Wednesday, March 31, 2010

the night before the day I joined king crimson...

here's a postcard from nikitas, a russian restaurant in london.
I was standing in the upstairs bar of nakitas in london
waiting along with the very large party of talking heads
and crew to be seated downstairs in the dining room
for a dinner party celebrating the beginning of our
european tour of 1980.

we had just arrived in london (my second time there), were a bit
jet-lagged, hungry, and very animated about our upcoming tour.
talking heads was a 10-piece band at that point and with crew,
management, hangers-on, etc. it was indeed a large party waiting
to be seated at a long banquet table. we mingled with other
customers in a sort of holding pin area so crowded we were
literally elbow to elbow.

russian waiters dangerously waded through the crowd passing out
free shots of flavored vodkas. dangerous because they were lit on fire!
(the shots, not the waiters) I remember smelling something odd.
I turned around to see the back of a woman I didn't know
whose hair had caught on fire from the flaming vodkas
and I remember hitting her hair to try and put her out!

finally by the time we were ushered into the banquet room
we were all so pathetically drunk a food fight broke out!
the last thing I remember is dodging caviar snowballs!

the next morning at 9:00 robert fripp (who I barely knew) called.
he began by saying he knew I was not one for "raving" and so
felt safe in calling so early. he was wrong. I had a blistering hangover.
mortified I had already let down one of my heroes I sheepishly
asked if he could call back later.

when he did, it was to ask me to join what would become
king crimson.

to read a more complete version of this tale, refer to the 3/28/07
blog titled anecdote #606.


  1. What a great story , and thank goodness he called back, I cannot imagine life without King Crimson !! Everybody needs a little rave sometimes :):)
    Thanks so much for sharing xoxo

  2. holy moly, this post is hilarious

  3. Thanks Adrian, great post!! I bet those were amazing times. I imagine the first time in London would have been late January 78 with FZ.

  4. Great story - and what an important phone call! Thansk for the wonderful music!

  5. Nice story, a great way to start my day ! Thanks, and Happy Easter everybody at Belew's Mansion !

  6. I love these kinds of stories from good days.

  7. I recall with great affection seeing Discipline at Manchester Poly and then Liverpool Uni immediately after,in the UK 1981. What surprised me then was how this Adrian Belew diverted my attention away from my heroes, Fripp & Bruford. Tony Levin did not even register, shame on me! But don't forget KC had not as yet resurrected in public view.
    A smile a rhino guitar scream decades past resounds now still !

  8. I drew you. Hello -)

  9. Thanks God this happened, we could not live without King Crimson. What a band man....

  10. Genial historia, saludos Adrian.

  11. Hey, Adrian,
    please, you must come to Hamburg, Germany. Yesterday I saw Tony Levin on stage and I thought that you must come to us. I am not from Germany, I saw you already only one time live and I must say, you are one of my preferred guitarist. My son (already one) dance five minutes ago with your solo version of three of a perfect pair. Unforgettable. A wonderful place to play in Hamburg is Fabrik, in Altona. Maybe 2011. I will be in first row. Muchos saludos desde Hamburgo :-)

  12. Really, Adrian? I can't imagine you drunk or with a hangover!

  13. Hey Adrian, good to find your blog and enjoyed the KK story. good inspiration to get back to my blog today. Looking forward to having my new music played by some friends this morning.
    tim posgate

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