooking beautiful lake geneva with the mountains in the background
and the real 12th century Chillon Castle down the end of the lake.
looked like a postcard.

Tony Visconti was married at the time to the irish folk singer Mary Hopkin.
she had a hit song called those were the days produced by Sir Paul.
mary was visiting while I was there. tony and mary's room was next door to mine.
mary had a habit of singing in the morning, exercising her voice I suppose.
she would sing these lovely old folk songs and I could hear them.
they would wake me up.
the hotel served the most delicious hot chocolate I've ever had.
so I'd wake up in the morning,
order a pot of hot chocolate from room service,
and drink it on my balcony overlooking lake geneva
while mary hopkins serenaded.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

now to the making of the record:
the new studio/casino was built out of thick concrete.
it looked like a world war II bunker.
no more fires.
the strangest feature of the studio was this:
the control room was on the first floor and the recording room
was up the stairs on the second floor above it.
usually you can see the producer, engineer, etc.
through a glass window but in this case you could not see them,
but they could see you through a closed circuit tv screen.

by the time I was brought in there were supposedly 20 tracks to work on.
I was very anxious to hear them but david and eno
patiently explained their concept.
the record was to be called planned accidents and so they wanted
to capture my accidental responses to the songs by not allowing me
to hear them beforehand!
so I would go upstairs into the recording room, put on my headphones,
look into the closed circuit camera and say,
"what key would this one be in?"
I'd hear a disconnected voice,
"don't worry about the key, when you hear the count off
just start playing something."

I would be allowed perhaps 3 tries and then we'd move on.
just about the time I knew the key.
later david, eno, and tony would "piece together" their favorite
bits from whatever I'd managed to play.
that's how we did I am a DJ, boys keep swingin', and red sails
to name a few of my favorites.

years later david told me boys keep swingin' was written with me in mind.

*my first record ever was frank zappa's sheik yerbouti, but my parts were all recorded live, not in the studio.
**a few years ago king crimson played at the same place for the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Swingline/Buy That Face (live 1983)

swingline/buy that face (live 1983)
volume 2 number 8

there was no tour for the lone rhino album so the twang bar king band was in effect my first live band. to find the whole story on the band you might want to dig all the way back into february to one of our earliest downloads of the song lone rhino.

here are two more "live" tracks from that memorable evening at Bogart's in Cincinnati, Ohio, both from lone rhino.

the first song swingline should easily be recognized by anyone familiar with lone rhino. it's a powerful version marred only by my Foxx Tone Machine crapping out during the solo section. (ughhh!) however, the second song buy that face may surprise you. this is the original version of a song called animal grace from lone rhino and features a pop chorus you've never heard. buy that face was inspired by the oeuvre of david bowie.

why did I change it from buy that face, possible radio fodder, to the more esoteric animal grace? I don't know, but my ex-manager stan always said that decision cost me any chance of lone rhino having major success. he believed as did others that buy that face was the "hit" we never had. with my 20/20 hindsight I'm inclined to agree, but we'll never know.

spilt milk under the bridge.

piano and back-up vocals: christy bley
back-up vocals: bill janssen
bass guitar and back-up vocals: mike sharfe
drums: larrie londin
guitar and vocal: adrian
recorded live at bogart's in cincinnati, ohio on october 6, 1983
using the full sail mobile truck
live mix: rich denhart
recording engineer: gary platt

Friday, July 27, 2007

domo arigato...

the Blue Note Tokyo was a fabulous place to play and we'd like to thank Iori, Yoshi, Memi, Ito, and the entire staff for making it such a great experience. a terrific venue with wonderful service, a hot sounding room, cool lighting, awesome food, and the nicest fans anywhere. the Blue Note even named a drink after me: Twang Bar Zing was the specialty of the week. as eric slick said to me in a recent e-mail "thanks for another life-changing experience". we can't wait to return.
needless to say, there are many things I find fascinating about Japan which is what makes it my favorite place to tour (outside of the U.S.). but I've saved my personal favorite for last...

I Love The Parrots!

