Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Peripatetic Autodidact

if I had to categorize myself between one of these choices:
1. tv junkie
2. cybernut
3. bookworm

it's obvious from the above photo of little Stevie Belew, age 7
which description suits me. I'm a bookworm.
I love to read. I love books. I love just being in bookstores.
I love having books throughout my home.
I will never have enough books!

I buy hardcover books as often as possible for their durability,
but I do subscribe to 6 magazines and I save them all as well.
my favorite magazine, if it can be called that,
is Automobile Quarterly which comes out (naturally) four times a year.
it's called a "magazine" but it's much more than that.
it's a hardbound edition of some of the finest photography of
and writings on the history of automobiles.
it's a fascinating way to read our modern history.
AQ wins awards yearly for their content and design.

AQ began in 1962. their back editions are rare and difficult
to find. some are expensive as well.
I began collecting Automobile Quarterlies in the early 1980s
by frequenting used bookstores wherever my touring took me.
the first few I found at the infamous Strand bookstore in Manhattan.
it took two decades but now I have all 190 editions thus far.
(I know the math doesn't work. it's because recently they've
started sending 5 a year. I don't know why).

I read books in the early mornings before the activity begins,
or at the end of the day just before bed,
but most of my reading happens while I'm on tour.
airports, airplanes, backstage, and hotel rooms.
I am completely happy to spend the entire day in my hotel room
armed with only a book and a coke with lots of ice.
(it certainly helps when you end up stuck in some
of the places you see posted on robert's diary).

countless hours spent in airplanes or in
hurry up and wait mode have taught me to carry
a book at all times.
I probably read 30 books a year
(plus the monthly magazines and newspapers).
this year has been a bumper crop year for reading
and I've loved every minute.
the only problem is this:
after I've read the books I bring with me on tour
I start buying more books. eventually I have
more books than I have luggage and my
my luggage feels like a load of bricks.

lo and behold, santa claus may have solved my dilemma.
I now own the Amazon Kindle.
don't know what a Kindle is?
it's a hand-held electronic reader
about the size and weight of a paperback book.
but it holds 100 books!
naturally you buy the books from amazon.com
the good news is the prices are low.
$10 for most new books, even less for older books.
Jane Eyre, for example is only 50¢

the Kindle is wireless and works everywhere.
when you make a selection it downloads into the Kindle
in about a minute and you can read a free sample chapter
before deciding to buy. there are 200,000 books to chose from,
as well as some newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and blogs.

I'm not a salesman for Kindle of course,
just a happy boy now that I can travel with
more books than I can possible read.
if you want to know more:
amazonkindle.com is the place to go.

of course I'll continue to frequent bookstores
and to buy hardcover books.
I will never have enough bloody books!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone!

thanks to all of you for making this year
one of the best.

ps: thanks for the birthday wishes, too,
although I'd rather forget.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

People Of Oz!! Here We Come...

what's done is done. time moves on and so must I.

early tomorrow (turkey day) I'll be boarding a flight
for 26 hours of flying to australia.
in 1979, the first time I went to australia with david bowie
the flight took a total of 36 hours.
some things do get better with time.

eric, julie, and andre will follow a few days later.
I have several days of TV and radio press to do first.
we are sooooo excited about playing australia.
our first show is at The Corner Hotel,
the place where the audience body-surfed me around the room.
I have visions of them handing me out the back door this time.

the people of OZ will love the slicks.
just like everywhere else in the world.
it amazes me how seemingly overnight the power trio
became a bonafide international touring act.
japan, mexico, canada, russia, hungary, switzerland,
italy, germany, lithuania, the netherlands, austria, and spain
all in the last 18 months!
it's been a lovely ride so far.

thanks to all of you.

happy thanksgiving.
love, adrian

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life is very sh Part III

since I'm on this train of thought, I would like to clear up one more thing.
a few months back I was asked by dweezil zappa to join the zappa plays zappa
show in canada for an onstage performance of flakes, the dylan imitation.
in an email to me dweezil also asked that I make certain
andre cholmondeley, my tour manager and guitar tech,
would be persona non grata.
in other words dweezil did not want to see andre at the show.
there is an ongoing battle between the zappa family and andre.

