Adrian Belew http://www.guitarworld.com/taxonomy/term/1551/all en Adrian Belew, Matt Smith and Snarky Puppy Demo Supro Royal Reverb Amp — Video http://www.guitarworld.com/adrian-belew-matt-smith-and-snarky-puppy-demo-supro-royal-reverb-amp-video <!--paging_filter--><p>Matt Smith, Adrian Belew and Snarky Puppy's Chris McQueen and Bob Lanzetti dropped by the Supro Amps booth at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show to demo the company's new Royal Reverb amp.</p> <p>You can check out the video, which also features Supro's guitars, below.</p> <p>This 2x10-inch vintage reissue with reverb and tremolo has headroom to spare and a huge, punchy tone. The Royal Reverb's stout 6L6 output stage can be configured for Class A or Class AB power at 35, 45 or 60 watts with selectable 5U4 tube or solid state rectifier modes. Street price on the Royal Reverb is $1,499 U.S.</p> <p>For more about Supro, visit <a href="http://suprousa.com/">suprousa.com.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-3vcgzaTdAs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/adrian-belew-matt-smith-and-snarky-puppy-demo-supro-royal-reverb-amp-video#comments Adrian Belew Matt Smith NAMM 2015 NAMM 2015 video Snarky Puppy Videos Amps News Gear Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:16:30 +0000 Guitar World Staff 23506 at http://www.guitarworld.com Synth City: 10 Classic Guitar Synth Songs http://www.guitarworld.com/synth-city-10-classic-guitar-synth-songs <!--paging_filter--><p>Here's an ode to a piece of gadgetry rarely heralded on GuitarWorld.com, something that has brought a whole new world of sounds to guitarists' fingertips: the guitar synthesizer, aka the guitar synth.</p> <p>A guitar synth is a synth module whose input device is a guitar instead of a keyboard. To quote Norm Leet from Roland's UK website, "The most important part of a guitar synth system is the divided — or hexaphonic — pickup, which allows each string to be treated individually and for the attached synth to be able to detect finger vibrato and string bending." </p> <p>At first these systems were farily sizable, taking up so much space that they had to be housed in specially designed guitars that were part of the entire synth system. Today's synth systems, however, are tiny things that can fit into pretty much any guitar.</p> <p>Modern systems send the pitch information as MIDI to allow you to control external modules or keyboards. This also means that pitch information can be recorded by a MIDI sequencer. </p> <p>Countless artists have dipped their toes into the world of guitar synths -- everyone from Eric Clapton to Steve Hackett to Eric Johnson and Jeff Loomis — and some players made it a massive part of their sound, including Pat Metheny, Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew. Carlos Alomar even recorded an entire album for synth guitar — 1990's <em>Dream Generator</em>. </p> <p>Here are 10 classic songs that feature guitar synths. They demonstrate at least some of the many dreamy, bizarre sounds (or "soundscapes," as some people like to say in this context), these devices can create.</p> <p>10. <strong>"Stranger In a Strange Land," Iron Maiden, <em>Somewhere in Time</em>, 1986</strong></p> <p>After completing a masterful trilogy of albums with 1984's <em>Powerslave</em>, Iron Maiden took a turn for the progressive, unleashing a barrage of synth guitars on their listeners with their sixth studio album, <em>Somewhere in Time</em>. </p> <p>Easing their fans into the idea, the album's first single, "Wasted Years," was the only track on the album to feature no synthesizers at all. Its follow-up, "Stranger in a Strange Land" — the tale of an Arctic explorer frozen and lost in time — featured Adrian Smith and Dave Murray's guitars processed through synth effects, giving their dual guitar attack a distinctive larger-than-life chorus sound.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ry42FHfz67A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>09. <strong>"Never Make You Cry," Eric Clapton, <em>Behind the Sun</em>, 1985</strong></p> <p>By the mid-'80s, the guitar synth was officially a bandwagon, and even ol' Slowhand himself, Eric Clapton, hopped on — if only briefly.