Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dinner at Julie Slick's house

So when Julie moved to her new, gorgeous bi-level apartment, she told me she wanted it to be an oasis where anyone could drop by even unannounced and always be treated to a spur of the moment excellent Julie meal, watch her 1,000 foot plasma tv (ha), drink some great wine/beer, etc.

In other words, she's the exact opposite of her curmudgeon mother.

Oh, I'm kidding. As Julie and Eric will be the first to tell you, our house was the party house 24/7 and all of their friends knew they could always hang out here and not only be fed something fantastic but they had Gary's collection of 30 or so vintage guitars and basses at their disposal and Eric's drums, keyboards, synths etc. were right in the living room for any and all to jam. So I am thrilled that she wanted to duplicate the experience at her own place.

Anyway, the above pics were taken this past Monday night when she invited her father, brother Eric, Eric's significant other, Katy, and yours truly to dinner and too funny, I love that shot of my princess, striking a pose after serving us one of the more memorable meals I've had at her place though truth to tell, she ups the bar with every dinner so I'll probably always be typing "best meal ever" and at the time, will mean it...until the next one.

The photo of me is just so typical.

Anyway, I know you are all dying to know the menu...and if you will check Julie's blog later today or tomorrow, she'll have all the recipes up.

First course:

Arugula Salad with Marinated Artichokes, Curried Olives, and Toasted
Walnuts in a Lemon-Agave Vinaigrette.

Second course:

Roasted Corn, Shallot, Mascarpone, and Cashew Agnolotti in a Blood
Orange-Parmesan Broth topped with Roasted Cashews and Shaved Beemster.

Ze bread:

French-style Baguette served with Sweet Cream Butter.

A healthy dessert (kind of):

Zucchini-Walnut Bread - Cinnamon Scented with Butter and Applesauce.

Words cannot describe how amazing a culinary experience that was, but as you can see, Gary and Monty dog, who also came to visit, are both quite happy...I am ecstatic as well, but of course I'm in my usual pose:

Here are some art shots Katy took of Julie's apartment:

This one cracks me up because it's kind of a multi-generational collection of art. As mentioned previously in this blog, Julie painted the portrait of Stravinsky on the far left, but the middle painting of Beethoven..well, pretty funny story that. I painted it when I was sixteen years old and when Julie moved out, she "borrowed it" be honest, I didn't even know it was still around but all these years, she had it up in her bedroom at my house and really loved it, which made me just about burst with joy and love because she's so much more talented as an artist than I ever was and it really touched me that she "filched" this when she got a place of her own and hung it up in her living room, in between her beautiful painting and the painting on the right, which was done by her significant other Matt's cousin Jordan del Rosario.

By the way, Jordan is also lead guitar player in Matt's band, Cheers Elephant, and they have a huge gig coming up on April 20, 2009 downstairs at World Cafe Live. You can get your tickets right here.

Speaking of upcoming shows, the family and I are very stoked that we are going to see Jeff Beck, along with Julie's nemesis, Tal Wilkenfeld on bass when they visit the Electric Factory on April 8, 2009. We're gonna stare Tal down.

Oh, I am so kidding. First of all, we've been Jeff Beck fans since...forever...and Tal is wonderful but it's mind boggling how often she and Julie are confused with each other...I guess it's because they both play bass and have curly hair? But they really look nothing alike.



So yeah, we're really excited about this and Eric is of course thrilled to be able to catch Vinnie Colaiuta on drums with Jeff Beck and Tal - he's been a Vinnie fan since he was like four years old. Here's Eric and Vinnie a few years ago when they met up at NAMM in California...sigh...I miss Eric's long hair:

Something tells me I'm forgetting huge things to report here but it's 7:00 a.m., the dog needs to be walked and fed, and I've got a ton of things to do today so I've got to get my sorry ass out of here early...but rest assured if I do remember what it is I wanted to say, I'll be back.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Odds and Sods for Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hey hey:

Well, not much has been going on here, but naturally I do have a few cool links and other news flashes.