I told dweezil I would try my best to insure he would not see andre.
but I put it off and put it off and I want to make this clear:
I did not say anything to andre.
andre had no idea that he should keep out of dweezil's sight.

why did I not keep my word to dweezil?
andre is a valued member of my crew and a friend.
I know how much he loves frank's music.
I could not bring myself to hurt andre's feeling.

naturally, the worst happened.
andre was banished from watching the show
by one of the zappa crew members
and things got a bit ugly.

I want to apologize to both andre and dweezil.
I should have told andre or should never have
given my word in the first place.

on a happier note:
when I walked onstage to sit in with zappa plays zappa
armed with only a harmonica and my pitiful dylan voice,
I suddenly felt transported back to my time onstage with frank.
dweezil so resembles his father in looks and in voice
that I had to do a double take to be sure where I was.

it was a very special moment for me
which brought back a flood of memories.

I miss frank.

Life is very shor Part II

the mighty krimson was supposed to perform on the west coast in 2009.
that was where we left things following our last night in new york city.
just before leaving for the power trios marvelous tour of 8 countries in europe
I received an email from krimson's strategic advisor mr. andy leff.
andy asked everyone for their schedules for may.
at the time I believed the power trio was booked in may,
which turned out not to be true (not yet)
and I said so in my reply to the members of the mighty krim.
somehow this was offensive and the whole tour
was called off because of my remarks.
for that I am deeply sorry.
I did not mean to offend anyone.

this morning I penned an email to robert with my apology
and my thoughts about the great adventure we've had thus far.
in so many words I told him I loved him and was very proud
of the work we have done together.

more importantly perhaps I said this,
"any time, any place you would like King Crimson to perform:
count me in. I will be there."

and there it stands.
doesn't mean krimson will tour again
but I certainly hope so.

Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting.

I have just learned that Mitch Mitchell, one of the best rock drummers of all time was found dead of natural causes in a hotel room in Portland. what a sad sad thing. as a younger man, when I was still playing drums for a living, Mitch Mitchell was setting the world on fire with his ferocious drumming. he was unique. just listen to manic depression. wow!

as a young drummer my strongest influences were ringo, mitch mitchell, michael giles, and bill bruford (in chronological order).

a few years ago I met mitch at a mike gallaher gig here in nashville.
the next day he came out to StudioBelew for the afternoon.
we jammed together and spent some time talking about the jimi experience.
mitch wanted me to sell him one of my cars!
I will never forget the honor of meeting him.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

the thing about hardwood floors is...

they tend to look better with the occasional scruff mark or dent, whereas carpet embeds itself with the droppings of everyday life. things like boogers, or fingernails. and people lose thousands of hairs every hour, (well, maybe hundreds for me but anyway,) people discard their remains as they grow old. and stomp themselves unknowingly into their carpet. it's kinda gross.

so we got new hardwood floors upstairs. light colored maple like a taylor acoustic guitar and they clean easily with a broom. now the floors invite the sunshine in and create a very contemporary look.

now that I'm home from russia it seems like my every waking moment is devoted to playing guitar. or sweeping the beautiful new floors. more and more ideas for e flow my tiny brain. in october the powerful trio arrives 4 days before we leave for budapesk and europe. I want us to learn together, so I'm devising musical booby traps.

I don't care for baseball but the power trio hit a home run in russia. I am so proud of eric and julie and the way they've adapted. most people don't know this, but I detested touring for the first half of my life. but in 1990 when I met martha, things changed. there is more fun in my life now than ever before. including touring the world. nowadays I consider it an honor.

kazan, on the volga river, is one of the oldest cities in russia. in fact, the festival we played was a celebration of kazan's 1,000th year anniversary! so, one hundred and fifty thousand people were there. the biggest audience I've ever played for. (with talking heads we had 125,00 in central park in 1980). as far as you can see there are little tiny circles: people. behind the immense stage was a beautiful white ancient fortress. " it's the Kremlin", they said. so we learned there is more than one kremlin, most older cities have a "kremlin" because it means "fort".