</p> <p>Clapton used a Roland guitar synth to record "Never Make You Cry" from his successful 1985 album, <em>Behind the Sun</em>, which was co-produced by Phil Collins of Genesis (a major guitar synth band, especially during the <em>Duke</em> tour). </p> <p>It's only fitting that Clapton experimented with cutting-edge technology on <em>Behind the Sun</em>, the album that kicked off a period of slick commercial releases by the venerable guitarist, including 1986's <em>August</em> and 1989's <em>Journeyman</em>. </p> <p>Before its release, he had been coasting along on a series of rootsy, laidback, Band- and J.J. Cale-inspired albums, from 1974's <em>461 Ocean Boulevard</em> to 1983's <em>Money and Cigarettes</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/E8nC6e4OI4w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>08. <strong>"Are You Going With Me?," Pat Metheny, <em>Offramp</em>, 1982</strong></p> <p>Over the decades, guitarist Pat Matheny has become closely associated with Roland guitar synths — especially the GR-300. But it all started with his 1982 album, <em>Offramp</em>, which featured his first documented use of the Roland GR-300.</p> <p>The album features the samba-based "Are You Going With Me?," which has since become a trademark Metheny song. Its lengthy, trancelike guitar solo is played on the Roland. Check it out below.</p> <p>Metheny still uses his GR-300, which has since been discontinued by the company.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qY8z1w1JzMs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>07. <strong>"Who's to Blame," Jimmy Page, <em>Death Wish II,</em> 1982</strong></p> <p>In 1981, former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page was asked to compose and record the <em>Death Wish II</em> soundtrack by his neighbor, director Michael Winner. </p> <p>It was just what Page needed — an opportunity to start creating music again, now that John Bonham (and with him, Led Zeppelin) was gone.</p> <p>Page mirrored the film's moodiness and edginess with a slew of new devices, including the Roland GR-505 guitar synth and TR-808 Rhythm Composer. The guitar synth can be heard on the entire soundtrack album, which was re-released on JimmyPage.com late last year in a "heavyweight vinyl package." Only 1,000 copies were made.</p> <p>Page continued experimenting with guitar synths and even appeared in several Roland print advertisements in the early to mid-'80s.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jF8X0t-Fllw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>06. <strong>"Venus Isle," Eric Johnson, <em>Venus Isle</em>, 1996</strong></p> <p>Texas guitar great Eric Johnson started dabbling with guitar synths in the late '80s, but he didn't seriously record with them until his 1996 album, <em>Venus Isle</em>, an album full of what he calls "extra textures." </p> <p>Johnson uses a Roland guitar synth to create those textures on several tracks, including "Mountain," "Battle We Have Won," "When the Sun Meets the Sky" and the title track, which you can check out below.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RypgfOTUNRI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>05. <strong>"Discipline," King Crimson, <em>Discipline</em>, 1981</strong></p> <p>If you were putting together a dream team of guitar synthists, you'd probably want King Crimson's Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew batting third and fourth in your lineup.</p> <p>The guitarists were among the most proficient guitar synth users of their generation, and Fripp continues to push the boundaries of synthetic sound with his mesmerizing Soundscapes shows.</p> <p>On King Crimson's <em>Discipline</em> album, Fripp and Belew made great and bountiful use of the Roland GR-300. On later albums, they moved into GR-700 territory.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_-dZNzXylVE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>04. <strong>"Racing in A," Steve Hackett, <em>Please Don't Touch,</em> 1978</strong></p> <p>The upbeat and catchy "Racing in A" is from Steve Hackett's <em>Please Don't Touch</em> album from 1978. </p> <p>It was the first solo album he recorded after leaving Genesis and his first album to feature his pioneering work with the Roland GR-500 guitar synth. </p> <p>"Racing in A" is a five-minute-long progressive-rock masterpiece that glides along for more than a minute with its almost-Yes-like rhythm before the vocals kick in (But Hackett keeps the spotlight squarely on the GR-500). </p> <p>As is the case with several other selections on this list, be sure to check out the entire <em>Please Don't Touch</em> album for more examples of Hackett's guitar synth work.</p> <p>By the way, that's Hackett's photo at the top of this page (and all the pages in this story). </p> <p><strong>NOTE: We've included a cool live performance of "Racing in A," plus (for the purists), the studio version.