Video: Adrian Belew Power Trio performing Ampersand on Rockpalast, Germany 2008
I find the best remedy for King Crimson withdrawals is listening to more Adrian Belew. After watching a mighty performance from King Crimson live in Frejus, 1982 last week I need more!
Ampersand is the first track from Adrian’s excellent solo album Side One, which is part of a series (Side One to Side Four). Ampersand on the album features the talents of Mr Danny Carey of Tool on drums and tabla (one of the best drummers in the world) and Mr Les Claypool of Primus on bass (the best bass player in the world, you must agree or you will be burned at the stake!). Holy crap Batman, this is like the holy trinity or something!
Side One contains the song Beat Box Guitar which was so bloody interesting it was nominated for a Grammy in 2005. I did say nominated, it didn’t win. Not all your greatest efforts will be recognised by your jealous peers.
Okay, let’s back track a bit for those of you new to Adrian Belew. He is the current frontman for the progressive rock band King Crimson who originated in the 60’s, and has been led out front by Adrian since 1981! Not only does he have that brilliant claim to fame, but he also has worked with a large number of stupendously good musicians over his long career:
- Frank Zappa
- David Bowie
- Talking Heads
- David Byrne
- Laurie Anderson
- Nine Inch Nails
- Tori Amos
Yes, and he regales his funny stories about working with these zany musicians and he seems to be a genuinely nice guy from what I could tell from his live show in Melbourne in 2006 which included an in-depth Q&A session (which Shellac are also fond of).
Earlier this year Adrian was working again with Trent Reznor on the latest Nine Inch Nails album, and he was all set to tour with the band. However, just last month Adrian posted the following on his Facebook page:
concerning me being part of the 2013 Nine Inch Nails band:
it didn’t work.
Trent what did you say to the regal Adrian Belew? The good news is Adrian is now recording some new material instead, and from time to time Adrian fronts the Crimson Projekct on tour (minus Robert Fripp).
On 2 June 2013, Adrian Belew was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Music Legends Hall of Fame at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in his hometown of Covington, Kentucky.
Sir, if I had an award to give out for being a ‘Super Talented Creative Force for over Four Decades’ I would gladly hand it over to you too!
Lastly, you can watch Adrian performing the instrumental song Madness from Side One live at the Manchester Lane gig in Melbourne, 2006.
I am in the crowd somewhere cheering and applauding. Listen out for me folks…
Previously on Sampling Station:
- Whores: Ruiner – Jesus Lizard meet Melvins
- Mastodon – prog rock to rock your socks off
- The Dillinger Escape Plan: A Mellow Introduction