a day later we flew to mockba (moscow). we had many many laughs in moscow. with characters like eddie jobson, p@t and tony, that was inevitable. but the one who made me laugh the most was the outrageous Finnish man kimmo, (pronounced like chemotherapy). he is the centerpiece accordian player for KTU. I have never known a more ridiculous person in my life. perpetually downing shots of wadka, unfaltering in his quest to be absurd, he was a spectacle just coming down in the glass elevator to the hotel bar and mooning the entire clientele. or sneaking up on his male buddies in the bathroom as they stand doing their duty at the urinal, and then grabbing them in a bear hug and pulling them backwards, causing them to wet themselves.

imagine a grown man with a stocky build sporting a mohawk, wearing a kilt (a dress basically) and playing an accordian. that's kimmo. like a big seven-year-old Finn. he saved his best trick for last though.

immediately after our big show in moscow we worked our way through a backstage filled with adoring fans wanting pictures and autographs. they crowded the hallway around our dressing room. everyone drinking and laughing; great happy people. knowing I had at best 4 hours of sleep available before we had to leave for the airport and the 20-hour journey home, I slipped quietly into the dressing room to begin packing my things. suddenly the door burst open and there was kimmo shouting and cursing at how much he loved us. he grabbed me in a bear hug and threw me down on the couch. he literally had me pinned down; I couldn't move. I thought I would suffocate. all the while telling me how much he loved me, he sucked on my neck for what seemed like eternity. yes! kimmo gave me a huge hickey!

once he let me up I bound out the door into the crowded hallway and began screaming, "look what kimmo did to me! he gave me a huge hickey! and I have to go home to my wife in four hours!"

now martha loves me and trusts me, but even I had a difficult time picturing how I might explain my shiney new hickey to her. "well, sweetheart, there was this finnish accordian player and he forced me down on the couch and sucked on my neck!"...yeah, right.

playing for 150,000 people was sensational but I liked it even more when we played in moscow at the large club called B1. it was sold out (2,000 people) and packed to the rafters with young russians. there was an energy verging on hysteria. and we played our hearts out. five years ago, my first visit to russia with krimson, I wasn't sure what to make of it. it seemed bleak, oppressive, maybe even dangerous. and the hotel (situated right on red square) was tired and outdated. to make a phone call you had to go down to the lobby, tell them you needed to make a call, then go back to your room and wait for them to call you with a phone line! phew.

one morning at about 8:00 I was sitting in bed when someone began pounding on my door.
"open up! let us in!" they demanded. "you must open this door!" I looked through the peep hole as the shouting continued. there were 3 russian soldiers with guns! I imagined myself sitting in a gulag, whatever that is. as I opened the reluctant door they burst in the room, "you must shut your windows! shut the windows NOW!" "okay, okay" I said, just don't shoot me.

there was no air conditioning in the hotel so I had my windows open, looking out onto red square. as it happened there was a military review that day in the square and they made sure all the hotel windows were locked (as though a gun can't shoot through a window) still, they could have just called me from the lobby. "good morning, mr. belew, would you mind closing your windows. thank you ever so much."

but this time in russia everything seemed changed. construction everywhere and a sense of growth, even optimism. the hotels we stayed in were beautiful, the people so nice. it was a pleasure to be there. it gave me time to continue my writing and read 5 books as well.

oh yeah, later I found out the old hotel had been demolished.

photo of the power trio onstage at the B1 club in moscow by tony levin. thanks tony.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day 2008

though I abhor war
I respect and applaud all those who have
fought to protect our freedoms.
many thanks to our veterans and their families.

"all gave some,
some gave all."

Planet e

Planet e is the latest piece of music I've written for the power trio.
I recorded one take, everything you hear was done by one guitar using loops.
I sent it to eric and julie so they could become familiar with it,
and then realized what a special download it would make.
the power trio will be playing Planet e at upcoming shows for the rest of the year.
I hope you'll stop in to check it out.

guitar: adrian
recorded by saul zonana at studiobelew on April 18, 2008
length: 6:10

Sunday, April 27, 2008

the dust has cleared...

this week's download is the last of dust.
if you have been collecting these particles
you should now have
20 pieces in volume 1,
14 pieces in volume 2,
23 pieces in volume 3,
and 16 pieces in volume 4
for a total of 73 new pieces of music!
congratulations and thank you.
I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

the obvious question is:
will dust come out on CD?
the quick answer is YES, eventually.
right now I cannot afford the time and effort
needed to produce and package dust
but it is something for the future, hopefully later this year.