</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NDIj1plyU04" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wkxk4IAmWvs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>03. <strong>"Turbo Lover," Judas Priest, <em>Turbo</em>, 1986</strong></p> <p>"Turbos were all the rage, the in-thing," said Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill of the mid-1980s. "I'd even bought a vacuum cleaner because it had the word 'turbo' on it!"</p> <p>Perhaps this obsession with the super-charged is what lead the boys in Priest to experiment with guitar synthesizers on their 1986 classic "Turbo Lover." </p> <p>Taken from the album <em>Turbo</em> — easily among the most divisive albums for diehard fans — the song featured a whole new sonic palette for the band, with guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton employing guitar synths and anything else they could get their hands on to give the song its distinctive futuristic, sci-fi feel.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DdwuxoSHsSo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>02. <strong>"Don't Stand So Close to Me," The Police, <em>Zenyattà Mondatta</em>, 1980</strong></p> <p>"Don't Stand So Close to Me," which appeared on The Police's 1980 <em>Zenyattà Mondatta</em> album, features Andy Summers jamming away on an early Roland synth (He had a few models during the band's heyday, including a GR-707).</p> <p>"After Sting had put the vocals on 'Don't Stand So Close To Me,' we looked for something to lift the middle of the song," Summers said in 1981. "I came up with a guitar synthesizer. It was the first time we'd used it. I felt it worked really well."</p> <p>"I was sort of known for [guitar synth] then, and I was in a pretty high-profile band," Summer said in a more recent interview for Roland. "I was trying to fill out two hours with a trio, trying to keep it interesting all the way. The Roland synths blended in quite well."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KNIZofPB8ZM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>01. <strong>"Ashes to Ashes," David Bowie, <em>Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)</em>, 1980</strong></p> <p>It's Hammer time. Guitarist Chuck Hammer is an accomplished player and Emmy-nominated digital film composer who has recorded with Lou Reed, David Bowie and Guitarchitecture, to name just a few. </p> <p>But Hammer might be best known for his textural guitar synth work on "Ashes to Ashes" from Bowie's <em>Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)</em> album. Hammer used a Roland GR-500 with an Eventide Harmonizer to get the synthetic string sound that can be heard in the video below. He actually used four multi-tracked guitar synths, each one playing opposing chord inversions. Be sure to check out the rest of album, which features a healthy dose of Hammer.</p> <p><em>Rolling Stone</em> put Hammer in the category of "musical pioneers" along with guys like Robert Fripp and Allan Holdsworth.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CMThz7eQ6K0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/jimmy-page">Jimmy Page</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/iron-maiden">Iron Maiden</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/judas-priest">Judas Priest</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eric-johnson">Eric Johnson</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/synth-city-10-classic-guitar-synth-songs#comments Adrian Belew Andy Summers David Bowie Iron Maiden Judas Priest King Crimson Robert Fripp Roland The Police Guitar World Lists News Features Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:21:33 +0000 Damian Fanelli, Josh Hart 15794 at http://www.guitarworld.com Guitarist Adrian Belew Quits Nine Inch Nails: "It Didn't Work" http://www.guitarworld.com/guitarist-adrian-belew-quits-nine-inch-nails-it-didnt-work <!--paging_filter--><p>Last night, guitarist Adrian Belew announced he was quitting Nine Inch Nails.</p> <p>Belew, noted for his work with Talking Heads and King Crimson, posted the following note on Facebook, via <a href="http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/06/adrian-belew-quits-nine-inch-nails/">Consequence of Sound</a>:</p> <p>"hey folks, before this goes too far let me say this: I greatly respect trent and the music he makes. no one is at fault. we both agreed it just was not working. I’m sorry to disappoint anyone. that really hurts. but NIN will do an amazing show and I am back where I belong: creating FLUX."</p> <p>That post, which has since disappeared from Belew's page, was replaced by the following sentence:</p> <p>"concerning me being part of the 2013 Nine Inch Nails band: it didn't work."