Roppongi is the hotspot nightclub area of Tokyo.
in a back street there you'll find steps leading down
into a near-hidden club called Abbey Road.
if you're a beatlenut like I am,
it might contain the happiest night of your life.

the best beatle tribute band in the whole world
will be playing 5 sets of beatle songs,
playing and singing each song perfectly.
they are the parrots.

despite the fact that only Chappy (John) speaks much english
you will swear you're at the Cavern listening to the beatles.
in fact I don't know how the beatles could ever have done
I Am A Walrus or Long And Winding Road, but the parrots
do them down to the last minute detail.

the parrots know 200 beatle songs perfectly!
and with Abbey Road's beatle-decor atmosphere
and the parrots period-perfect looks and instruments
it's as though you stepped out of a time machine.
they sound fabulous!
the harmonies, the guitar parts, the drum fills.
the orchestration is provided flawlessly by a "fifth beatle"
Fuming who plays keyboards off the side of the stage.
meanwhile Chappy (John), Gordon, (Paul)
Bambino (George) and Thomas (Ringo)
do exacting electrifying versions of each period of beatle music.

I always go to see the parrots when I'm in tokyo,
sometimes I even sing a song or two with them.

it's the most fun evening I ever have.

God Bless You, Parrots.
see you next time, lads.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Let's Pretz!

I'm not sure why it is so often the wordings of japanese phrases and names of things seem so humorous. there is a translation method called katakana, a kind of easy japanese-to-english which may be the culprit. at any rate I found these little delights I'd like to share:

my first morning in Toyama the first thing I saw when I woke up was a pretzel snack sitting by the tv. it was called Let's Pretz.

one time while passing by a bookstore called Book Off I spotted a book in the window titled How To Sex.

some cars in japan look similar to japanese cars here but there many cars we will never see. I noted some of their names: Izuzu Elf, Toyota Athlete, Nissan Cube, the Cedric, and my favorite, a type of van named Scrum.

the names of restaurants: Munch N Crunch, Freshness Burger, and Ducky Duck fit well with the food served: Teryaki McBurger, Aloe Vera Yogurt, Beef Hormone, and Starbuck's fabulous Meat Donut.

to be expected of course are the spelling gaffs such as Korean Babecue but how do you explain a brand of cigarettes called Hope? or the Coca Cola slogan No Reason? I understand the billboard claiming So That Work Becomes Happy, or the Hitachi ad Inspire The Next but have a little trouble with the Camel cigarette ad Slow Down, Pleasure Up or the one that said We Want Your Car Smile! or this one: Thousand Dreams In Our Oven.

but my favorite of all japanese discoveries has to be The Washlet...

Clean Is Happy...

if you're fortunate enough to stay in any one of the beautiful upscale hotels in Japan you will check in, have your bags delivered to your room, and no doubt after such a long fright...er, flight, you'll head for the bathroom to freshen up.
that's when you'll discover The Washlet.

made by Toto (the toilet makers, not the band) it's a marvelously modern butt washer. as you sit on the washlet you see the arrangement of soft-touch buttons pictured above on a handle which juts out on one side of what is otherwise a normal looking toilet.
the idea is a simple one: you press the button marked Spray, (the one with the adorable icon of a little butt being sprayed) and a soothing controlled-by-you spray washes your butt. then you move your little butt around to reach the appropriate crevice. when you've had enough you press Stop.

there are controls for the amount of water pressure as well as the water temperature. the newer more elaborate models have a blow dryer as well. there is also a bidet control for cleansing your front butt, as my seven-year-old calls it.

one thing you don't want to do is to press the Spray button without being seated on the washlet. for those of you curious enough to see how the washlet actually works, this will result in a lightning-fast arm coming out from the back of the washlet and an immediate spray to your face.
how do I know this? I'll never tell.

as comical as all of this seems, the actual result is a very satisfying feeling of clean like you've never know before. just another amazing facet of japanese innovation which a clean freak such as I can appreciate.

if you'd like to Seymour Butts (a guy I went to high school with)
go to www.washlet.com

clean is happy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

it was tuesday morning at 10:18 in room 1020

of the plush Ana Hotel in Toyama, Japan.
martha was in the gorgeous lobby calling her mother.
I was sitting on the end of the bed playing my beloved Parker Fly.
suddenly the bed began shaking back and forth.
I felt faint like I was going to pass out. dizzy.
I looked at the door and saw the Do Not Disturb sign
swinging back and forth.
it was an earthquake!
what an incredible sensation!
not violent like I would have expected
but rhythmic, undulating, smooth.
like the whole room was in a big rocking chair.
I stood up to look out the window and felt another dose of vertigo.
the heating units on the tops of surrounding buildings
looked like they were made of rubber.
I didn't know what to do.
I was worried about martha.
should I run for the stairs?...no, probably best to stay put.
I could hear the sound of metal creaking
as the entire 18-story building swayed.
the shaking finally started to subside.
then after two minutes it was over.
I looked at my watch, it was 10:20 in room 1020.
strangely I felt as though I had lost my sea legs,
like everything was still moving slightly.
my equilibrium was off kilter.
I went down the hallway to the elevator.
eric and julie were just arriving from their room.
we discussed what to do and decided to stay put
in case of a second wave.
within a few minutes martha arrived
we excitedly talked about what had happened.
on our first day in japan we landed during a typhoon.
on our second day we were in an earthquake.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Anecdote # 19