First of all, have you seen Julie Slick's blog lately? Hilarious...and awesome recipes.

Secondly, the crazy life of Eric Slick.

Eric was just over here for coffee. What a life that dude has. Every day is a freaking cabaret. He told me a cool story about all this insane stuff that happened to him last night and I was like, I am so blogging this. Anyway, it started out when he got a text from Tim Motzer.

Here's Tim:

Tim wanted to meet for coffee and hang out at this vegetarian place near Eric's house - Mugshots. So they did that and when they walked outside, they bumped into Tom McKee of the School of Rock who was with the legendary Johnny Rabb, who had a gig in Philadelphia that night.

Here's Johnny:

Meanwhile, Johnny totally freaked Eric out by being really friendly and saying "Hey, I know you, you're Adrian Belew's drummer" -- Eric was especially stoked because he's a big fan of Johnny and it was surreal when he recognized him...anyway, Tim and Eric were put on the guest list for the show that night and Eric asked Tim if he wanted to come over to his place and hear an excerpt or two from "e", the new Adrian Belew Power Trio studio LP. Tim listened to it and was totally blown away, said it was fucking amazing, and then said to Eric "Let's go back to my studio and do some recording now...we have an hour or so before Johnny's show" and I think bassist Barry Meehan was either already set to record with Tim that night or they called him, but anyway, the three of them cut a record in an hour and a half, just a spur of the moment jam, and it came out incredible so they've decided to go back in and do some more and maybe get it out there. Tim ironically recorded with Markus Reuter when he was in town last week...Eric met up with them for a bit and then took them over to hang with Julie for some drinks...

Here's Markus:

So that was Eric's night - made fantastic music, saw an awesome show, and got to hang with some pretty interesting company.

In other news, how cool is Tony Levin's bass cam as he goes on tour with Peter Gabriel?

And will Tony and Pat Mastelotto join Adrian, Eric and Julie along with Eddie Jobson on a European tour this July? And I do I believe that the ABPT is playing a festival this June with the B-52s?

Continuing on with my usual scatterbrained Odds and Sods post, let me just say that Twitter is so cool. Where else would I get a "tweet" from Yoko Ono that says "I was never able to get hold of my mother without touching her manicure and fur." (Her mom was a French Poodle?)

Did you know Adrian recently did an interview with Premier Guitar Magazine?

Talking Guitar: An Interview with Adrian Belew
by Jordan Wagner
Adrian Belew talks about his early career, his new project and his gear, including his signature Parker Fly Deluxe

Few players are as recognizable on tape as Adrian Belew. One of the most innovative players to pick up the instrument, Belew is a legend among musicians and music lovers for his impressive resume and unorthodox approach. His notoriety began as a guitarist for Frank Zappa on the acclaimed Sheik Yerbouti album in which he endured a rigorous regimen of musical training from the eccentric and brilliant composer. The work paid off in spades, as it resulted in Belew’s talent being tapped by the prolific David Bowie, then collaborations with other greats, such as Talking Heads and ultimately, joining King Crimson. Belew’s labors can also be heard on records by Tori Amos, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Nine Inch Nails, and on his own celebrated solo records, which he’s been producing since 1982 (Lone Rhino). We sat down with Belew recently and picked his brain about his new signature Parker Fly, the future of King Crimson, and his excitement about recording and touring with the Adrian Belew Power Trio.

Q. "What are your current plans for the Adrian Belew Power Trio? You seemed to be very excited about the group at NAMM this year."

A. "I’ll be recording a new record with Eric and Julie Slick. It’ll be the first record of new material that we’ve done. We’ve only done project before; that was a live record. I’m so excited about it, I’ve been playing guitar every day, waiting for them to get here!"

