Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tonight: The Adrian Belew Power Trio in Lake Worth, FL

So this is kind of bittersweet - tonight the Adrian Belew Power Trio return to the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth, Florida, where they performed two years ago -- and where the legend of Julie Slick and her peach cobbler originated.

Photo of Julie Slick, Atlanta, GA, May 29, 2008 courtesy of Rich Wilson

What's bittersweet is that after tonight's show, the Bamboo Room is going dark...the end of an era. Man, it's such a cool venue, I feel a bit broken-hearted right now...though I just learned via an e-mail that the closure may not be permanent; it may just be for the season. Julie assures me she is going to re-create the cobbler tonight as a farewell gift (though she is thinking blackberries instead of peaches for those of you who care) but...sob...I won't be there...I'm here in rainy Philadelphia, sulking.

ETA: See? I do come in and edit. This just in - an extremely cool review of last night's show complete with most excellent photos.

Speaking of Rich Wilson, who provided the above photo of Julie and is a very cool bass player in his own right - here's his band's MySpace site, let's visit my mail bag, which starts with an e-mail from Rich:


Hi there, was reading your blog and noticed you didn’t have any ATL photos yet so I thought I’d send you a pic of Julie from last night. You actually used my wife’s photos from last years Atlanta show, and we thank you very much,

I am myself a Philly native and totally love seeing your kids play. I struck up a conversation with them last year about Philly because they spotted me in a flyers hat and said something about it after the show. Amazingly enough, after all that time Eric remembered me from last year and came up and said hello before the show last night. They are both amazing people and I am sure you are very proud..."

Naturally I wrote back to Rich, asking for permission to post his email, and he was not only cool with it, here's part of his response:

"I gotta tell ya – I’m a 31 year old bass player and Julie’s playing is totally inspiring. I do pretty well for myself and am fairly well respected as a player around my parts, but she has my utmost respect. I’m even taking a few cues from her – the way she plays very easily and effortlessly has taught me to lighten up my touch and play more economically, saves my arms for later a lot better. She’s also super cool about returning myspace messages and trading bass gear / tone tips."

Thanks, Rich, I really appreciate this.

And then there's this, from Ken Eichman:

"I now live in Huntsville Alabama however I grew up in Willow Grove PA. I have been an Adrian Fan for 20 plus years going back to the Bears at the Chestnut Cabaret and King Crimson at the Mann. I have seen him many, many times in many many cities, he is the BEST. Enough about him.

The power trio is F(*%$ great! I just caught the show they did in Nashville. I am a drummer in a local band but damn, they were great. It was almost like Adrian's long career has just been working up to jamming with them (sorry Tony Levin and Bill Bruford). Your kids are great.

Thanks for raising them with music in the house. Adrian as you know has played with the best but it was almost like he was just touring to show off his new toy.....the power in the power trio."

And then there is this, in response to comments I posted in my blog yesterday:

"Freaking Amazing is accurate! That was a funky, powerful nite! Looking over the 'collection' this was the closest to the Talking Heads sound than I have ever seen him - and I have see Ade in many forms over the years. The Slicks are amazing..."

A few of my photos are here."

So it's only 8:30 a.m., I'm sure I'll be getting more reviews/emails as the day progresses, and I'll add them here as they come in. (I did do that yesterday, too, in case anyone missed it). But for now...I think I need more coffee.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Tonight: Adrian Belew Power Trio in Tampa, FL

Tonight the Adrian Belew Power Trio will be in Tampa, Florida. Opening for them is a wonderful band I caught two years ago when I was down in St. Petersburg - Jerry Outlaw and Friends. Jerry is a hell of a guitarist in his own right and and here's a blurb about the show in today's St. Petersburg's Times:

Photos by Gary Slick

Adrian Belew
With Jerry Outlaw and Friends
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.

A master sound-manipulator and guitar hero to the art-rock pack, Adrian Belew spent time with Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and King Crimson before forming his own progressive power trio. 20-something siblings and technical dynamos Eric and Julie Slick only add to the sonic vigor.

From Access Atlanta:

"SOUND CHECK: Belew hits wide-ranging notes

By Jonathan Williams
For the Journal-Constitution

AS ONE OF THE MOST accomplished guitarists of the past few decades, Adrian Belew has performed and recorded with the likes of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, the Talking Heads, Nine Inch Nails and Tori Amos, not to mention William Shatner and Henry Rollins —- at the same time!

Before reuniting with King Crimson, the progressive rock band for which he is best known, for a few shows later this summer, his current project is the Adrian Belew Power Trio. Touring in support of "Side Four Live," a live recording released last November, the trio performed at Smith's Olde Bar this week.

Q: You've worked with many of the most prolific rock artists of the past few decades. How did you end up playing with a couple of kids?

A: I had been working for quite a while on material for what I called a Power Trio and I had some ideas on what I wanted that to be. So I was in the market to find the right players. I went to the School of Rock in Philadelphia to do a guest seminar and Paul Green, the founder of the school, said, "I want you to hear the best students I've ever had. They've already graduated, but they're brother and sister, Eric and Julie Slick." He brought them in, they played with me and I said, "I think I've found my trio."

Q: One of your latest projects was "Ghosts I-IV," an experimental instrumental project with Nine Inch Nails. What was working on that like for you?

A: This is the third record I've done with Nine Inch Nails and it went pretty much the same as the other two. Basically Trent [Reznor] plays me the material and lets me do whatever I hear. He's very encouraging to me and lets me try things. It's really fun for me because I love the music and I have total freedom. I really like Trent's production work, I like the sound that his records have, so it was four days of happiness.