Oh Frankie.

david bowie's Sound and Vision tour included an expansive crew of 50 people! there was a sound crew, a lighting crew, stage crew, electricians, trucks, buses, drivers, bodyguards, caterers, wardrobe, and even personal assistants. many of the extra people came to operate visuals. we had a monstrous stage set-up with giant opera scrims, multiple film effects, and a five-camera crew. for so many people we had two tour managers.

Frankie was a youngish british tour manager with a penchant for jokingly flirting. there was a coterie of women in our entourage and frankie liked to think of them as his own brood. he liked to tickle them and keep them laughing with innuendo, all very harmless of course.

a half dozen of frankie's girls developed a habit of meeting each morning at the Quebec Hilton's work out room on the third floor. you could find them there at 8 each morning sitting on their stationary bikes or doing their yoga stretches. frankie would always come by to check on them and cut-up a bit.

one such morning frankie arrived to find everyone busy in their workout mode, chatting away.
he spotted one of the girls lying face down on a mat and decided to surprise her.
he tiptoed over and leaped on top of her tickling her relentlessly
and then pretended to be humping her.
frankie was laughing and having a great time when
one of the other girls nearby warned drolly,
"that's not who you think it is, frankie".
the woman finally pulled herself from under frankie
and stood up with an indignant scowl.
she spat a flurry of nasty french adjectives.
she wasn't one of frankie's girls,
she was a french-canadian hotel guest who spoke not a word of english!

Wonderous In The Rain...

we're back! slightly slack and dead dog tired but also revitalized by the amazing excitements of the last two weeks. starting with Quebec City. the International Summer Festival has more than 400 shows from 20 countries performing at 15 venues, mostly outdoor, and a total audience of 2.5 million people over the 10 days. truly a unique musical urban happening. festival goers can wander from one venue to another for everything from classical music to worldbeat.
and this year the AB Power Trio was the band voted by the press as Best Of Show in a raving article titled "wonderous in the rain"!
high five.
even at the soundcheck earlier in the day, I could tell we were set to surprise. the canadian stage crew seemed stunned. sure enough when we left the stage after our 10:00 set that evening the rain-soaked crowd went nuts. Paul Green who was there with the School of Rock All-Stars gave us the ultimate compliment when he quietly remarked, "do you know this is the best band in the world?!"
quebec city was lovely in spite of the occasional misting. it reminded us of europe. little outdoor cafes serving delicious table wines in the shadow of old architecture. we stayed in the very same Hilton in which the bowie Sound and Vision entourage encamped for a week of production before starting our world tour of 1990. I knew the hotel well. it instantly brought back a flash of memories.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Fly (demo)

fly (demo)
volume 4 no. 15
the sound assembly,
the Holiday Inn band of the early seventies ended up in Leominster, Massachusetts
for a two-month stay.
one night at the lounge
a man introduced himself as Father Flathers
even though he wasn't a priest.
he was the manager of the local airfield
and a flight instructor.
as such he had access to planes for free and was in the habit of spontaneously deciding to have lunch in say, Cape Cod, borrowing a plane and flying there for lunch. though 30 years my senior, he and I became friends. my days were free so he began calling me to join him on his spontaneous lunch jaunts.
father, as everyone called him, had a gregarious personality and a sense of humor to match. like a slim John Goodman with white hair. soon he had me talked into flying lessons. we would go up in a small single engine plane, start flying around, and his monologue would begin.
"over here on the left is the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed. now, that whole plot of land you see out to the east is owned by my dear friend the governor." he'd light up a cigarette, lean back, take his hands off the wheel, and sure enough I'd be flying the airplane. I actually logged 3 hours of flying time. it was great fun and I wanted to continue, but one day our agent don sheik* called to say our holiday inn engagement in leominster was over. and so were my days as a pilot.