</p> <p>FLUX, by the way, is Belew's solo project. It also describes the state in which Nine Inch Nails' lineup has found itself in 2013. Bassist Eric Avery left the band in May. A week later, former NIN guitarist Robin Finck rejoined the band.</p> <p>It should be noted that Belew played an important part in Nine Inch Nails' recent reformation. As Reznor explained in a press release earlier this year, "I was working with Adrian Belew on some musical ideas ... which led to the decision to re-think the idea of what Nine Inch Nails could be." </p> <p>And let's not forget the quote that appears in the photo below, which is from Belew's <a href="http://www.adrianbelew.net/">official website</a>:</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/belewslidertrquote.jpg" width="620" height="226" alt="belewslidertrquote.jpg" /></p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F95453832&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nine-inch-nails">Nine Inch Nails</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/guitarist-adrian-belew-quits-nine-inch-nails-it-didnt-work#comments Adrian Belew Nine Inch Nails News Fri, 07 Jun 2013 15:21:19 +0000 Damian Fanelli 18522 at http://www.guitarworld.com Interview: Ned Evett Discusses His Fretless, Glass-Fingerboard Guitars and New Album, 'Treehouse' http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-ned-evett-discusses-his-fretless-glass-fingerboard-guitars-and-new-album-treehouse <!--paging_filter--><p>In 1990, guitarist Ned Evett smashed his Strat onstage. </p> <p>When he noticed the neck was unbroken, he simply removed the frets and developed a style he'd eventually become known for -- even developing his own fretless, mirrored-glass-necked guitars along the way. His own website refers to him as "The Glass Guitarist," and Joe Satriani has called him "a monster player."</p> <p>Now, after releasing <em>Treehouse,</em> his sixth solo album, in January, Evett is finally getting some long-overdue recognition as a singer and songwriter.</p> <p>"Being well known for something innovative is great, but sometimes it gets in the way of what’s really important, which is the music I’m writing," Evett said. "I love what I’m doing right now as an artist writing songs -- and, of course, my guitar is integral to my songwriting process. </p> <p>"Writing music that is an honest reflection of your life experience is hard work, and recording it right and then performing it with sustained conviction on the road is even harder, and I live for that struggle and opportunity to share my music with the world."</p> <p>We recently spoke to Evett about his guitars and about <em>Treehouse,</em> which was produced by Adrian Belew. The album features songs drawn from his own experiences and observations. They run the gamut from tender pieces to hard-rocking blues -- and everything in between.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: What's up with this glass guitar of yours? How much of it is made of glass? Who made it? Where’d you get it -- and why?</strong></p> <p>The fingerboard is glass. I developed the glass fingerboards in 1996 with my friends Cherian Jubilee and Rob Renick. I was living in San Francisco and had been wearing out ebony fingerboards playing loads of gigs. I didn't have the money for a metal fingerboard, so I thought of the glass option, which Rob knew how to cut. Glass is cheap, easy for an expert glass guy to shape, and sounds incredible; on fretless guitar, whatever the fingerboard is comprised of directly affects the tone.</p> <p>In 1999, I launched fretlessguitar.com [now redirected to nedevett.com] and started selling Fernandes guitars with glass and lined-wood fingerboards. This led to me releasing <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fretless-Guitar-Masters-Various-Artists/dp/B00005U2QD">Fretless Guitar Masters</a></em> in 2001, the world's first fretless guitarist compilation, co-produced with Franck Vigroux.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_oOJMI70dH0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>What other gear did you use on <em>Treehouse</em>?</strong></p> <p>Ampwise, we used a Buddah Superdrive 18 and Adrian's Matchless DC-30 for the solos: we cut the solos in one six-hour session. For the leads I used my Peavey Omniac with an aluminum fretless fingerboard, and my glass fingerboard Fernandes Native Pro with a sustainer pickup. </p> <p>For the rhythm electric parts, the magic bullet was my Fretless Danelectro ‘59 reissue (with a radiused glass fingerboard) into a Peavey Delta Blues 2x10 combo. I first cut a radius glass fingerboard for John Frusciante in 2007, courtesy of a chance meeting with his guitar tech, Dave Lee. </p> <p><strong>What led you to the world of fretless guitars in the first place? Who were your influences on that route?