Q: Aside from your own album, have you been featured on any other recent releases?

A: I am working on a brand-new record of new material with the trio, some of which we'll play on this leg of the tour. And in August, King Crimson is doing 10 shows in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. Around all that I'll be working on new material and the trio will be touring all over the place.

Q: Tell me if this doesn't sound like the beginning of a bad joke. William Shatner, Henry Rollins, Ben Folds and Adrian Belew are in the studio one day . . .

A: That does sound like a bad joke. That was actually another night of hilarious fun. I'm friends with Ben Folds and John Painter, the two people who were producing that record [William Shatner's 2004 album "Has Been"], and they called me and said, "Hey, we've got William Shatner and Henry Rollins here and they really want you to come over and play." We just did some improvisational work until about 5 in the morning and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed William Shatner. He's a ball of energy, unbelievable. Henry's a character, too. Having him and William Shatner in the same room together, there was almost no air left."


From the mail bag regarding last night's show in Atlanta:

"Saw the Atlanta show, and yes, it was AWESOME

I had so much fun I'm inarticulate. Suffice to say this is the best
he's played of the 4 or 5 times I've seen him over the years, from
the Bears in the 80s to today... and the Slicks are also awesome.
What a pleasure. I also met some groovy dudes, one of whom plays
bass, and might just have made a new jamming buddy.

My face hurts from smiling. It was fantastic."


"I have seen them 4x in the last 2 years. This last show was FREAKING AMAZING.... It was hands down the best to date. If you can pick your jaw up off the table after they leave the stage, then watch the crowd. It would be a great picture for a dictionary to help describe the word 'stunned.'"


"...They sounded great, and I have nothing but positive, glowing, and wonderful things to say about Julie and Eric. Great young people. Just great."


"...As usual, Adrian is infectiously happy when he's playing with Eric and Julie. There are KC songs that I would rather hear these guys playing that the actual KC, just because of that spirit of fun and enjoyment."


"Saw the show in Atlanta. Your kids are amazing good!

Adrian - well he's on another planet and sometimes he's nice enough to take us all there for a few minutes."

And the most special post of all, from Margie Wallace, wife of Ian Wallace, which I am editing to exclude some personal references:

"...Technically, I stole the set list...I picked it up after helping Eric break down some of his stands. What can I say, I have a soft spot for drummers who carry their own gear. And what a drummer Eric is....absolutely fantastic! I can't say enough about what great players Eric and Julie are! After so many Friday evenings spent talking with Adrian about how much he loves playing with this band, it was so wonderful to see them in action. The beautiful Julie, looking so serene while holding down the bottom end as Ade just played and sang his heart out! Not to mention the special added bonus of Saul Zonana working the soundboard while simultaneously singing harmony vocals! Everyone was having a blast and the crowd loved it! ...The audience was filled with all manner of spectacular musicians (including the venal one, tapping his feet and smiling throughout) and enthusiastic audients!

It was nice to spend some time with Julie and Eric before the show, having never met them previously. We dined at a nearby sushi bar...I discovered that as amazing as Julie and Eric are as musicians, they are even better people - smart, funny, talented and gentle. Congrats to Robin and Gary for bringing up two such fine human beings.

All in all, a wonderful evening....


I wrote to Margie, asking her permission to post this, and here is how she graciously responded:


They are both great kids and talented musicians (I almost cried watching Eric at soundcheck) and a credit to both you and Gary. What a gift to shepherd two such lovely souls into this life. I had a great time meeting them and look forward to spending more time with all of you in the future! ...I know our paths with cross sooner rather than later. Until away! Consider this my official consent.

All the best,

Yes, I know. That is the coolest thing ever.

Hey, here's some exciting news. Gary has updated his blog, which currently is a tribute to his top Guitar Gods. His first post on the subject was Jimi Hendrix - click the link to see who comes in at number two and for a hint on as to which legendary musician is next on the list.

Anyway, I know I'm always saying this, but I do expect more reviews and emails later today because I personally know a couple people who attended the show last night so yep, as soon as I receive them, I'll add them to this post.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tonight: Adrian Belew Power Trio in Atlanta, GA

So while I do not have all that much information I am able to share as concerns last night's show, here's what a fan had to say:

"Great show. Adrian had a preposterous rig for the venue, and the two kids he had with him are monsters. I wasn't familiar with his material before this, so I kind of just spent the evening enjoying the weird noises and ogling his Parkers, but it was a good time indeed."

That's a pic from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, March, 2008 (thanks, Gary) because I don't have any photographs from last night - at least not yet, anyway - nor much other information other than, um, there were two special guests in the audience - Robert Fripp and Margie Wallace, wife of beloved late King Crimson drummer, Ian Wallace.

You realize it's killing me not to say anything further but out of respect to people (including Julie and Eric!) whom I truly admire and respect, my lips are sealed.

But okay, I am running around the living room whooping it up right now and the dog is looking at me like I'm crazy.

Nothing new about that.