little did I know within a few years I'd spend hundreds of hours flying around the globe.
at first I loved all the flying. all the bustling international airports, they were exciting to me. but after the first three or fours years of near constant travel an unexpected thing happened. I developed a very serious fear of flying. I was petrified.
seated on a plane with the krimson quartet, robert would tell onlookers, "watch his hands". as the plane would take off my hands would become drenched in sweat like some kind of stigmata. every slight move the plane would make would throw me into panic. it was a horrible thing to endure.
my doctor prescribed a medicine they call "xanax", a type of beta blocker.
I called them "stupid pills" because they made me dull as a shovel. more than once I left things on a plane or forgot to get my luggage or missed a connecting flight because of the stupor those pills created. traveling alone became an issue.
it lasted all through the 80's and 90's. finally in 2003 while touring europe with krimson I couldn't stand it anymore. on a short flight I decided not to take the xanax. I braced myself for the sweaty oncoming panic attack, but it never happened. after 20 years of travel my fear of flying had disappeared.

I wrote the song fly on a metal guitar called a dobro which I have always tuned to an open tuning spelled DADDAD. (it's another palindrome.) as I started writing I wanted to record my melodic ideas quickly, before I forgot them. fortunately my engineer noah evens lived right next door. we went straight into my downstairs studio to capture what I had so far. that's the first part of this version. the second part takes up after I had written the words.

I know I should feel welcome here,
way up in the atmosphere, but I am afraid
and If I land on earth again
I'll be happy just to cut my face while I shave.
now the sky is floating by but I am not a cloud
and I've decided I was not designed to fly.

after all I'm only sand to irate the oyster
and to wait for a pearl
and even though I must concede
greatness has eluded me,
I'd still miss the world.
and I would have regrets were I to pirouette
inside a metal jet
and I am not prepared to sprout a pair of wings and fly...

*see "I'm not really a booking agent, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night..."

dobro and vocals: adrian
engineer: noah evens
recorded at home in Williams Bay, Wis. on september 9, 1993

Monday, July 16, 2007

Japanese Fan Dance

japanese fan dance
volume 2 number 13

as this week's download is released I should be in tokyo.
I have always loved japan for its aesthetic, its ancient culture,
philosophies, and the dazzle of the modern japanese sense of style.
I began going to japan in 1979 with david bowie. this will be my 13th visit.

in 1984, having made two solo records of "pop" music I wanted to create
music from a different era. modern classical/ethnic music made with modern
instrumentation. in particular the guitar synthesizer. my aim was to write
cinematic pieces which resembled orchestral music but were performed on
guitar. the result was desire caught by the tail.
the latest guitar synthe, the Roland GR-700 had arrived on my doorstep
and was giving me hours of excitement. mine came with a manual in japanese,
which meant I had to figure it out for myself. maybe that's why I created such
a unique palette of sounds. I even figured out how to make the GR-700 play itself!
it remains my favorite of all the guitar synthesizers.
japanese fan dance would eventually become the track called
beach creatures dancing like cranes
the painting of beach creatures adorns the back cover of side one.

log drum, fretless guitar synthesizer: adrian
recorded at home in Urbana, Ill. on december 6, 1984
length: 3:32

Monday, July 9, 2007

Phone Call From The Moon (instrumental version)

phone call from the moon
(instrumental version)
volume 3 number 12

the story behind this track is a bit different from all the tracks who simply weren't done in time. phone call was finished, words and all, in time to be included on mr. music head. except for one thing. I was very uncomfortable with the speaking parts of the lyric. I loved the idea of the lyric: a lonely person on the moon looking back at the earth while talking in a lunar phone booth, but I didn't feel the words I had written felt natural enough. like something you might really say in such an odd circumstance. so I put phone call away. and it might have stayed on the shelf but for the urgings of rich and dan, the other two-thirds of my recording team. the following year when we began work on the young lions record they persuaded me to try to write new words for phone call. thanks rich and dan.
so here is the way it sounded when I began writing the words a second time.

string bass: mike barnett
drums, guitar: adrian
engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis. on july 6, 1988
length: 3:39