Q. "I’ve heard that the upcoming record will have five distinct sections, or movements that are unrelated."

A. "Well, it’s a piece that I’ve written over the last two or three years. It’s called “e” and yes, it’s in five different sections. Each of them could stand alone as a piece of music, but they do interact in the sense that some thematic things weave through all five pieces and tie them together. I’ve not been able to put much of this down on tape correctly, so I really don’t know what I have on my hands, but in the end it’s probably going to be 40 or 50 minutes long—a power trio playing something almost symphonic. And there are many different sides to it, so if you don’t like one section, hopefully you’ll love the next! [laughs]"

Q. "How would you compare this to the Side series you released, in terms of its sound? How musically different is it?"

A. "It’s different in the sense that it’s more symphonically based, and it’s all instrumental. In terms of the Side records, it cuts out a lot that was great for the orchestration, you know, like the electronica sounds and things like that. Of course, there are no words or voices in there to humanize it. I think it’s radically different really, from what I’ve put on a record before—except that in one sense it has the sound, overall, of something that King Crimson would do. The beautiful thing about the Power Trio is that we’ve gone everywhere, all over the world, and we’ve had so many experiences. We’ve played every type of venue, every type of event, and we’ve grown so much musically because of that. It’s perfect timing to finally do something brand new and original with this lineup."

Q. "Both Julie and Eric Slick—the other members of the Power Trio—have pretty impressive backgrounds and experience. What is it like creating music with their combined talents, as opposed to other acts you’ve worked with in the past?"

A. "I’m bringing material to them and expressing the different ways I’d like to see them approach it. What’s nice about it is that they naturally play their instruments the way that I wish I could play those instruments. [laughs] I mean, the kind of approach or orchestration that Eric might do for drumming in a section is quite often exactly what I would have tried to do, and the same goes for Julie’s bass playing. I think it’s because their growing up and studying music involved a lot of things that I was involved in. They learned a lot of the Frank Zappa and King Crimson catalogs, David Bowie’s stuff, Talking Heads… so it turns out that they are really familiar with a lot of things that I do. That’s what will make this record different from most of my solo records. On those records I played all the instruments; this time around I’m going to have a better bass player and drummer than me."

Q. "You recently continued work with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, notably on the Ghost I-IV record. That was a massive instrumental record, and your playing is very expressive. What was your mindset during those recording sessions? What were those sessions like in terms of your artistic freedom?"

A. "Well, I’ve done three records with Trent now, and all three have been alike: I walk in the door, get my equipment working properly, and he starts playing me pieces of music. He’ll say, “If you find something you want to play, stop us and we’ll record you.” [laughs] It’s usually easy for me to find something to play in his material. It really fits my styles—my sounds and the things I like to do—very well. When you play with Trent Reznor, you don’t want to pull out your normal things; you go do the most extreme things that you can. It’s a lot of fun, because it puts me on the spot to do what I really love to do, which is be creative with the guitar. The sky’s the limit. Nobody is saying “No! No! No!” Everyone is saying, “Yes!”

I really enjoy working with Trent, because it gives me that type of freedom. In a way, it’s the same kind of freedom that I had working with David Bowie. He was also very encouraging, asking me to do more wild things. The same was true with the Talking Heads. Trent Reznor is, to me, a major inspiration in the world of production. I really like the way that his records sound. I’m always keeping my eyes open on the process, so I can maybe learn something."

Q. "A lot of people, including musicians, have no idea that you contributed heavily to Zappa’s Sheik Yerbouti. It was in fact your break into the music business. How intense were those sessions? Was it gradual or did you just hit the ground running when you arrived?"