From Tampa Creative Loafing:

Friday, May 30
Published 05.28.08
By Leilani Polk

Adrian Belew

Last year, when progressive guitarist Adrian Belew brought his power trio to State Theatre, I was skeptical about how much I'd enjoy the show. Many months before, I'd finally seen Jeff Beck -- another prog-rock heavy hitter whom I loved and appreciated -- and found myself indifferent, bored even, by Beck's cold licks and lack of charisma. But when Belew took the stage with brother-and-sister rhythm section Eric and Julie Slick, his goofy mug all smiles, and they launched into a set of dynamic, jazz-infused electro rock, my doubts were put to rest. Belew's sound was relevant and rousing, a refreshing change from the route followed by too many veteran musicians, who fall back on the familiar rather than attempting to break new or even gently-tread-upon ground. Belew knew when to take control with face-melting licks, when the time was right for improvisation and when he needed to add psychedelic texture to his sizzling sonic landscape. Belew wasn't just the frontman but a vibrant force who owned his music. Overall, a badass show and one of the best I saw last year. Belew and his trio return to town this Friday night; Jerry Outlaw & Friends provide support. Fri., May 30, 8 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, $20 in advance/$25 day of show, 813-971-0666,

So that article concerns the show this coming Friday, but if you are in the Atlanta area tonight, please check the trio out at Smith's Olde Bar.

And if it turns out any more "reportable" news pops up, I'll be back.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

F.o.C.K. Yeah! Adrian Belew Power Trio tonight in Nashville

So yesterday both Julie and Eric arrived in Nashville - Julie took a flight last evening but Eric arrived with Andre Cholmondeley in the afternoon via car whilst King Crimson was wrapping up their final rehearsal this week. You realize what this means. I will be interrogating poor Eric horribly later, and since I know he reads my blog, he's probably going to be hiding from me big time today. Ha ha - I don't blame him.

(Official tour poster created by Mark Colman)

Anyway, as I have been broadcasting all over the internet, the Adrian Belew Power Trio kicks off the first leg of their summer tour tonight in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge. They'll be introducing some new material and after listening to the recordings of their rehearsals of last week, those lucky enough to be in attendance are in for a treat.

From the Tennessean:


"Wildly adventurous guitarist Adrian Belew went back to school and discovered his personal fountain of youth.

Perhaps that's not surprising, given that the institution was the School of Rock.

Belew, who lives in Mt. Juliet, is one of the most talented and experimental guitarists in rock music. He began making a name for himself while working with Frank Zappa in the late '70s. The next 20 years brought a flurry of tours and recording sessions with artists including David Bowie, Paul Simon, Nine Inch Nails, Talking Heads and Laurie Anderson. For more than 25 years, he has served as lyricist, vocalist and guitarist of the progressive rock group King Crimson.

In February 2006, Belew conducted a seminar for students at the Paul Green School of Rock Music in Philadelphia. "While I was there, Paul (Green) said, 'I want you to hear my best students I've ever graduated.' " He introduced Belew to siblings Eric Slick, a drummer, and Julie Slick, a bass player. The three played a Zappa song together and something just clicked.

That collaboration quickly led to the Adrian Belew Power Trio, which performs at Mercy Lounge at 9 p.m. Wednesday. They'll play music from their album, Side Four (Live), as well as six King Crimson songs and other music from Belew's catalog.

The three have already performed in Italy, Canada, Germany and Japan, and they've been working on new material at Belew's studio before resuming their tour. This is more than just the latest project for Belew; it's a life-changing musical movement that has re-energized his quest for musical exploration.

"The rejuvenation of my own personal place in music with this trio is astounding to me," said Belew, 58. "I feel like I'm 20 years old. I have really discovered so much on guitar just in this last year or two of working with the Power Trio. I am doing things I never thought I could do, and so the world of guitar is so interesting to me. It is infinitely interesting to me.

"I feel sometimes like I've started all over again, and I have as much energy as ever. A lot of it has to do with playing with young people, but a lot of it has to do with the material. For the first time in my life, I'm really enjoying touring more than I ever have. There's something special going on here."

When asked to describe the trio, he chose one word: powerful.

"All the players have to play extra, in a way," he said. "I don't mean like too many notes. But I mean everybody has to really be great at what they are doing and fill all the holes with just three people.

"For example, playing King Crimson music, some of the music was originally done by six people, and some of it was done by four. None of it was ever done by three, so it's a real challenge. You have to have the right combination of players, and I think they have to be virtuoso players. I just happened to find these two, the Slicks, that are exactly what I needed.

"They still live with their parents. Eric is 21 and Julie is 22. They are phenomenal players. Everyone who hears them just can't believe they can be this good at their age. They are great people, of course, and they are very gifted."

Belew said he has discovered that King Crimson's songs have held up, despite the fickle tastes of popular culture.

"They go in and out of fashion with the players themselves, and maybe even with the public a little bit," he said. "You'll be really hot on one for a couple of tours and then you'll get tired of it. But in terms of how they've lasted as pieces of material, most of them have stood the test of time really well, because they were pretty much ahead of their time.

"Even now, they are a little ahead of their time compared to what most people are trying to do. I have a lot of young musicians who tell me they still don't understand what (King Crimson) did in the '80s. I can understand that. It's tough music to get your head around, but once you do, you really like it because it's complex and it's deep and it has a classical atmosphere to it as well."

The Power Trio takes a fresh approach to the King Crimson songs, but keeps within the original themes so fans can still recognize the compositions. "What I have tried to design with the trio is to allow us to have a lot of room to stretch out," Belew said. "Our concerts have quite a bit of improvising.

"Even though we are playing set pieces of music, there are times when we go out on a limb together, and audiences really like that, too. Then, when you are finished going to outer space and finding some new place you haven't explored before, then you come back to the rest of the piece of music, and everybody loves that.

"It's one of the things that sets us apart. Most bands just go out and play their songs the same way every night."

(Celebrity columnist Beverly Keel can be reached at 259-8073 or

Do you think I get the chills when I read stuff like "This is more than just the latest project for Belew; it's a life-changing musical movement that has re-energized his quest for musical exploration.

