Thursday, June 28, 2007

And in case you thought I had no more Adrian Belew Power Trio stories....

Eric Slick, Adrian Belew, and Julie Slick following their performance in Asbury Park, NJ on June 24, 2007

So I'm off to New York City early tomorrow morning for a host of reasons, each of which is cooler than the next. First, I have to meet with the man responsible for bringing the Adrian Belew Power Trio to Japan...Julie and Eric needed work visas to perform there in two weeks so I have to hand deliver their passports to the Japanese consulate in New York...this after filling out a ton of paperwork for their visas, having special photos, it really is a whole new world.

And on kind of the same note -- whole new world, that is -- and leaving music for a minute, you can't believe what I just went through at the pharmacy. Julie wasn't feeling well and I got so alarmed with both the Quebec and Japan tours coming up that I made her go to the doctor and it's a good thing because yep, she's sick and needed not only a strong antibiotic but the doc also recommended Advil Cold and Sinus medicine. So while I'm waiting for her prescription to be filled, I go down the cold/flu medication aisle, and everything is there except the Advil stuff. Then I see a sign "Please ask pharmacist for Advil Cold and Sinus". I'm like, hmmm, that's weird...don't tell me people use that as a recreational drug. Ugh, I hate the feeling you get from cold's like you can't touch bottom. But even more perplexing, let's face it, I'm a writer and I hang around other writers and musicians...I know my drugs. Never once did I ever hear anyone say "Oh man, I really want to get high. Let's go to Walgreens and buy some Advil Cold and Sinus medicine."

Anyway, I get her prescription and ask for the Advil stuff and all of these pharmacists/aids, whatever -- there must have been ten people behind that counter -- stopped what they were doing and stared at me. Then the head pharmacist walks over with two voluminous, ominous looking books and told me I had to both sign and print my name in each before he could release the Advil.

Now you know I couldn't let that one go.

"What is this about?" I asked.

"Patriot Act," he replied gruffly.

"Err...excuse me?"

"Patriot Act," he repeated.

"Let me get this straight. My daughter is sick, the doctor told me to get her this stuff, and now I'm being accused of terrorism?"

To his credit, he laughed, but I swear to god, it was like that old brokerage house commercial where someone says "E.F. Hutton" and everyone freezes in their tracks. I was literally was being watched by twenty eyeballs.

"I'm sorry, Miss. But the government wants to know who is buying this stuff."

"You're telling me people make bombs out of Advil cold medicine?"

I was totally incredulous. I mean, come one. Have any of you ever heard that one?

"No. Illegal drugs, such as methamphetamines, etc."

Oy. Silly me. I did not know that. But wait. Patriot Act?

"Yeah, it was one of those amendments the government slipped in when they passed that law after 9/11. I need to see photo identification please - a driver license or passport will suffice."

Okay, so now I had to show my passport (since I do not drive) to buy Advil.

Arghhh...I just realized something. I bet I get flagged yet again next time I fly anywhere. Note to self: Remember to wear nice underwear when you have to take an airplane. Okay, let's get real here. Just remember to wear underwear, Rob.

I hope it's not a long flight.

So yeah, I was totally freaked out and naturally had to hit google when I got home. Yep, it's a law alright, and Bush signed it. If you have the stomach, you can read all about it right here.

Anyway, after I do the Japanese consulate thing tomorrow, then I get to be filmed for a really cool documentary. I don't want to say too much about it because of the jinx factor, but part of it involves being interviewed about Three Days in New York City and um, I may be instrumental (har har) in providing the film's music. Oh crap, I am dying to tell you all about this and who the filmmaker is, but I will wait until it happens tomorrow, ask permission as to how much I can blab, and see if I can't link you up to the parties responsible because yep, it's cool beyond belief.

Alrighty, enough about me, because as you know, while this blog started out three years ago to promote my writing and that of my friends, when Julie and Eric Slick are on tour with Mr. Belew or Project Object or Crescent Moon or Chris Harford or anyone, really, this journal becomes my shrine to them. So in keeping with that, here are the latest reviews/comments I've found and received.

From Beana's journal, and you must click on the link and read all about her as well as click on her photos (Hi Eric! Hi Julie! Hi Adrian! Hi Bad Brains, Mike Keneally, Ween, etc.):

"...Crescent Moon - Dave and Erik Slick were the best wake-up show ever. Seriously for some drums and a bass it is monsterous and a show that shouldn’t be missed. ever.

Adrian Belew - first time seeing him….would definitely see him and the Slick siblings again. A highlight was watching Papa Slick in the photo pit beaming like the proudest daddy in the world. Precious."

Oh, that reminds me. She also mentions Vernon Reid in her journal. I forgot to report here that while I was backstage at the SOR Fest in Adrian's trailer, Vernon walks in and we're all like Oh hi, Vernon, like he's an old friend or something and he starts talking to us like we all know each other. I'm like, hey, that's cool, the guitar player from Living Colour - the guy who did Cult of Personality - and I'm just hanging there eating some grapes with him. I really didn't have much to say; he did all the talking, but it was kind of interesting I guess. Just a normal day in my life anymore. Yawn.

Oh look, there I am in the crowd watching the trio in Asbury Park, left front...the blonde in black wearing sunglasses and holding a water bottle.

After we hung out backstage for a while, Adrian, his wife Martha, Gary, Julie and I went to dinner at what had to be the coolest restaurant in Asbury Park called Moonstruck. We ate outside, facing a lagoon and these neat looking houses...the weather was incredible...good food, drinks...just a really laid back and fun time.

Okay, who am I kidding. It was surreal.