The Man In The Moon (remix)

the man in the moon (remix)
volume 1 number 16

this FREE download comes from the coming attractions record.
for an interesting explanation of the procedure to make this version
please see the liner notes for coming attractions.

piano: christy bley

bass: clif mayhugh

classical guitar, synthesizer, vocal: adrian

engineered by ken latchney at studiobelew in 1999

original parts for christy and clif

recorded by rich denhart at cwazy wabbit studio in 1979

length: 2:55

Sunday, April 20, 2008


volume 1 number 20

see what happens when I get a new toy.

Roland handsonic drum machine: adrian
engineer: ken latchney

recorded at studiobelew sometime in 2006

length: 2:48

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Two Belews

two belews
volume 1 number 17

the back story: in 1999 we put together a one-man-show.
with 3 positions onstage: electric guitar in the middle,
acoustic guitar mounted on a stand to one side
and dobro mounted on a stand on the other.
it required a bit of rehearsal to coordinate between myself and ken latchney
who would be mixing the show live.

one day my son udo stopped by the studio during rehearsals
to demonstrate his new korg "electribe" drum machine.
he had programmed his first drum pattern.
immediately upon hearing it I knew it was perfect
for an instrumental piece I was hoping to play in the show.
I named it two belews.

this is from a live one-man-show in Philadelphia in June 1999.

drum machine: udo belew

guitar: adrian

recorded live by ken latchney

in June, 1999

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Monkey With A Bow And Drum (demo)

monkey with a bow and drum (demo)
volume 4 number 10

this is how of bow and drum was born.
it was at time when I had no engineer
(noah evens was on his way to us)
so I recorded the idea myself with a drum machine
and a strat played through my trusty foxx tone machine.

guitar, drum machine: adrian
recorded at home by adrian
sometime in 1994
length: 3:03

Monday, March 31, 2008

I Know What I Know...

I know what I know and that is all I know and I know it
volume1 number 11

our FREE download from coming attractions features the omnificent
prophet omega in his second outing doing an impromptu radio ad
for the shipp moving company.

voice: the prophet omega
drums, string bass, percussion, guitar: adrian
drums recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis,
on October 20, 1989
engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung
voice, bass, and guitar
recorded at StudioBelew in Mt. Juliet, Tn.
on March 24, 1997
engineer: ken latchney
length: 2:27

Heat In The Jungle

heat in the jungle
volume 1 number 8

here is a never-released instrumental piece.
the strange percussion sounds were produced by putting
a Barcus Berry pickup and a door and playing the door.
this track was to have a vocal but I never finished it.

piano, keyboard: christy bley

fretless bass: clif mayhugh
drums, guitar: adrian

engineer: rich denhart

recorded at Cwazy Wabbit in Springfield, IL.

sometime in late 1979

length: 4:35

Monday, March 24, 2008

Coconuts (backing track)

coconuts (backing track)
volume 3 number 16

a summer feel-good song.
for this track we threw an in-studio party
and recorded it as part of the backing track.

note for anyone collecting the whole dust set:
you should now have 23 tracks of volume 3
which concludes the volume 3 section.

piano, drums, percussion, bass, guitar:adrian

engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung

recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.

sometime in 1988
length: 4:07

Sunday, March 23, 2008

House Of Cards (remix)

house of cards (remix)
volume 1 number 14

you hear the studio door open and shut.
then you hear me standing at the microphone
searching for the harmony part I'm about to sing
while the piano plays in my headphones.

what follows is a completely different mix of
piano, guitar, bass, an egg shaker, vocals
and a smattering of percussion
(once again played on japanese fans with a pencil).
just as the song finishes you hear all manner of things throw together
including a recording made that day of a flock of Canadian geese
flying overheard outside the studio. sheesh.

people like us have our eyes on the stars and we keep informed via T.V. Guide and we entertain in a house of cards but the trouble remains in our sleeping hearts wake up, wakeup, get out, get out of this house of cards why are we sleeping? why are we blinded, always the little guys? why do we find ourselves always compromised? wake up, wake up, get out, this is a house of cards, yeah why are we sleeping? people like us have lives made of dust and we know too little but we know too much and our puzzled lives have come all apart so we go back to bed with our sleeping hearts and we stay asleep in a house of cards
piano, drums, percussion, bass, guitar:adrian
engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung

recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.