"The rejuvenation of my own personal place in music with this trio is astounding to me," said Belew, 58. "I feel like I'm 20 years old. I have really discovered so much on guitar just in this last year or two of working with the Power Trio. I am doing things I never thought I could do, and so the world of guitar is so interesting to me. It is infinitely interesting to me.

"I feel sometimes like I've started all over again, and I have as much energy as ever. A lot of it has to do with playing with young people, but a lot of it has to do with the material. For the first time in my life, I'm really enjoying touring more than I ever have. There's something special going on here."

Oh, I get the chills alright. Just a little bit. (Insert smiley face emoticon here)

So you may be wondering about the caption of this blog post, namely, "F.o.C.K. Yeah!"

From Tony Levin's journal:

"May 26, Nashville

F.o.C.K. Primus!
Hmm... I had suggested that the name Friends of Crimson King, for the collection of musicians who will play at the Quebec Festival d'ete in July, might not read well when abbreviated...

Anyway, we will open for Primus on July 8, and our lineup will be very cool: the California Guitar Trio plus Adrian Belew and his Power Trio, plus Pat Mastelotto and me...

Then on the 12th, the Trio, Pat and I will open for YES .... F.o.C.K. YES !!! They'll both be great shows!

I love that. I think it's brilliant. How fucking cool is Tony Levin. And yep, it's confirmed I can do both the Ottawa and Quebec shows July 5-8 and I am so excited I will be hard to live with until then. And even worse afterward.

The Quebec City Summer Music Festival, by the way, has their English website up and, if you guys have any extra vacation time coming, this is the place to be.

So it wouldn't be a true post from me if I didn't bring up food. Normally on Memorial Day we go down to Ocean City and eat Brown's donuts, Mac and Manco's Pizza, 14th Street Bakery cheese between mini-golfing and bike/surrey riding so we can at least fool ourselves into believing we are burning up some calories, but this year being what it is so far (and that rotten Julie had to work), we ended up staying home. Not so bad. Julie and Gary went over to Whole Foods Market and did some serious damage. Between Julie in the kitchen, Gary manning the grill outside, and some really prime ingredients, here's our "kicking off the summer dinner":

For Julie and me, baby spinach salad topped with warm seared scallops and shrimp, sliced avocado and spicy pecan praline in a mustard vinaigrette. Does Julie rule or what?

For Julie's significant other, Matt, a porterhouse steak topped with sauteed shrimp and chimichurri sauce, a char-grilled baked potato, and baby spinach salad. Julie also made the chimichurri sauce, which is like pesto made with cilantro. Kind of, anyway:

For Gary, the exact meal as Matt - sans shrimp:

A photo of the table before we went on attack - I really like this pic; it captures our crazy little dinner beautifully:

And finally, in his usual spot during a meal such as this, Monty hoping to score a few scraps. Oh, who am I kidding. The dog had his own bowl with chopped Porterhouse steak and a potato. Hey, he's one of our kids, too - why should we treat him any differently?

For dessert we had this but I was way too stuffed to remember to take a photo. It was fantastic, though - trust me on that.

So that's it for now unless I get to talk to Eric this morning and he tells me something I can actually spill here without embarrassing him or anyone which case I will come back here and edit.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Adrian Belew Power Trio Announce Major European Tour

Well, you know, I can't tag along on all of the tours but I did beg and plead for Canada so I'm in as far as that's concerned...but wouldn't you know it, a few days after I booked my flight comes news of a major European tour for the Adrian Belew Power Trio, beginning on October 15 through November 3, 2008.

Here is a partial list of the confirmed dates so far:

Oct 15 Budapest/Hungary
Oct 24 Woergl/Austria KOMMA
Nov 01 Schwerin/G DER SPEICHER
Nov 02 Muenster/G HOTJAZZCLUB

Obviously there will be many more dates filled in, many more countries...arghh...have I mentioned I've lost so much weight recently I can now easily fold myself into a suitcase? Julie and Eric beware!

By the way, regarding the Canada dates, I saw over at DGM Live that a reader pointed out the California Guitar Trio will be joined on stage by 3/5 of the current King Crimson, i.e., Tony, Pat, and Ade. Actually, it's a little more than that. It's also Julie and Eric Slick, and the eight musicians are being billed as "Friends of King Crimson", opening for Primus on the huge stage on July 8 - here is the website but it's still mostly in French - it looks like it's half-completed and the English version will probably be up next week. What "Friends of King Crimson" amounts to is a thirty minute performance by the Adrian Belew Power Trio, a performance by the California Guitar Trio, and Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto will join both the trio and CGT for a few songs...and then all eight musicians will jam together. So at one point the Adrian Belew Power Trio will be a double trio - Pat will do some electronics; Tony will be on is going to be freaking amazing and okay, okay, I'm suddenly not so sad about missing out on Europe after all.

And if you click on the link for Tony Levin, tell me I didn't get chills when I saw this in his blog:

"In July I will be at the Quebec Festival d'Ete - I'll come in a night early, to catch Adrian Belew's band, which I haven't seen live yet, and I hear they're great."

Yep, they are, Tony. They really, really are. And I promise not to act like deranged groupie Mom if and when our paths cross in Canada.

Actually, Eric and Julie made me promise that and as a life long fan it's going to be freaking impossible but okay, okay, I'll try. People always ask me if Julie and Eric had a strong musical upbringing. You think? One of the early concerts Gary and I took them to was Peter Gabriel/Tony Levin at the old Philadelphia Spectrum in 1993. Eric had just turned six; Julie was seven...and they were mesmerized. Eric was already busy mastering his first drum kit at that time; Julie was still focusing on drawing and painting - it would be four years later that she would pick up her first bass and after that, never looked back.