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The First Quarter Of The First Third

from birth to age 7.
I would rate my childhood highly. I had loving parents and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. the belew side of my family, my father's side were country folk in the true sense of the word, scattered throughout northern kentucky and down into tennessee. my mother's side of the family, the frost family, lived in the city concentrated mostly around the greater cincinnati area which included covington, kentucky where I was born. for the first five years of my life I lived on a farm in alexandria, kentucky. I had a dog named missy. just a farm dog. missy loved cherry pie but was crazy about ice cream, just like me. when I had an ice cream cone I would sit on the front step "here's one lick for missy, and one lick for me" and share it with her.
my parents sharecropped a small farm with another couple. there was a single floor L-shaped house. we had one side, they had the other. I slopped pigs, helped put up corn into a large silo, and generally had a ball bouncing from hay bale to hay bale in the crusty old barn's hayloft. I loved the surrounding countryside with it's endless creeks and fields.
because of the way my birthdate falls at the end of the year, I went to school one year earlier than the other kids. my first grade teacher was Miss Fouch. she was young and pretty and being the smallest (and probably the smartest) kid I was her teacher's pet. I clung to miss fouch like velcro. strange as it sounds, I would even go with her to the bathroom (I would stand outside, of course) when she needed. my strongest memory is of the smell of mimeograph ink from all the times she would take me to the office to have copies made of her paperwork.
one fabulous night mom, dad, and I went to a place called the Big Barn. there was a crowd of all ages there dancing to live real old-fashioned country music. they had door prizes and my dad won a swing set! we put it out behind the barn.

then came our first move. back to the city of covington where I was born. we shared my grandma beckett's house at 227 west ninth street. we had the upstairs. it was a block away from Carlisle High School where my mother went as a kid. a low-rent area, grandma's shingle house was well kept. instead of fields and creeks there was one slight strip of garden between her house and the next. it was a concrete world. across the street was a neighborhood bar called Lamb's. this was when my parents were young and would still sip an occasional beer. before they got religious.
I remember clearly the night some of my aunts and uncles were visiting and all of us went to Lamb's, even the kids. they had a jukebox right inside the door. I was five years old. people would give me nickels I would feed into the jukebox. then I'd stand in front of it and sing along with the songs. this went over like gangbusters with the adults, especially my aunts and uncles. they always were a salty bunch of cut-ups. one of my uncles gave me a nickel to sing the latest hank williams song, jumbalaya. he whispered a change of words he wanted me to sing and the whole place erupted when I reached the part, "sonovabitch we'll have some fun on the bayou."
my entrance into show biz.

when I'm 85.5....

on december 23, 2006 I went from being 56 to being 57 years old.
funny how that happens all in one day. stranger yet, I had the feeling at the time
something more significant changed. I felt like the first two-thirds of my life
were over and I had entered into my final third.
in other words I have 28 years to live.meaning I'll die at age 85.5.
at first a grim thought, but you have to die sooner or later,it's the deal you make with life. furthermore, my entire artistic legacy for what it's worth has been created in less than 28 years. imagine what could happen with 28 more.

Friday, July 6, 2007

and then just last night...

I was out in the backyard by the fire pit
when I heard an enormous buzzing sound,
turned around and on the table there was this huge...

eh, just kidding.


here is a head shot of pterodaustro.

somebody is diggin' my bones...

here are the dinosaur bones.
the top two are leg bones.
in the middle is a tooth of some sort.
and the rectangular piece at the bottom
contains the elbow joint of a flying dinosaur called
pterodaustro guinezui
which is the only known flying dinosaur
to employ the same straining mechanism
in its mouth for catching brill like whales do.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Anecdote # 919 part two

The Flexible Nature Of Numbers.

my life-long friend, mentor, and ex-manager stan once told me this brain teaser as an illustration of the flexible nature of numbers.

three salesmen were traveling together. they decided to stop for the night at a cheap hotel. they agreed to share one room. the receptionist told them the room would cost $30, so they put in 10 dollars a piece and went to their room. a few minutes later, the receptionist realized she had overcharged the salesmen. the room should have cost $25. so she gave the bellboy five singles and instructed him to give the money back to the salesmen. on his way to their room the bellboy thought, "how am I supposed to split five dollars between three guys?" he decided to keep two dollars and give the salesmen one dollar each, which is what he did.

now the salesmen had each paid 9 dollars for the room.
9 times 3 equals 27.
plus the 2 the bellboy kept equals 29.
where is the other dollar?