sometime in 1989
length: 4:09

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bird In A Box (remix)

bird in a box (remix)
volume 1 number 15

in keeping with our policy of making available the dust material
which was already released on coming attractions
as a FREE download, here's one of my personal favs from mr. music head.

there were many unique techniques used in making the original track.
the piano was played like a percussion instrument by hitting the strings
inside the piano with a set of soft mallets.
the string bass part was played on a cello.
the percussion was a mix of drum machine and japanese fans played with a pencil.
the "bird wing flapping" sound (which begat the title) was produced by rubbing the guitar strings with a cloth and running the sound through an Eventide processor
and the raging guitar solo sound was made by...gee, I wish I remembered.

ooh, I'm not a free lunch box car parked in the seat
dead end streetcar of desire caught by the tailpiece

I'm a jiffy pop tarts are bad for your teen-aged beef

well there's a mandoLinda Evans talking on the phone call

a Porter Wagoner tailor-made underwear

every dog has his Dayton, Ohio Hitler

says to button your fly Tijuana make a Bette Midler, oh...

drop dead lock stock and bugle coral reefer man

every Marlon Brando gave him a great big handstand

what a lumpy Guy Lumbago embargo fish pants

is there a Groucho Marxist doctrine in the house calls

about a lost set of Keystone Cops out the same way

you came in through the bathroom window look,

a rock and roller skate and skate slowly

hey manatee bone state of the aren't you gonna finish your bird in a box

hey man your witness to the standstill shoulder to shoulder the burden a box

hey man you're eatin' Colonel Sanders daddy was a thunderbird in a box

loose tooth three of a perfect pair of diced onions

cheese and beings from another planeTeri Garr* oil change

every two thousand smiled at Linda Evans called

again singin' happy birthmark

the absurdist wordplay was created by taking an ordinary phrase
say, "a free lunch" then altering it by adding a word
"free lunch box...box car...car parked" and so on.
loads of fun, but a lot of work.

*one night while dining at L.A.'s oldest restaurant Musso and Frank's
I saw Teri Garr sitting in a booth with a male friend.
I happened to have a copy of mr. music head in my bag.
I sauntered over to Ms. Garr and gave her the copy,
telling her that her name was mentioned somewhere on the record.
I've always wondered if she ever figured it out.

guitar, drums, string bass, percussion, piano with mallets, "e" voice: adrian
engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.
sometime in early 1989
remixed at StudioBelew by ken latchney in 1999
length: 3:39

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gypsy Zurna (home demo)

gypsy zurna (home demo)
volume 2 number 14

these trial and error arrangements for gypsy zurna were recorded in my dining room
using a small 4-track machine.

GR-700 guitar synth, electric upright bass, log drum: adrian
recorded at home by adrian sometime in 1984
length: 3:52

Monday, March 10, 2008

No Such Guitar

no such guitar
volume 3 number 9

another of our FREE downloads from the coming attractions record.

guitar, drums: adrian
engineer: rich denhart assistant: dan harjung recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis. on Jan. 14, 1988 re-mixed by ken latchney using the Incoherent Phase Modulation Process
length: 3:58

Two Minute Orchestra/Egyptian With Pause

two minute orchestra/egyptian with pause
volume 2 number 12

this first piece come from the desire caught by the tail period.
I thought it might open the record as thought the "orchestra" were tuning up a bit.

the egyptian piece is a song I still intend to write.

two minute orchestra:
guitar synthesizer: adrian
engineer: rich denhart

recorded at Creative Audio, Urbana, Il.

on March 27, 1984


egyptian with pause:
guitar, guitar synthe, log drum: adrian
recorded by adrian at home in Urbana, Il.

sometime in 1984
length: 1:12

Monday, March 3, 2008

Here (instrumental)

here (instrumental)
volume 4 number 9

while I studied the track and dreamed up a vocal and words this is what it sounded like.

note: for those of you who are collecting these gems, this finishes out volume 4. you should have the full set of 16 tracks now.