In case anyone is interested, strangely enough, Eric's first concert was Ringo Starr at age two -- it was an outdoor concert on a hot summer night; we had those dreaded lawn seats; Eric wore nothing but a tie-dye t-shirt and a diaper, and ran around from blanket to blanket flirting and dancing with "older women" who lavished all kinds of praise on him "Oh he's so adorable..."

(In this pic, we took them to see Stephen Stills play a gig called "Jam on the River" in Philadelphia which is why Julie is clutching a plastic lobster toy she insisted we buy her there. Eric's choice of souvenirs from that event was a really cool wooden slot drum which he still has and fact, he started beating it along with Stephen Stills at the concert and had a huge audience of dancing women around him within seconds...ha ha...some things never change)

Meanwhile, speaking of Eric, right now he's down in Asheville, North Carolina, performing at the Asheville Music Jamboree, or AmJam, with Delicious. (Wow...I just realized...they are one of the opening acts for Government Mule!) In typical Eric fashion, he played the Brighton Bar Friday night - Gary tagged along - the two of them got home at 2:00 a.m. Saturday and Gary had to turn right around and drive Eric to the airport for a 5:00 a.m. flight to North Carolina...he actually played last night at Stella Blue but bad blogger, I was too wiped out yesterday to post a heads up, but anyway, yeah, he's at AmJam today and then he's headed down to Casa Belew with Andre Cholmondeley on Tuesday where he will meet up with Julie to begin the ten day Adrian Belew Power Trio tour which kicks off at The Mercy Lounge in Nashville this Wednesday night, May 28.

So that's about it for now - I am going to make a fresh pot of coffee and see if I can wake's a gorgeous, gorgeous day and I think we're going to spend it shopping for plants/flowers and filling our window boxes. Yeah!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Julie and Eric Slick pied a legendary guitarist in public

Okay, after many email requests from friends and strangers and much nagging of Julie and Eric by me, I have obtained permission to tell you the "Pie in the Face" story.

On Monday night, after wrapping up three days of intense rehearsals (and oh my god, I heard the results on Julie's computer and cannot wait for the upcoming tour!), the Adrian Belew Power Trio went out for a celebratory dinner at the famous Mexican restaurant where Adrian takes his regular houseguests, most notably Robert Fripp.

While they were eating and imbibing monster Margaritas, all of a sudden they heard a strange, loud whistling sound.


They looked up just in time to see employees of the restaurant surround an overweight diner wearing a Hawaiian shirt, place a huge sombrero on his head, and, while bursting into a hokey rendition of Happy Birthday, hit him in the face with a whipped cream pie.

The way Julie tells the story, she had an "aha!" moment and looked over at Eric, who apparently had the same light bulb go on over his head. Adrian innocently continued eating.

When they were finishing up their meal, a waiter walked over and asked them how everything was.

Julie replied, "Oh, it was wonderful. The food here is great. Happy Birthday, Adrian!"

Eric added "Yeah, Happy Birthday, Ade!"

Ade looked horrified. "'s not my's not..."

Julie said he backed up against the booth, eyes wide with terror (ha), and asked for the check.

Not so fast, Senor Belew.

Within a few seconds...


The sombrero was placed on Adrian's head, and all the while he protested "But it's not my birthday; it's not my birthday..."

This did not deter the staff so Ade finally said "Okay, okay, it's my birthday..."

He got pied bigtime.

But the staff, now obviously realizing what Julie and Eric had done, then turned to Julie and hit her in the face with a pie of her own. Julie, outraged that Eric remained unscathed, wiped a huge blob of cream off of her face and threw it at Eric.

The three of them collapsed into hysterics. I love, love, love this story as it really once again shows this bands camaraderie and joy.

My only regret is that there are no photos of this event, but oh how I picture the entire scene unfolding.

Erm...a warning to the beast of King Crimson currently practicing at Casa Belew. There has been some conjecture that when Ade takes you to dinner during this week's rehearsals, one of you might find out you are celebrating a birthday you didn't know you had.

Just saying...


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On Newsstands Today: Julie Slick in Bass Player Magazine

So Julie's interview with Bass Player Magazine is out on newsstands today, and here's the photo which accompanies it, taken by her significant other and fellow bassist, Matt Rothstein. Too funny that he gets a photo credit for his woman. It's only a matter of time until he's featured in Bass Player, too, as I am in love with his band, Cheers Elephant. Click on that link and have a listen to "Here We Are" - it's my current favorite non-Adrian Belew song and as I know I've mentioned a gazillion times, Julie produced that song and the entire CD, actually. (And I just also realized that Julie has "Here We Are" as the current song playing on her MySpace site)

And if that's not enough, there's an interview with Adrian in the June issue of Guitar Player Magazine also out on newsstands today so you know that, despite the fact it is monsooning in Philadelphia today, I will be headed out to Barnes and Noble shortly to pick up a thousand copies or so of each. Ha.

So as I previously posted, Julie and Eric have been down in Nashville for the past few days rehearsing and working on new material. I think there are five new songs in the set for this tour, three of which are brand new (though E was played on the last leg; now there is E Plus or E+ -- not sure how Ade is going to spell it -- and Planet E) and two songs from his solo career are being added. One I was not familiar with but I listened to a clip last night and got goosebumps (a) because it's so fucking good and (b) thinking of the trio performing it. And that's all I'm saying. The other song added I am in fact familiar with and adore so to say the new set is fantastic is putting it mildly. It's hard to believe the first part of the tour kicks off one week from today.