A. "The entire Sheik Yerbouti record, from my perspective, was done live. Everything you hear of me on the record is live, mostly recorded in New York—or other places, because Frank would record things all the time. I didn’t get to go in and play on the record. From what I can tell, there wasn’t much that had to be played. I think Frank just added some little things of his own. It’s mostly a live record, in other words.The preparation came in learning how to play Frank Zappa’s music, which was one of the biggest endeavors of my life! [laughs] And I’ve told this story many times. Before we ever touched a stage anywhere, we rehearsed in a large film studio with full production, on a big stage—lights and everything— and we did that for three months. Every day for three months, except for the weekends, when I went home with Frank and he taught me the things that would be coming up the next week. It was three months of solid work for me, trying to adapt to Frank’s pretty scary music. That’s what put me in the position to be able to contribute at all. One time, for example, he was showing me part of the new song called “Flakes,” and I was kind of poking fun at him and sang it like Bob Dylan, and that’s how it ended up on the record that way. He said, “That’s it. You’re going to do that on the record.” You have to be careful for what you wish for."

Q. "I’ve noticed a lot more admiration for King Crimson in the past few years, and specifically the trinity of records from when you first joined the band (Three of a Perfect Pair, Discipline, Beat). That really tight, interlocking but orchestrated sound that you guys created has seemed to influence a lot of recent acts, with groups like Tool citing you as a major influence. Have you noticed that influence in modern music, and if so, how do you interpret it?"

A. "Well, I’m ashamed to say this, but I really don’t listen to much other music. I know that may sound selfish, but I do have so much I’m working on, I find it’s better to not listen to too many other things, because it destroys my focus on what I’m currently doing. But, I have heard enough comments, and I’ve heard enough of the bands you’re mentioning, like Tool or Umphrey’s McGee, and what I can say about it is, it’s the biggest compliment I could ever have in my life. It makes it all worthwhile.

I was influenced by King Crimson long before I ever joined the band, because I felt the music inherently had a higher level of quality in the way that it was constructed, and in the things that they didn’t do, that they avoided doing. So when I got in the band, I was very keen to carry on that same tradition. I think that’s the only way we could have operated as King Crimson, because that really is what it’s about. It’s about pushing the limits, but you have to remain above a certain line. In King Crimson there are a lot more things you don’t do than there are things that you do.

In other words, imagine if you took a box of 24 crayons and poured them out on a table, and then took four of them and said, “These are the four we’re going to use. The other 20, no thanks.” It forces you to come up with unique ways to deal with what you have. The interlocking guitar-thing was really difficult to deal with from a songwriter’s viewpoint, because it’s a one-trick pony. It’s a very good one, but how do you keep riding that same pony and make it seem different all the time? That was the task that Robert and I had. I think we did honorably with it, and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of. That was a good partnership… it still is."

Q. "Parker Guitars recently issued your signature Fly Deluxe model. Can you tell us more about how it came into being?"

A. "Well first, I’ll tell you a little bit that I know about Ken Parker. He was a luthier who, for almost 20 years or so, tried to develop a new approach to the electric guitar. He was very concerned about the woods used, and the technology. He was really the first guy to take all that stuff and view it from a scientific viewpoint— how to make a modern guitar. He cut away all of the unnecessary wood so it would resonate perfectly. The guitar ended up that. It’s only four or five pounds. He carved away everything, sculpted it… I think it the guitar looks like a modern sculpture, but the wood resonates perfectly. It’s not the kind of uncontrollable resonance; it’s the right kind.

The problem at that point is you’d have a neck that was so thin that if you put the pressure of strings on it, it would probably crack or break off. So, that’s where the science comes in. Ken Parker then developed a carbon and glass composite. They put a thin coat of that on the back of the guitar, and they shrink-wrap it. They put it in an oven and cook it. When they cook that chemical compound into the wood of the guitar, it makes the tensile strength of the wood 10,000 times stronger. Then you’ve got a very thin neck—which is the best feature of the guitar if you ask me—that stays perfectly intonated and perfectly in place. There’s never a dead note or anything like that.

