Monday, February 28, 2011


I have no words to aptly describe last night's world premiere
performance of e with the metropole orkest at paradiso...

phenomenal? powerful? overwhelming?
those terms don't even come close to describing it.
the audience was stunned, as was I.

following the closing dynamic chord of e
there was a split second of shared amazement
followed by a huge surge of energy screamingshoutingwhistling
which nearly lifted the paradiso off its foundation.

pardon my french but the orchestra was fucking phenomenal!!
the sound was hugely powerful
and utterly delicate
aggressive and chaotic
and perfectly precise.

emotionally I was so overwhelmed
more than once I nearly burst into tears.
joyful tears, the best kind.

so perhaps those words are fitting.

I know this much: it was unlike anything
I have ever experienced before.

today, our day off between performing
and 5 days of mixing
I'm walking on air through the streets of amsterdam,
still in shock.

I can't wait to share this with those of you
who weren't able to be there.

Monday, February 14, 2011

time to fly...

this saturday the 19th I leave for my month in amsterdam.
daniel rowland will be flying with me, john sinks will meet us there.
VPRO is providing me an apartment along with
the very healthy schedule of things to do listed below.

feb. 19: fly to amsterdam arriving early morning feb. 20

feb. 20: working through the score with tom trapp, followed by
an interview with one of holland's largest newspapers in the evening
to appear in the paper on thursday feb. 24

feb. 21: rehearsal in Hilversum, at Studio 3
with the Metropole Orchestra rhythm section only

feb. 22: first rehearsal with the Metropole Orchestra
followed by the taping of the tv show "Vrije Geluiden"
("Free Sounds") filmed at the Bim Huis in amsterdam
which will include a solo performance and interview

feb. 23: second rehearsal with the Metropole Orchestra

feb. 24: recording e in studio 3 with the Metropole Orchestra

feb. 25: recording e in studio 3 with the Metropole Orchestra

feb. 26: day off

feb. 27: The Big Event: the Paradiso concert in Amsterdam.
(the soundcheck will be recorded as well)
the concert will be filmed by VPRO
and will include a half-hour solo guitar set,
and the world debut of the orchestral e
(as well as a surprise or two)

feb. 28: day off (phew...)

march 1 thru 5 : mixing the studio and live recordings
in Hilversum at studio 3

march 6: "painting with guitar" solo concert
at the Paradox in Tilburg, Netherlands

march 7: taping an interview for the autobiographical
radio shows to be broadcast march 10 and 11

march 8: travel to Verviers, Belgium to perform a
"painting with guitar" solo concert

march 9: travel back from Belgium. day off

march 10: a 4-hour masterclass at the Amsterdam Conservatory
(what on earth am I going to teach for 4 hours!)

march 11: a two-hour masterclass at the Rotterdam Conservatory

march 12 & 13: days off for museum scanning
and happy nights at Biblos!

march 14: fly home

here is the schedule of radio shows happening in march
for VPRO's "painting holland belew" series:

thursday march 3 VPROJazzLive radioshow (2 hrs)
Adrian Belew Power Trio, live recording
+ website (audio on demand, video impression)

saturday march 5 De Wissel radioshow
musical highlights from the seventies & eighties:
Zappa, Bowie, King Crimson, guitar (& other instruments)
playing & gear developments.

thursday march 10 + friday march 11 VPROJazzLive
radioshow (total 2 hrs) AB’s "Life In A Nutshell" expanded,
incl tracks from discographic history, interview fragments
+ website (audio on demand, video interview)

thursday march 24 VPROJazzLive radioshow (2 hrs)
Adrian Belew & the Metropole Orchestra, live recording
from feb. 27 + website (audio on demand, video impression,
making-of video)

thursday march 31 VPROJazzLive radioshow (2 hrs)
Adrian Belew's Painting With Guitar, live recording from march 6
+ website (audio on demand, video impression)

a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
wish me luck!

ps: concerning the hat:
no hat.

Friday, February 4, 2011

get your stinkin' badges here...

just a few words about our music camp coming up in august:


if you want to know the particulars and maybe even decide
to attend you should visit of course,
meanwhile here are my thoughts on what to expect:

monday afternoon on august 22 you will arrive
and check into the accommodations you've chosen.
the fee you have paid is mostly based
on your choice of accommodations, otherwise
all of us campers will be treated the same,
we'll all eat the same food together (delicious I'm told)
and have access to the same classes and events
as well as the delights of a 70-acre summer resort
in the Catskill Mountains no less!

for the next 4 days you'll be busy choosing
which activities you want to participate in,
which classes you would like to learn from,
who you want to befriend and hang out with,
how long you should stay at the late-night jam,
which "rock star" you should ask tony about first,
how long you will practice what you've just learned,
whether or not to join in pat's morning "practice pad session"
even though you're not (much of) a drummer,
what shirt to wear at this evening's bonfire,
which king crimson lick to ask about today,
when is the perfect moment to approach adrian
for one of his custom-made "sticky picks",
how much food and drink you can possibly absorb,
and how often you can hear another very-likely-hilarious
road story from these three seasoned road warriors!

I expect there to be a wealth of knowledge dispersed
in all directions, served up with a dose of silliness.
I expect to teach someone (could be you)
how to make the perfect lemon drop martini.
I expect I will be listening closely to everything
tony and pat have to teach because I still have much to learn.
I expect someone (could be you) to ask me to demonstrate
the sound of a chicken chasing a steam roller.
I expect to stay out too late at one of the late-night jams
and I expect to regret that decision the next morning.
I expect by day 5, friday, all of us will have exhausted
ourselves in a very unique and lasting experience.
and I expect to win the "most likely to succeed" badge.

seriously though, when I think of the amount of collective
experiences, savvy, and knowledge buried in the psyche
of this particular trio of people: tony, pat, and me,
and when I truly remind myself of all the great people
the three of us have known and worked with,
all the amazing records we have been part of
and the music we have each created,
all the travels around the globe,
the hours spent in recording studios,
all the concerts we have performed
over our long tenure in the rock music world
it's hard to know what to expect
except to say IT HAS TO BE GOOD!

so I expect to be excited.

ps: thanks to denis rodier for the fabulous illustration seen above.
and special thanks to daniel heaps, amy carpenter,
and mike gilbert for organizing the camp details thusfar.