Full information for the Quebec Summer Music Festival should be posted on their website May 21 - that is the official word from the promoters. Right now the schedule grid listed is like 90% incomplete but if you check that link tomorrow, it will have all the specifics. At least in theory.

And all kinds of crazy things are being discussed right now regarding late summer/fall overseas touring for the Adrian Belew Power Trio but I've been told I am not allowed to say anything yet. Just like I am sure I am not allowed to say what occurred at dinner last night in Nashville...only that it involved pie and someone's face. Oh god, I hate missing out on all the fun here in rainy Philadelphia.

Speaking of fun, while surfing the web, I stumbled on this on the Talk Bass forum board. I laughed out loud. In case more people add to the thread today and that link takes you to a previous page and is no longer accurate, just look for a photo of Julie and the following:

"Shakira plays bass?"

So the book festival was cool this week but I have to admit, since my current books run from R to X-rated, I feel a little out of place at what was obviously a family event but it's still a learning experience and I really like the east coast authors with whom I shared a table. Even better we all went out to dinner together Saturday night at the Rose Tattoo Cafe where I had tilapia stuffed with lump crap over polenta fries and two Ketel One martinis, up, with three olives. Mmm. But yeah, once my PG-13 novel which is half romantic comedy, half rock and roll memoir is published later this year, I will feel a lot more comfortable hawking my wares at all ages events. I've also started working on a new coming of age comedy starring a twenty-one year old protagonist and her eighteen year old sister so I'm basically leaving the world of erotic comedy for now...though of course I did complete the third book in the Three Days in New York City series, Bitten to the Core, which will also be out in the near future in a perfect world...and yeah, yeah, because that book still has another sequel possibility, why the hell not. But after that, I think I'm going to stick with what I love best - writing romantic baby boomer comedies which feature highly dysfunctional characters. I mean, really. Baby boomers = highly dysfunctional. Is there anyone who can argue that fact?

Oh I'm kidding.


In other news, we did manage to have a very nice celebration for Eric's 21st birthday. Gary, Julie, Eric, his significant other Katy, and I went out to dinner at Los Caballitos Cantina and it occurs to me that I should start a restaurant review blog...I think other than writing about music and books, food is like an obsession with me...anyway, in case you are interested, I had the Quesadilla Vegetariana which contained wild mushrooms, huitlacoche, roasted garlic, chihuahua cheese, and smoked corn crema. As a side dish I had a blackboard special of herb roasted corn on the cob that was so insanely delicious I could have just ordered six of those for dinner. And since Eric is in fact now legal, Julie, Eric and I split a huge pitcher of Pineapple Margaritas. No kidding, this pitcher cost $24.00 and the three of us each had 3-4 really strong drinks out of it...totally fantastic and quite the bargain. We were, alas, too full for dessert, so Gary and I drove home and everyone else walked -- it's about a ten mile walk but they are young and in good shape but the real reason was they wanted to sober up so they could continue partying throughout the night...I think they ended up at a few neighborhood establishments before calling it a night.

Finally, for those of you who are looking for something really cool to read on the web...back in 2002, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (a/k/a NANOWRIMO) for the very first time -- I am proud to say that I've participated every year since then and now can boast that every book I've written via NANOWRIMO has been or will be published. Anyway, in 2002, there was a core group of us from Philadelphia who got together and just clicked. I stayed in touch with a few and while I now only correspond regularly with one participant in particular, she turned me on to the fact that two of our pals, Tim and Jessica, who met via NANO that year, had fallen in love and had the most amazing experience. They quit their jobs, sold all of their possessions, and traveled around the world. The trip was supposed to be just for a year but it ended up being eighteen months, and to say it was life-changing is putting it mildly. Anyway, they blogged the entire experience and I have been just mesmerized reading it -- it's part love story, part extensively good travel guide, and's hard to describe, you'll have to read it for yourself. It will take you hours but trust me, it's really worth it, and Susan Henderson, if you happen to stop by, Tim and Jessica would make incredibly excellent guests for Lit Park.

Okay, that's a wrap for now. Julie and Eric will be back in Philadelphia around dinnertime and I'm making them a vegetarian lasagne which will probably take me all day.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Come Hang Out With Me Today at the Philadelphia Book Festival

Just a reminder that I will be signing/selling books today and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. along with my east coast author pals Christine Norris, Philippa Grey-Gerou, Alessia Brio, Leigh Ellwood, Karyna DaRosa, Rayna Vause, Donna Michaels, Bridget Midway, Cat Johnson, Stella Price, and Tilly Greene at the Philadelphia Book Festival. Our tent/table is located at 19th and Wood Streets, on 19th just north of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and we are tents #29 and #30. Come say Hi! And yes, I will give you copious amounts of chocolate.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 15, 2008: Happy 21st Birthday Eric Slick

Hey, hey, hey, Eric Slick is legal today - twenty-one years old. He can now sign autographs at the bar after playing with the trio in 21+ shows and even better, he can now go see any show he wants...ugh...can you imagine being a professional musician and being banned from attending your colleagues' concerts because you aren't old enough to get into the club even if you have absolutely no intention of drinking? Yet...yet, yet, 18 you are old enough to die in Iraq. Oh well. Since I have mixed feelings about this subject, I'd better stay away from it. That is to say, no, I am not in favor of underage drinking and we already know my position on war so it's kind of a no win situation for me to even take this argument on.

Anyway...2008 has so far been both an exhilarating and extremely sad time for the Slick family, an incredible roller coaster. But let me start this post off on a positive note. One thing I didn't get to advertise here was that on Saturday night, May 10, Eric played a gig at John and Peters in New Hope, Pennsylvania, with Chris Harford.