My favorite thing about the guitar is this: it makes me play better. I can’t really give anything a better endorsement than that. It absolutely makes me play better. I play with more fluidity… smoother, faster. I can do things I can’t do on other guitars with the Parker Fly. The next thing about it that attracted me was, of course, the tremolo arm. I’m very picky about tremolo arms, because I abuse them to death. That’s a problem, because [guitars] usually don’t come back in tune so easily. The Parker Fly does; it stays perfectly in tune. I can bend the notes up a third, or dive bomb them all the way down, and the guitar comes right back in tune. It still kind of amazes me. [laughs]

Even though the Parker Fly comes equipped with a piezo pickup and some DiMarzios— they’re great sounding guitars anyway. They resonate, you can get a lot of sounds out of them—I still wanted more sound qualities from them. What really makes my signature guitar different from a normal Parker Fly are the electronics. Mine is a MIDI-capable guitar, which means you can play it through any MIDI device: guitar synthesizer, keyboards, samplers, anything you’ve got, you can now trigger with your guitar. And that was a very important thing to me, since I’ve used guitar synthesizers pretty much since they started. The second thing was something I’ve always relied on, which is called the Sustainiac [pickup]. I’m sure most guitar players know what it is—it gives you infinite sustain, which is great for playing solos or trying to mimic violin lines, or just getting feedback. There are so many uses for the Sustainiac that I didn’t want a guitar that didn’t have it.

To make it the most modern, up-to-date, state-of-the-art guitar I could have, we put in the Line 6 Variax system. That in itself is an incredible technology, which allows you to have 25 different types of guitars at your fingertips. They all sound and react like the real things, which is amazing. When you play it, you really feel like you’re just playing a guitar that sounds like a banjo. It’s great. I couldn’t leave it out when I was designing what I thought would be the Ferrari of electric guitars.

The last difference with my signature model is the paint jobs. I’m a vintage car nut, so I studied cars a lot and how they do paint finishes. I went to the idea of using PPG custom car paint, like you would see at a really nice custom car show. It looks you could stick your hand down into that color. It’s a 12-stage paint job in itself, which is a quite a chore. We picked out different colors that lend themselves to great lighting on stage, and the colors will change and shimmer, and they’ll have little subtleties in them. That makes it more of a modern sculpture-guitar to me, and that’s one of the things that first attracted me. So, all of that put together—oh man! I’m the happiest man… you can’t believe how happy I am to play this guitar! [laughs]"

You know, when I was at NAMM, that orange one on display just totally caught my eye—it’s one of the coolest looking guitars. I love the way it locks onto your body when you play it. Yes, it’s like I said before; it makes you play better. Anybody who sits down and plays a Parker Fly for a while will say, “This neck is better than any neck I’ve ever played.” Because it just is. It’s perfect. I don’t know how you could do it better. When you go back to your heavier, thicker necks and heavier guitars, you kind of scratch your head."

Q. "With your live rig, I know you’re a big fan of using modeling amps like the Johnson, and the Vetta. What’s your current live rig with the Power Trio going to be like?"

A. "Well, it depends on whether we’re playing in the US or internationally. When we play outside the US, as we did a lot this past year, I can only take what we call my “baby rig.” The “baby rig” is a Johnson amp head only, and being as light as a fly, which is why it’s calleda few floor pedals, including a Boomerang looper. When I go to Australia or Europe or Japan… they provide the cabinets to run the amp through, and I bring the least amount of stuff I can. I much prefer… [laughs] the US “big rig.” It gets bigger every day, because they are so many nice things that are being invented and changing the world of guitar playing. It’s hard not to stay in the game, not want to have some of those things. I now run basically three different systems at once. One is the Johnson system: a Johnson amp and a cabinet. I invested so much time and effort into that. It was one of the first modeling amps I found over the years, and I do things with it that I can’t get anything else to do. So, I still use Johnson, even though they’ve been out of business for many years. I buy as many of them I can find. The second amp system is the Vetta. I use that for flavors and different sounds that I don’t get out of the Johnson. Sometimes I’ll bring the Vetta in over the top of the Johnson sound, to get that thicker, overdub type of guitar sound. Sometimes I’ll switch over to the Vetta for some special lead sounds. It’s got a lot of nice sounds in it, being a Line 6 device.