guitar, drum machine, log drum: adrian

recorded by adrian at home in Williams Bay, Wis.

on Aug. 11, 1992

length: 3:47

People (demo)

people (demo)
volume 4 number 12

note: certain tracks from dust are already available on coming attractions.
one at a time we will make these available as FREE downloads for those of you
who may be collecting the entire set of dust tracks as MP3s. people is one such track.

king crimson spent a month in argentina as a means to write and play in new material
for what would be our first record of the 90's thrak. nearing the end of this process I
felt we were low on "upbeat" material and so offered this song to the band. though I
had made this demo version a year before, the band never heard it (I didn't have it with me)
which is probably just as well. the krimson version is very different from this one I recorded alone.

drums, string bass, guitar, guitar synth, vocals: adrian
engineer: noah evens

recorded at home in Williams Bay, Wis.
on Sept. 24, 1992
length: 3:49

Monday, February 25, 2008

Guernica (early version)/Tango Zebra reprise

guernica (early version)/tango zebra reprise
volume 2 number 9

following my first two attempts at "pop" music lone rhino and twang bar king, I felt the urge to move in an entirely different direction. orchestral music done with guitar. neither record had shown evidence of burning up any pop charts, and even the mighty krimson was cracking at the seams and would burst apart during the birthing process of my third solo record desire caught by the tail. so, for nearly a year and a half most days I would get on my bike, ride over to the nearby closet-sized studio, and do my best to create "art". I had the crazy idea it would be embraced by the kind of people who bought krimson records.
it wasn't.
one irate fan actually broke the vinyl record into little pieces and sent it back to me!

my earliest concept for desire included the "double drumming" heard here. (I was a decade ahead of myself). experimenting with the Roland GR-700 guitar synth I discovered a way to plug it in improperly which would cause the darn thing to literally play itself. the resulting chaotic sound became the basis for a piece about Picasso's anti-war mural guernica. this is an early version before the final elements were added.

when I wasn't closeted in the studio with my cohort rich denhart I was at home experimenting with textures and creating new synth sounds to orchestrate with. often this meant recording on a little four-track I had to see how various parts sounded together and what was needed further. this version of the reprise of tango zebra was recorded in my dining room.

guitar synthesizer, drums: adrian
engineer: rich denhart

recorded at Creative Audio, Urbana, Il.
sometime in 1984

length: 2:03

tango zebra reprise:
guitar synthesizer, bass, log drum: adrian
recorded by adrian at home in Urbana, Il.
on Dec. 11, 1984
length: 1:54

Monday, February 18, 2008

Young Lions (acoustic version)

young lions (acoustic version)
volume 1 number 18

this was issued as a bonus track for the japanese release of
the acoustic adrian belew.

guitar and vocal: adrian
engineer: noah evens
recorded at StudioBelew in Mt. Juliet, Tn.
on Feb. 22, 1995
length: 2:47

Sunday, February 10, 2008

None Of The Above (demo 2)

none of the above (demo 2)
volume 3 number 6

in four years the bears completed seven blistering tours of the U.S. none of the above was written by the whole band on the last day of rehearsal before embarking on our first tour. this take from our second set of demos features a wildly different guitar solo.

bass: bob nyswonger
drums: chris arduser

guitar and vocals: rob fetters

guitar and vocals: adrian

engineer: gary platt

recorded at QCA in Cincinnati, OH

december 27, 1985

length: 2:48

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hot Zoo (remix)

hot zoo (remix)
volume 3 number 15

pay here, chimpanzee
don't park under the aviary
walk through heat wave afternoon fast food hot zoo

and do the shuffle to the buffalo
see the mad monkey by the lonely pay phone
let's go fishin' in the air-conditioned dark
man, look at the bite on that great big bark

waste here, souvenir land
don't feed nobody your hand
restroom photograph pachyderm cat house hot zoo

three sleepy zebra wearing living room suits
joke with a crazy cockatoo
big giraffe in their injured party hats say,
"are you gonna watch our customary nap?"

eat here, a dinosaur egg
don't touch the tarantula leg
march like army ants lookin' for a PX hot zoo

I dig iguana in their outer space duds
saying "aren't you glad we only eat bugs?"
closing time, quick, close those gates
capture a few of these human apes

exit here, kangaroo
don't forget to come back soon.