Here's the band, which consisted of Chris on vocals and guitar, Eric Slick on drums, Matt Kohut on bass and Scott Metzger on lead guitar.

And then, as is usual and customary at a Chris Harford concert, the band played musical chairs:

But wait...who is this waiting in the wings? Could it be proud Papa Gary Slick? Why is he sitting there, staring so intently?

Could it be...

Yes! Gary finally realizes a life long dream to play on stage with his son! And yeah, that's the way cool Telecaster Julie, Eric and I bought him for Christmas last year. That had to be the best way to break it in ever!

(All photos in this post were taken by "Fredington" of the Ween Forum Board)

Thanks so much to Chris for making it happen. Gary had a blast and Eric teased him "Hey, you did great and you didn't embarrass me!" (That's Eric humor...he is so cool, just like his dad...and his Dad, by the way, gave Ms. Julie Slick her very first bass lessons so yeah, the apple did not fall far from the tree) Like I said, it's been really rough for our family lately, especially Gary. As I've been sort of skirting around, Gary's mom began having some medical problems this spring and though we were really hoping she'd turned a corner last week, she passed away just after midnight on May 12...but Gary and Eric both spent Mother's Day with her at the hospital holding her hand. May 10 was the Harford show and Gary and Eric were able to briefly step away from the harsh reality of Mom's illness and played until 2:00 a.m., after which they were both up early on Mother's Day and headed to the hospital, not knowing it would be her last day.

Yesterday we had a really moving private ceremony for just the immediate family and a few friends...a simple graveside service which Gary began with the Serenity Prayer and asked that anyone who wanted to share a story about his Mom do so.

Eric stepped forward first, and I have to post what he wrote here because it's just so touching and sensitive and well, it's just so, so Eric:

"I have nothing but great things to say about my grandma. I have included a short list of all of my favorite memories.

1) My first Easter: She told me that a giant bunny was going to come through the front door to deliver Reese's cups. I was excited at first, until I realized I was terrified of giant rabbits.

2) When she bought us detective supplies: Julie and I became obsessed with kid detective shows, so she went out and purchased crime scene tape, sketchbooks, fake guns, and Rite Aid notepads. One time, she walked in and we had created an entire crime scene ourselves. I'll never forget the look on her face.

3) One time I convinced my grandma that my parents didn't feed me. I told her that my parents wouldn't make pork chops for me, so they just fed me bread shaped like pork chops.

4) My most cherished memory is from last week. I went to visit her at Jefferson Hospital to bring her cheesecake. I walked in and showed her what I had brought. Her face lit up. Unfortunately , the nurse said I wasn't allowed to give her any yet. I just looked over at her and we smiled at each other. We proceeded to have one of the best conversations we've ever had. She told me that all she wanted to hear was "Give Peace A Chance". I kissed her on the forehead and told her how much I loved her. She looked at me and said, "Now when can I have that cheesecake? I'll beat you with a wet noodle!" I said that I had to go to work and then she said her famous goodbye.

"See you later alligator! After a while crocodile!"

After Eric finished, Julie read her tribute, which she prefaced with a smile, saying "I should have conferenced with Eric before reading this because we touched on the same subjects." I was actually glad she didn't have the chance for that conference, because her speech confirmed for Gary and me what we already knew - that they had a charmed childhood, a good part of which was courtesy of their Grandmom and she played an integral part in the fantastic adults they became.

Here's what Julie had to say:

"Ellen Slick was an amazing woman. Some of my fondest childhood memories came from time spent at her house. When we were little, Eric and I would come up every other weekend to give our parents a break so we could run amok at Grandmom's house. I would storm into the kitchen, demand her to fill my bottle "to the tippy top" and then gang up with Eric to tear apart her couch so that we could build forts. Sheets were stretched around and propped up and we'd imagine that we were detectives stationing at our headquarters. She would just shake her head, laugh and threaten to beat us with a wet noodle or send us on a raft to Timbuktu. She was in on the fun too, though, happily playing along as our police chief, our tour manager, or the bad-guy ninja. At the end of the night, we'd clean up together. We'd set up the pull out bed where'd she lay with us until we fell asleep – which wasn't easy – she'd always just fed us caramel-y nutty chocolately Snickers ice cream bars. The next day we'd wake her up with our giggling and the clacking of dolls, GI-joes or matchbox cars. When we got hungry, we'd yell for our breakfast – and she never prevented us from going cuckoo for cocoa puffs like mom and dad did. When we wore her out, she'd sit in the kitchen, listen to her radio and sing along to the classics. When I got older, I'd sit there with her and help her do the crosswords. I returned to that kitchen less frequently as I got busy with work and school. But I made a constant attempt over the last couple of years to visit with Dad, especially when there was a coffee cake or coconut pie involved. We still always went up at Christmas to collect our annual ornaments, calendars, rock and roll t-shirts, and other things you never knew existed. It was her favorite time of year, the time all of us got together and watched as Monty dog sniffed out his gifts and tore them up all over her living room floor. The celebrations never lasted very long – not usually more than a few hours, but we'd always manage to ravage her living room and leave with bountiful bags of gifts. She'd never sweat about it though, and she'd just beam as we hugged her and note that Eric and I just kept getting taller as she kept shrinking. "You're gonna be eatin' soup off my head one of these days!" she'd shout as she wagged her finger at us. Then she'd open the door for us and observe as we'd load up the car with all of the presents she spent most of the year picking out. We'd each give her one last hug and finish every one of our meetings in the same manner. Rolling down the car window, Eric and I would simultaneously shout, "See ya later alligator!" She always smiled, her big cheeks glowing, retorting "After a while crocodile! See ya later alligator!" "After a while crocodile!" we'd counter as we pulled away, waving our hands and beeping our horn as the crazy-haired Slick family said goodbye to our grandmom on Roselyn Street."