Anecdote # 919 part one

The Flexible Nature Of Currency.

for most of my adult life I had rarely seen the money I make. unlike someone who gets a paycheck each week, my fees and royalties were filtered through a terribly sluggish pipeline and into the hands of a manager, an attorney, or an agency. sometimes the process could take more than a year and when a check did finally arrive, reduced by commissions, percentages, tax withholdings, etc. it then went straight into an account. unintentionally or not, this kept the artist, in this case me, blissfully unaware of the flexible nature of currency.
all of that changed when I began to manage my own affairs.

in september of 1997 ken and I traveled to argentina to do a series of solo concerts. ken mixed the sound and I played acoustic guitar and sang my songs. we asked the promoters to provide a sparse living room set. a couch, a lamp on a table, and a tall plant made the concert seem like the audience and I were sitting together at home. it helped diffuse the language barrier. I think we did 6 concerts in 10 days around parts of argentina. the fee was $10,000 with all expenses (flights, hotels, etc.) paid. simple enough.
I didn't yet know the argentinean music business still works on a cash basis and is famously corrupt. one story from the krimson annuls of the 90's illustrates this point. at a concert in a large theatre the audience was virtually packed in to hear the double trio. our tour manager was at the back of the theatre when the fire marshal arrived to condone or perhaps cancel the show.
it was obviously packed beyond legal capacity so the fire marshal began by commenting on how awful it would be for him to have to close the theatre down. our tour manager then handed him an envelope of hundred dollar bills. "it's a shame," said the fire marshal, "you had such a poor turn out."

still, I was surprised at the end of my solo tour when on the morning of our departure the promoters showed up at my hotel room with a bag of cash! it took me a very long time indeed to count out $10,000 in mostly twenty dollar bills. it was the first time I touched the money I made!

the flight home was disconcerting. as you can imagine there are laws about going through customs with large amounts of cash and coming from south america it would be easy to be mistaken for a drug runner. but I was actually more concerned about another large bag I had.

just before leaving the hotel that morning a man had shown up with a strange gift for me. he didn't speak a word of english but judging by my interpreters' excited response it must be something good. the man was a die-hard krimson fan who loved the song dinosaur. he was also a paleontologist who spent the last 3 years in patagonia collecting dinosaur bones. he presented me with a bag of them! now, the problem is the international transportion of dinosaur bones is highly illegal!

armed with a large sum of cash and a bag of illegal artifacts I had reason to be worried. but after landing at our first stop in miami, the nice customs man let me through with no questions asked. phew.

so I arrived home unscathed and with a lovely bag of million-year-old bones. martha was still unaware of the money I had. I went into our master bedroom, took off my clothes, and laid on the bed. I spread the 10,000 dollars worth of bills all over our bed and all over myself.
then I shouted, "hey martha, come here for a minute."
when she came into the room I threw my arms wide open and said,
"how much do you love me now!"

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happy Birthmark

happy birthmark
volume 4 number 3

here's another ripe upbeat quasi-moderato rocker
employing the neglected
rock chord sequence
F C#7 F A#m Am.
with flagrant overtones of early kinks guitar solos and white-era beatle
(hence the name)
mingled with a direct quote from jet of all things
and a quiet nod to Roy's
pretty woman
left in the dust from the making of the ill-timed and underrated
inner revolution
excellent fodder for a screaming vocal which never materialized*.

happy birthday, america.
the barbecue and the fireworks.

*this one has smarties contest written all over it.

bass, drums, piano, guitar: adrian
engineer: rich denhart

assistant: dan harjung

recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis. on june 1, 1991
length: 2:51

Sunday, July 1, 2007

At The Top Of The Hope Nots

as a parent of course at the top of my "hope not" list would be anything negative to do with my children. nothing matters as much as their safety and happiness.
the same would be true for martha.

she is the center of our tiny empire.
she does everything but the music.
all the things I cannot do.
I shudder to think how easily it would crumble without her.
there would be no power trio, no bears, no new krimson.
and only half of me.

thanks sweetheart.


even though I have 28 more years to live (more on that later) it doesn't hurt to stop and say thanks along the way. so... thanks to robin, gary, eric, and julie slick who have made a personal dream come true. thanks to john sinks, biff blufumgagne, his wife debra, and saul zonana
for making these last few tours heaven. thanks to our agent joshua knight and all the people at monterey international who make these tours happen. thanks to rob murphree for all his dedication and to all of you fans who make this worthwhile. thanks to rob, bob, and chris for a smokin' midwest tour and the best bears yet; I'm proud of us. thanks to robert fripp and all things krimson for an honorable legacy still being written. and thanks to my family for putting up with this controlled chaos and especially to my wife, my partner, and best friend martha.

there are others to thank of course, but these comprise my close musical family and the people who make it work.