guitar, piano, bass, drums, fx, vocals: adrian
engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.
length: 4:43


volume 3 number 3

this track was part of my discovery of the Roland GR-700 guitar synth and its remarkable ability to sound like so many things, in this case, an electric piano.
at the time King Crimson had just ended its first 3-year outing.
my concentration was on an orchestral instrumental record desire caught by the tail.
soon The Bears would form a cool pop band .
lennon fell in between the cracks, not fitting into any of these ventures.

note: this week we are offering a FREE dust download of hot zoo (remix) volume 3 number 15.

guitar synth: adrian
recorded at home in Urbana, Il.
sometime in 1985
length: 2:03

Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh Daddy (original version)

oh daddy (original version)
volume 3 number 10

imagine my surprise. for a week I had been walking around humming this melody in my head. I had worked out the piano chords and practiced it daily. I had even spent time in the studio recording the instrumentation.
the novel idea behind the song was a "conversation" between daughter and father over the big question of success. this required two singers: the little girl with the questions and the father with the answers. no problem. my 10-year old daughter audie was a good little singer. whether it turned into something or not, we thought it would be fun.
the day arrived for the two of us to go into the studio to record the vocals. I was stunned to realize they were too high for either of us to sing*. rarely do I make such a mistake, but I'm shy about singing my vocals until I have the right words and know what I want to do, and in all my piano practicing had never sang them out loud! what an idiot. I quickly improvised a counterpart melody, a little lower, and began teaching the lines to audie. that became the melody you may know. overnight I changed some of the words. on the second day we recorded the actual vocals which are on the record.

to me oh daddy was a "novelty" song, something I wasn't even sure would go on a record. as it happened an A&R man from Atlantic Records named Jason Flom was working in the studio with another band, heard my song, and went back to new york raving about it. soon I had a 3-record deal with Atlantic. (I always get in the back door!) boy, were they surprised when they realized I didn't have anything else remotely like oh daddy. still, they really got behind the record, even footing the bill for my first serious video. the video was more of a hit than the song was and soon it was on all 3 american video outlets (MTV, VH1, and Nicklelodean). the song stopped at #38 when a load of new releases from big stars sent it spiraling off the charts. well, I almost had a hit.

I've always figured it was a good thing my novelty song didn't do any better than #38. otherwise I'd be forced to play my one-hit wonder for the rest of my days and where would I get a 10-year old girl year after year?

*the opening guitar line was the original melody.

vocal: audie belew
guitar, piano, bass, drums, vocal:
rich denhart

assistant: dan harjung

recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis. on June 14, 1988
length: 3:04

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another Time Another Place (demo)

another time another place (demo)
volume two number two

there were multiple demo versions of this song floated to prospective labels, so much so that I can't say with certainty who the drummer is on this one, but it sounds like Jerry Hertig, the drummer for Sweetheart. regardless, I didn't feel it was a strong enough candidate for the first solo record, but gave it another try (pun intended) for the second one.

piano and vocals: christy bley
saxophone and vocals: bill janssen

bass: rich denhart

guitar and vocal: adrian
engineer: rich denhart
recorded at Cwazy Wabbit in Springfield, Ill. sometime in 1980? length: 3:22

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Madame Mecca Consults The Popcorn Ceiling...

I asked the Great One to predict some future events and this is what she revealed*:

"the terrorful power trio will perform more shows this year than last year, resulting in a sweaty euphoria hitherto unknown, a brand new "studio" masterwork, and "live" downloadable improvs shall multiply. the mighty krim will rehearse more often than perform but it will be worth each dead brain cell once the first note is struck. an "art record" will appear between two collaborators, one a pianist from texas. a collection of rarities called dist (sic) shall be made available on CD. and you (adrian) will once again be left out of the competition for the Fox channel's next American Idol!" 

all good, as far as I can see. thanks Madame Mecca. 

*predictions do not allow for a 5% margin of error. 