I think we all pretty much tearfully said "See you later, alligator" as we stepped up one by one and laid a rose on her coffin at the end of the service. I'm so happy those were her final wishes...wakes and long funerals attended by strangers are so barbaric and she simply wanted those who love her to honor her the way we did.

Afterwards, the four of us and Julie's significant other, Matt, had lunch at a beautiful garden cafe called Under the Oak in the neighborhood where Gary and I grew up near the cemetery. Only I could put in a plug for a restaurant after such a sobering post but I feel I must mention how wonderful it was...sitting outside on an absolutely glorious day surrounded by trees and blooming azalea bushes, eating lentil cakes with Moroccan carrots, cucumber, and avocado; wheatberry salad, chilled pea soup with mint, and for the carnivores, Matt and Gary, homemade meatloaf on brioche. Dessert, baked on the premises, consisted of Philadelphia Butter Cake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffle pie, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Layer Cake, and Sweet Potato Pie with Pecans. If you click the link I gave you, there are even some recipes. The soup especially was amazing.

It was a very peaceful way to end what has been a very traumatic time for our family, and even the timing of Mom's death right after Mother's Day and the fact we were able to arrange the service so as not to coincide with the happy occasion of Eric's 21st birthday were almost like her final (and usual) acts of selflessness.

And after the partying is over tonight - and we still don't know how we are celebrating or where since obviously our minds have been in other places, Eric and Julie hop on a plane for Nashville for three days of intensive rehearsals at Studio Belew in preparation of their upcoming tour which yes, will include some new and incredible material. And right after Julie and Eric return to Philadelphia on May 20, Robert Fripp and those King Crimson guys descend on Casa Belew for a week of rehearsals...and as soon as they wrap that up on May 27, Julie and Eric fly back down to Nashville that evening for the trio's first leg of the summer tour, which kicks off in Nashville at the Mercy Lounge on May 28. So basically, how would you like to be Adrian Belew right now? For the next three months, his house and life are going to be a non-stop revolving door of extraordinary musicians and music.

Hey, Eric will finally be able to have what I believe Robert Fripp calls "Monster Margaritas" at the infamous Mexican restaurant where Adrian takes all of his house guests. And I just saw on Robert's website that Eric shares a birthday with his pal Brian Eno. If I remember correctly, the month of May also gave us drummers extraordinaire Bill Bruford, John Bonham, Gavin Harrison, Alan White, Alex Van Halen, Chris Frantz, Bill Ward, Billy Cobham...I am probably leaving out a bunch but as I remember (or Eric tells me) I will come in and edit. Hey, it's also Robert's birthday tomorrow, too! Wow...

Since I have been really lax in posting on my blog this month, let me update you on some of the tour dates planned for the summer:

05/28/08 Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
05/29/08 Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA
05/30/08 Skippers Smokehouse Tampa, FL
05/31/08 Bamboo Room, Lake Worth, FL
06/04/08 Stella Blue, Asheville, NC
06/05/08 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
06/06/08 Rams Head Tavern, Annapolis, MD
06/07/08 Mexicali Blues, Teaneck, NJ
06/08/08 Revolution Hall, Troy, NY
07/05/08 Ottawa Bluesfest
07/06/08 Quebec City Int'l Summer Fest
07/08/08 Quebec City Int'l Summer Fest
07/09/08 Nectar's, Burlington, VT
07/10/08 Harper's Ferry, Boston, MA
07/11/08 River Cruise, New York, NY
07/12/08 Diesel, Pittsburgh, PA
07/13/08 The Southgate House, Newport KY

You can find the direct links to purchase tickets over at

Now in between all of this, Eric has gigs with Delicious and Crescent Moon. Here's what I know so far:

May 24 2008 10:00P
Stella Blue Asheville, North Carolina
May 25 2008 8:00P
AmJam2008 Asheville, North Carolina
Jun 24 2008 8:00P
Asbury Lanes w/Butthole Surfers Asbury Park, New Jersey
Jun 25 2008 9:00P
The Funhouse w/Crescent Moon (Dave D. of Ween) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Jun 26 2008 9:00P
John&Peters w/Crescent Moon (Dave D. of Ween) New Hope, Pennsylvania
Jun 27 2008 8:00P
Toy Eaters Jersey City, New Jersey
Jun 29 2008 7:00P
School of Rock Festival (Dropkick Murphys, Less Than Jake + many more!!!) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hey, please click on the link for Delicious - there's two new songs up featuring Eric on drums called Waiting for a Stranger and Test for Sergei and they are both totally awesome.

There's a great review of the Adrian Belew Power Trio in this month's issue of Tone Magazine. I tried taking a screen shot of the article, but if it doesn't work for you and if you can't read it, click on the link for Tone I just gave you and download the current'll be able to read it easily that way.

Also, I need to tell you that after I posted that whole story about Reeves Gabrels, he had to back out of the May 23 performance due to other commitments but the show will still go on...I will have the new line-up for you ASAP.

Just a reminder that I will be at the Philadelphia Book Festival this weekend - I will put up another link tomorrow -- but how cool, my name is prominently listed in the Philadelphia Inquirer today in the special insert for said festival - it really made my day to see that.

Okay, that's enough out of me. This blog will resume its usual, daily service least in theory, anyway. Hey, did I mention I have a new publisher in addition to Phaze? More on that in a future post.