Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Got a feeling 21 is gonna be a good year...

Even though probably three years old, this is still my all time favorite photo of Julie Slick on stage

So my daughter turns 21 today.

Hard to believe...my mind is having a very difficult time wrapping around it.

What a life she's had! Traveling all around the world playing bass first as an All-Star with Rock School, then England with McRad, going to Drexel University where she'll graduate this year with a degree in Music Industry, and now her current gig with The Adrian Belew Power Trio with whom she'll spend the second half of 2007 on tour all over the universe again...and who knows what else. She's also got a bunch of bands lined up to record and is currently producing the new Sweatheart CD.

Speaking of Adrian, I received a personal email about the download of Beat Box Guitar (and if that link doesn't work because I tried something different to get you there directly, simply go to www.adrianbelew.net) featuring Adrian on guitar, Eric Slick on drums, and Julie Slick on bass, which really brought tears to my eyes:

"I purchased the down load yesterday. What a blast it is ordering a down load of Adrian with Eric and Julie. His drumming is so much his own style. Julie too. They both play with flawless execution. I really expect this level after say touring as a member of YES for 20 years, or something like that. But for them to have that "it" thing going at 19, and 21(few days), is remarkable. There are really good musicians, and then there is that unmistakable virtuosity in a musician that is so unique, that it is beyond good. Both your kids have natural talent that is really amazing. I started trying to compare Julie to Tony Levin like some people have, but she sounds nothing like him-she has her own thing. I tried to think Carl Palmer, Bill Buford, Stewart Copeland, or Bozzio for Eric, but him too. He has his own distinct sound, and he owns the drumming. Many drummers are background, and you never really care who they are. The Who without Keith Moon was never the same, although the drummers were good. Whomever Eric sits in will forever have that hole to fill, and that includes Adrian for me.

I was so excited I wanted to share my feelings with you."

Sniff. That was really a birthday gift to me, but I will pass that on to Julie.

I know I've told the story of Julie's birth before, but since I have a bunch of new readers, it's kind of worth repeating because it's a typical Robin and Gary story, so here I go, cutting and pasting from my own archives here:

"I will give you a brief synopsis of this day (ETA) twenty-one years ago. I went into labor, called my doctor, and you know, the contractions were coming pretty quickly and he said get to the hospital. It was the coldest day ever - it must have been fifty below zero, and because I'd been confined to my bed since October of that year because of all kinds of complications, I never bought a winter coat which would accommodate my pregnancy. So I wore this big old black coat with a huge beaver collar (arghhh...don't shoot me, PETA people, it wasn't mine) I'd inherited from my late mother and naturally because I hadn't been outdoors since October I had no gloves, no winter shoes, nothing available. Gary was like "No problem, Rob, we'll park in the inside lot adjacent to the hospital, you'll only be outside for a minute."

Cool, right?


We parked in what was the soon to be demolished indoor lot at Jefferson University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia. There were no available spots, so Gary kept driving up and up and up and up until we were like on the 17th floor of this thing and by now, the contractions are really coming hard and fast and I was starting to freak out. We get out of the car and head for the "EXIT" signs. Only one problem. Every door was locked. We then raced for a sign which said "Elevator"...only, the elevator had a sign "Out of Service". So then we tried to find stairs. Meanwhile, it may have said "indoor parking" but of course it was probably a hundred below zero in there; it was all open and we were up high in the wind...and I was in freaking agony.

We must have walked around that parking lot for a half an hour, me convinced I was going to die in there; Gary out of his mind altogether. Miraculously, we finallly stumbled on the one unmarked door that was actually unlocked and led to a staircase...only to walk down several flights to learn that the door on the ground floor was locked. Gary started pounding and screaming "SOMEBODY HELP US SOMEBODY HELP US!" At that point, we were both frozen solid and I didn't even feel the contractions anymore. Anyway, a pissed off looking attendant opened the door and said "What the hell are you two doing in here" and Gary started cursing at him about the conditions at the parking lot and I'm like "Um...I think I'm dying here" so we rushed into the emergency room and a couple of hours later, Julie made her appearance and life as we knew it would never be the same again and I swore she'd be an only child.