</strong></p> <p>Adrian Belew and Jaco Pastorius, in that order of discovery. I witnessed Adrian playing the fretless with King Crimson on their <em>Live in Japan</em> concert video on <em>MTV Concerts</em> in 1984 and wondered what it would be like to play it on EVERY song. Jaco came into the picture for me later, after he passed away, which was such a tragedy. I should note, there were no "fretless guitarists" per se in those days to model from, so playing the fretless guitar always felt like new ground.</p> <p><strong>Who are your influences in a more general sense?</strong></p> <p>I grew up on Bach, baseball, The Beatles and the blues. I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and raised in Boise, Idaho, both towns full of amazing pickers. In Idaho I learned to play traditional folk tunes alongside Bach Lute Suites and push-pull contrary motion bends from the local country players. Growing up I focused on finding my own voice on the guitar and was never been satisfied with being a clone. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OvTAEVr1Vs4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Who inspires you today -- and/or what do you listen to?</strong></p> <p>I’m listening to Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Ravi Shankar. For true inspiration, there is spending time with my 11-year-old son, who co-wrote "Sayonara Serenade" off of <em>Treehouse</em> with me. I’m also addicted to documentaries streamed on demand and recently enjoyed Bela Fleck’s <em>Throw Down Your Heart</em> documentary, which was filmed in Africa. </p> <p><strong>How important are effects to you, and what's on your pedal board these days -- if anything?</strong></p> <p>Effects aren’t that crucial to my sound; the fretless glass fingerboards and my fingerstyle electric playing define my style more sonically. However, I have a Fulltone GT500. I've worked with Line6 stomp boxes for ages, and use the DL4 and MM4 religiously. I also use a Vox Ice 9 overdrive, which really shines in the transparency department. I love amp reverb and tremolo; I have an expession pedal for the MM4 so I can alter the tremolo speed on the fly.</p> <p><strong>You used to work with <a href="http://www.fulltone.com/">Mike Fuller at Fulltone</a>, the effect pedal company (maker of the OCD). What did you learn from him?</strong></p> <p>I was 15 when I met Mike -- this was before he launched Fulltone -- and he managed the local guitar shop called Music World. He always stressed to me the importance of getting great tone from your fingers before anything else. Via his record collection, he introduced me to Jeff Beck and many classic players. He was tracking the importance of vintage gear way before anyone I knew, and he showed me the basic concepts of getting great tone: heart, mind, fingers, pickups, pedals, amps -- in that order. He also didn't suffer fools gladly, and you'd better bring the goods if you were playing him something you had learned. He also gave more props to you if you wrote something as opposed to copping something off of a record. </p> <p><em>For more about Evett, visit <a href="http://www.nedevett.com/">nedevett.com</a> or his <a href="https://www.facebook.com/NedEvettTripleDouble">official Facebook page.</a></em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-l3Y8tOGtaw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Photo: Gregg Roth</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/john-frusciante">John Frusciante</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-ned-evett-discusses-his-fretless-glass-fingerboard-guitars-and-new-album-treehouse#comments Adrian Belew Damian Fanelli Fulltone Joe Satriani John Frusciante Ned Evett Blogs Interviews Features Tue, 27 Mar 2012 12:20:35 +0000 Damian Fanelli 15129 at http://www.guitarworld.com Two of a Perfect Trio: Tony Levin's Stick Men, Adrian Belew and 'King Crimson Finale' at the Iridium http://www.guitarworld.com/two-perfect-trio-tony-levins-stick-men-adrian-belew-and-king-crimson-finale-iridium <!--paging_filter--><p>A few days ago, I caught another very cool show at <a href="http://theiridium.com/">The Iridium</a> on Broadway and 51st Street here in Manhattan. </p> <p>It was the opening night of a two-night visit by Tony Levin's band, Stick Men, and the Adrian Belew Trio.