Monday, January 14, 2008


need to be answered. as this year has quickly unfolded I have neglected my duties as you blogist to answer your concerns. so let me do so now.
asks about a volume two of the experimental guitar series. well, just as soon as they finish my clone, it shall be done. perhaps I should have mentioned the series continues every 15 years.
scooby asks about the new guitar rig. I have no pictures yet, in fact, it's still not finished. but you will see it (and hear it!) on tour. and about why I use Parker guitars? see the blog "odyssey (parts one and two) from March 1, 2007.
bob asks if I'm using the new POD X3. no, not yet, but saul is. maybe I'll try his. I love Line 6 products. what a forward-thinking company.
hynek asks about which of trent's pedals I tried out. the ones I remember most were called Fuz Fabrik and Bit Mangler. I love to try crazy pedals so if anyone has a recommendation, please: bring it on! 
pete asks why the southgate show was not chose for side four as planned. simple, the canal street show was better. 

hope that covers it. questions are always welcome .

I Walk Alone (original demo)

I walk alone (original demo)
volume 4 number 2

along with postcard from holland this is one of the "bus songs"
written in my head while laying in my bus bunk riding across europe
with david bowie's sound and vision tour in 1990.

obviously inspired by the man I consider america's most emotional vocalist
Roy Orbison, the song played in my mind as though it was already recorded.
I am particularly happy with the bass part and the rhythms,
neither of which are typical of this kind of song,
but, given my limited abilities, it was the piano which gave me fits for a while.

this was during a rather remarkable time in my life
(see the blog "birds" from March 19, 2007)
of new found love and isolation by a lake in Wisconsin.
what better time to tackle playing the piano?

piano, bass, drums, guitar, pizzicato strings, vocal: adrian
engineer: rich denhart

recorded at home in Delevan, Wis.
on April 4, 1991
length: 2:27

Thursday, January 10, 2008

you may be wondering by now...

where is adrian?

or probably not...
rest assured I'm working hard toward new music
as well as an expanded palette for the upcoming shows.

this new year began with
The Attack Of The Kidney Stones!
a malady which laid me flat for a few days.
then michael clay arrived for a day of new music making
(more on this later, but I'm excited by the record we've nearly finished)
then, while Saul went fishing in upstate new york
Andre Cholmondeley from Project Object arrrived.
he and I have had our heads under the hood
of my guitar rig ever since.
andre is a master of many things including the illusive
language known as MIDI.
he is helping re-fashion my guitar set-up
to do old things better and to do new things I've never done.
it's exciting but tedious work.

I've always had excellent relations with selected manufacturers
and would like to thank some people and companies in particular
for their help in creating my updated beastly guitar rig:
thanks Tim Godwin and everyone at Line 6,
thanks Steve Lobmeier and the gang at Planet Waves,
thanks Mark Menghi and the folks at Samson,
thanks Bob Duncan and the genius of Roland,
thanks to Ray Maxwell and everyone at Eventide,
and of course Paul Muniz at Johnson amps.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Announcing the Winner of the SMARTIES contest...

after much listening and brow-furrowing our illustrious judges conferred and came to a clear-cut conclusion.
well... almost.
they said, "we love these three!"
"what do you want me to do, slice the painting in thirds?" I offered,
"we have to have A winner".

more listening, more furrowing.
indeed it was a tough choice.
there were many entries which passed
the contest's litmus test for creativity and content.
a good time for me to say thank you and congratulations
to all of you who made such efforts.
keep in mind my comment that the doing of the thing is the reward.
(if I didn't believe that I might have quit long ago.)

ahem...so, the winner.
Lou Luca
for his version of happy guy.
congratulations Lou!

Lou wins the painting adidas in heat pictured above.
(lou, please send your address to Rob Murphree)

our two runner-ups both chose spies as their song to finish.
congrats to second place winner Cameron Devlin
and third place winners Linnea Ann Lindgren and Leif Lindgren.

since the judging was pretty close we've decided to post
all 3 songs as a FREE download.
listen and decide for yourselves which one is your fav.

thanks again to everyone who entered.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Introduction To Something

introduction to something
volume 4 number 7

I can't remember what exactly this was for.
I do remember these things:
a) it was written as an intro to something.
b) it was performed on the Roland GR-50
guitar synth, the old faithful Roland GR-700
guitar synth, and the Roland R-8 drum machine.
c) it was put away and forgotten.

synth and drum machine: adrian
recorded at home sometime in 1992
length: 2:09