And six months later, I was pregnant with Eric."

Ha ha - I must have known I needed the rest of the rhythm section -- Gary plays guitar and it was jamming in our living room from the time they could hardly walk or talk that the first real Slick trio took flight. I have a couple of early recordings -- one, unbelievably enough, they recorded on tape cassette at ages 7 and 8 -- called "Red", and it's totally ironic, of course, because Red is a famous Crimson song only they'd have had no way of knowing that.

One of the famous lyrics they wrote in that song, which I will never, ever forget is:

"The cow says Moo."

Then there's a bit of silence for dramatic tension.

"It's red, too."

Oh god, here come the tears. I'm currently clutching my hand to my chest and thinking "I'm all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves."

Ha ha - a little Linda Richman for you.

Anyway, Julie and I had our annual birthday lunch at Le Bec-Fin last week, a tradition we've upheld every year since Julie's 12th birthday in 1998, so this made it the tenth time we visited and the head waiter recognized us, knew of the occasion beforehand, and graciously treated us to a glass of champagne and a special appetizer of lobster bisque. They really get into the presentation there...we were presented with two silver domed bowls - we had a waiter on either side of us remove the domes simultaneously, and they contained chunks of what I believe were tempura fried lobster pieces. Then another waiter poured the rich soup out of a special serving pitcher on top of the lobster, ensuring the batter wouldn't get soggy.

It was truly orgasmic.

Julie then had an apptizer of Tartare de thon aux airelles canneberges et raifort
(Horseradish and cranberries tuna tartar); I had Rillettes d’aile de raie à la moutarde violette de Brive La Gaillarde (Skate wing rillettes with French purple mustard) and for entrees we both had the same thing - Filet de loup de mer, panisse et asperges sautées, sauce aigre douce émulsionnée (Sauteed black bass, panisse and asparagus, sweet and sour emulsion)

We were full beyond belief but then they went and rolled that pastry cart over to our table and you can pretty much select what you want.

Yeah, yeah, we pigged out, although believe it or not, amongst all of the gooey chocolate, Julie and I flipped out most over a dish of fresh pineapple slightly poached with basil. I'm serious. It was incredible and we plan on duplicating it here.

(Sorry Gary, sorry Eric - but trust me, you will love it and if not, oh well, more for Julie and me)

Back to music news again, Robert Fripp addresses the cancelled but still very much alive K3 tour in his diary entry of January 24, 2007. To see my son's name as "DRUMMER SLICK" in Robert's diary is more than a little bit surreal.

And I see Adrian has some outrageously cool gear on his blog today - definitely worth checking out and if you are like the members of this family, also eating your heart out over.

Finally, holy freaking cow, over on the Rolling Stone website there's an article asking readers to "Name the Show You'll Never Forget and I just scrolled down and saw at least three references to the Adrian Belew Power Trio's gig at Slim's in San Francisco in November, 2006. Oh my god. I just found that while typing this blogpost and googling the kids on another browser.


Here's just one of the posts I found there:

"Jack Price | 1/29/2007, 5:13 pm EST

For me, hands down, The Adrian Belew Power Trio at Slim’s in San Francisco in November of 2006. Adrian is without a doubt one of the finest living guitar legends and he has a 19 year old drummer named Eric Slick and his 20 year old sister, Julie Slick on bass. They blew the roof off of Slim’s and it’s the first time that Boz Scaggs, who owns the place, stuck around for a whole show. Keep your eye out on Eric Slick. That kid is gonna be a monster."

Oy. Now I have to hit the "find" button and see what else is there. Holy crap.

Okay...that's it for now. I'm under the weather a bit today and tonight we're taking Julie out for her official 21st birthday dinner as a family - destination to be a surprise -- so I'd better recover over my shock from the Rolling Stone blog, call my husband, and take a nap.