</p> <p>I went with my comrade, Brian Thornton of New Jersey, a major fan of the whole Levin / Belew / Robert Fripp / King Crimson universe. In fact, he and I saw Fripp perform downtown this past winter; it was one of his solo "Soundscapes" shows, and it was peaceful, tranquil and ethereal.</p> <p>Totally unlike the Levin/Belew show at Iridium.</p> <p>Levin's Stick Men kicked things off with their heavily syncopated grooves. The band -- Levin on the <a href="http://www.stick.com/articles/progression/">Chapman Stick</a> and occasional vocals, <a href="http://www.markusreuter.com/">Markus Reuter</a> on a touch guitar he designed himself and the great Pat Mastelotto on drums -- ran through a powerful set that included "Speed Bump," "Supercollider," "Relentless" and "Breathless," from Fripp's <em>Exposure</em> album (All of these song titles could be used as descriptive adjectives for the set's many peaks and valleys).</p> <p>I'm not gonna make it sound like I knew all the tunes Stick Men played that night (I basically know Levin as that really tall guy at NAMM -- also as the bassist on John Lennon's <em>Double Fantasy</em> album), but that didn't matter; the playing was ridiculous. They're one of those trios that makes you understand that there are so many levels of musicianship -- and these guys are way at the top, looking down -- smiling, perhaps -- at a bunch of folks like us. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4v7cVKVHdzk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>And if you've never seen Levin play the Stick, check it out on YouTube (or just watch the video above). He's taken it to such a high level that the Stick website refers to him as a "Stickist." I'd ask for a better nickname if I were him ...</p> <p>After a short break, the Adrian Belew Trio took over. </p> <p>I met Belew at NAMM in 2010, and he's a nice, normal guy. At NAMM, I said, "Hey, you're the guy who played on that Talking Heads tour" (I like to bring up random things from people's careers; if I were to meet Paul McCartney, I'd say, "Hey, you're the guy who played drums on "My Dark Hour" by Steve Miller."), and he was talkative, friendly and crazy-normal. The same regular guy was onstage at the Iridium, performing in a white T-shirt and joking between songs. He even threw a pie in drummer Tobias Ralph's face, which is a very normal thing to do, I'm told. On bass was the immensly talented <a href="http://www.julieslick.com/">Julie Slick</a>. </p> <p>Highlights of Belew's set included "Young Lions" and the super-dynamic "Of Bow and Drum." The man knows his way around a Parker guitar, and it was nice to hear Belew stretch the ol' vocal chords.</p> <p>If you've payed attention, you noticed that I've mentioned three members of the current (if such a thing exists) lineup of King Crimson -- Levin, Belew and Mastelotto. And, as luck would have it, these guys took the stage as a trio, kicking off a King Crimson Finale that built to a supergroup including all the musicians from both bands.</p> <p>The set included "Neurotica," "Red," "Thela Hun Ginjeet," "Three of a Perfect Pair," "Elephant Talk" and "Frame By Frame" -- but my personal favorite was the ultra-catchy "Dinosaur," which is still stuck in my brain, trying to get and dig some bones.</p> <p>My friend Brian -- remember him? The King Crimson fan? -- made it clear that this was a unique and decidedly awesome show. </p> <p>Me, I was just happy to soak in some beer, eat a pizza and catch a rare glimpse of something very much akin to King Crimson. I hear an actual King Crimson sighting is as rare as a dinosaur these days.</p> <p>P.S.: I used a photo, above, from Levin's website, which was shot by Levin himself; if you'd like to see more of his photos from that night, <a href="http://www.papabear.com/tours/smusa11/smusa11_6.htm">check out his tour diary right here.</a></p> <p><em>Damian Fanelli, the online managing editor at </em>Guitar World,<em> has performed around the world as a member of <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mister-Neutron/109242403965">Mister Neutron</a>, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Blue-Meanies/226938220688464">The Blue Meanies</a> (the New York version) and/or The Gas House Gorillas. He loves anything associated with Quebec, which is why he's really into Godin and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Richmond-Guitars-Canada-Official/111615082242417">Richmond</a> guitars at the moment.</em></p> http://www.guitarworld.com/two-perfect-trio-tony-levins-stick-men-adrian-belew-and-king-crimson-finale-iridium#comments Adrian Belew Damian Fanelli Iridium King Crimson Stick Men Tony Levin Blogs Features Thu, 13 Oct 2011 14:33:56 +0000 Damian Fanelli 13118 at http://www.guitarworld.com