Eric stayed behind to sit in on drums with a couple other bands but management took good care of him with vegetarian offerings of wonder and delight. ( where did I steal that phrase from?)

Back to the reviews. I like this one:

"Belew...the power trio

The Adrian Belew Power Trio was at B.B.Kings Monday in Manhattan. Seriously, the most incredible show I've ever seen. The two School Of Rock alumni that are playing with him (Julie & Eric Slick) are two of the most natural and gifted musicians and they're only 21 & 20 years old. Probably one of the best rhythm sections I've heard live. They played a set of old and new (Rhino King to...Side 3) and threw down some serious Krimson classics (Frame By Frame…Three Of A Perfect Pair). Adrian also did some solo pieces (lots of looping, couldn't figure out what he was using). Not a huge fan of looping, but he did some very unique things and even used it to loop Fripp's parts on the Krimson pieces which he then played his parts over."

And this one, especially...

"Twang Bar King w/ Slicks - BB Kings House of Blues

Killer evening folks! Firstly, it's always great to have a night on the town with my beautiful wife. It's just icing on the cake when you get to see the Twang Bar King in action. BBs was its usual self - overpriced drinks, food, tight seating, etc.. On a
positive note - The music always sounds great there (which may also have to do with the musicians I've gone to see, such as, Ade Trios, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, Cactus, Sonny Landreth and Johnny A, Otis Day and the Nights). I'm going to try to keep this review short (impossible- LOL), so briefly, I'd like to mention that we met some very nice people sitting at our table and got to chat with Eric and his Dad quite a bit after the show, along with having a moment to say Hi and chat briefly with Ade and Martha - which is always cool!

OK - the Show! The set list was the same as it was for the Virginia Show - shuffled around a little bit.Ade's playing/singing was great and the Slicks! (wow man) they are really coming into their own -Ampersand,Matchless Man, Beat Box Guitar, Madness, Young Lions -It was magical at times last night, especially during Madness, some serious bro & sis mojo going on here -Eric's Drums and Julie's Bass were really driving that tune & Ade was just along for the ride. I said to Mr. Slick after the show, "is it me, or did something happen up there tonight?" he smiled and despite the vagueness of my statement he knew exactly what I meant, saying "Man, it's been happening!" That was cool.

The previous shows we saw were great and they played mostly the same stuff that we heard from these shows but it was different - more powerful, more confident, more cohesion between the trio, it sounded fresh/new. I really dug the subtle changes to the songs! As stated, I chatted with Ade and young Eric briefly after the show and I wanted to tell them both exactly that, but got going on the other stuff and never got around to telling them this (hopefully they'll read it).

My song highlights were: Young Lions - The trio kills this song - really suits the Slicks. Slowly becoming my new favorite Ade tune. Can't wait to hear the Side 4 recording. Beat Box/Madness -Slicks take over on these & relaxed Ade pulls off brilliance. Men in Helicopters -fantastic! Within You/Without You - Ade's twangidge is real pretty. Neurotica - What a killin little Crim tune -First time I heard it. & All of the Discipline Stuff! - which I have to mention I can't seem to get enough of lately. I'm listening to that damn album all the time. Quite strangely, the music sounds to me as smooth and cool as some might describe Marvin Gay's "What's Going On" album. I find myself telling anyone who will listen that I think this is one of the greatest albums ever and thousand of years away they will be listening to and talking about this album. (and yes, I'm all about making grandiose statements, just hear me telling the folks at our table at BBs - "man, the Bears are freakin' Beatles of Cincinatti!" )

Anyway, that's my review of the gig, sorry it's a few days late. There's much more to discuss/mention, but my writing is god awful these days so I'm cutting it short (stop the bleeding if you will). Let me just say that I couldn't dream of a better way to spend a Monday night w/ my wife - who btw, is completely responsible for turning me on to Ade and Crimson (a great woman indeed - yes, I know!). Hats off to the Trio (once again)! - The Canucks and the Japanese are going to absolutely love these guys!

Thanks for reading -RK

(BTW, the insider says, Side 4 is being mixed as we speak - nice!)"

From the comments section of my blog:

"Evan Hilzer said...


I know you are going to be bombarded with messages, but I really want to thank you for keeping such a great blog. I love reading everyday.

As for the show. WOW. I was completely blown away. The playing surpassed my high expectations. I was fortunate enough to meet Julie and Eric and that guitar guy...he was pretty good too... My best friend Steve works for Rocks Off and also ended up helping out for the BB Kings show. He introduced me to Eric and Julie, and they were so down to earth, nice, welcoming. We had some great conversation as if I've known them for years. Having briefly met Gary, its not hard to see why you have raised two wonderful children. Adrian is very lucky.

Hopefully I will be able to thank you in person next time. Keep up the great work and great blog!


Maryanne Stahl said...

I am in awe of you, your family, your life. must keep you young, 'cause it exhausts me to read about it! but seriously, I'm v. happy for you all. xxx

Walter Joyce said...

I was at the show at BB King's on monday, and was blown away. I have seen Adrian many tmes over the years, with Crimson, The Bears, and solo, but this was the best solo show yet. I had not yet seen the "power trio", and Eric and Julie were beyond impressive. I can only imagine what is in store for them in the future. What talent! When I was their age I could barely play the radio. I went to see Adrian, but the next time, if there is one in the NYC area, I will be going to see them as much as Adrian. Was lucky enough to meet Adrian after the show, and get a picture, but would have loved to have gotten one with Eric and Julie too. They were not around. Cannot wait for Side Four. Love your blog. Peace and love to you."


So that's what's going on at the moment. And now if you will excuse me, I'm going back upstairs to have yet another listen to the rough mix of Side Four Live.

And it gives me the shivers every time.