The third thing I use is the Bose L1 setup. In fact, I have two of them, and they are the towers you see. The technology is incredible. How they make this happen I don’t know, but I went to the Bose factory and they demonstrated it for me. It has a different kind of dispersion than anything else. If you stand in front of a guitar amp and move two feet to the right, you’ll get a slightly different sound. If you move to the back of the room, you’ll get a totally different sound. Not true with the Bose L1. It has a 360 degree dispersion, and they do truly sound about the same anywhere you are in the whole room. You can walk up to them while you’re playing, and they don’t get louder—they’re the same as when you were 40 feet away. I use them because they’re a high-end product. I use them for their great fidelity, because I do use guitar synthesizer. I do play my guitar through a keyboard. I make loops, which the band then plays to. All those things come through the Bose L1s. It’s especially good in the looping area because the band can hear it really well. They no longer need to have so much extra monitoring or anything. They can hear it just coming out of my guitar rig."

Q. "Can you tell us what lies in the future for King Crimson?"

A. "I wish I could. As everyone knows Robert Fripp is the leader of the band. I’ve always thought that was the way it should be. I respect that, and try to respect Robert’s wishes in most everything that King Crimson does. Right now, he doesn’t want to tour, he doesn’t want to play or write any new material. It’s not that he’s angry with anybody, it’s just where he is in his life right now. It’s not on his mind to do that—he has other things. So, it’s down to waiting for Robert to say he’s ready to play some more shows, or write some more songs. What I do know about him is that when he’s ready he’ll say so. When it does happen, I hope that I’m still there!"

Adrian gives good interview, doesn't he?

Finally, thank you so much for buying my newest book, which somehow reached #28 on the Amazon best seller list for...get this...romance, religious. Huh? Trust me, it's neither. It's my usual angsty neurotic sense of humor...this time about rock music. But okay, I admit it...for me, rock music is a religious experience. And I'll take what I can get!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Purple Day in New York City!

So as I mentioned a few thousand times on billboards posted all over the internet, this past Tuesday, March 10, 2009, I was in New York City with Julie Slick and Eric Slick to support the launch party for Purple Day. Julie and Eric were the musical guest, along with brilliant keyboardist Chris Opperman (yes, Chris records/plays with Steve Vai among other luminaries), and if you look at the goody table...wait...what is that next to those gorgeous cupcakes? Why, it's Side Four Live! And some CDs by Chris as well, though we are all anxiously awaiting the release of his newest CD, Lionheart, based on Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics.

Here's the official Press Release for the event:


NEW YORK, NY – Paul Shaffer of the Late Show with David Letterman and a host of celebrities join the fight for epilepsy awareness with the launch of Purple Day USA. Purple Day founder, ten-year-old Cassidy Megan will host the exclusive Purple New York Party in NYC on March 10, 2009 at Dylan’s Candy Bar, 1011 Third Ave from 1-2 p.m.

Motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, Cassidy created Purple Day to let other kids with the disorder know they are not alone and help educate the public about epilepsy. She designated March 26th “Purple Day”— named for the internationally recognized color for epilepsy,lavender. Now her grassroots effort is going global.

Epilepsy affects 3 million Americans and over 50 million people worldwide (one in 100). Yet, many people living with epilepsy face barriers due to a lack of awareness about the disorder.

“I always thought I was the only one with epilepsy and I was afraid to tell people because I thought they would make fun of me,” says Cassidy.

This year, the New York-based Anita Kaufmann Foundation—a charity dedicated to educating the public about epilepsy—is helping Cassidy launch Purple Day USA. “Purple Day is a powerful step toward demystifying the disorder that plagued my best friend,” says the foundation's executive director, Debra Josephs. “Anita used to tell me that she felt the stigma and misconceptions were worse than the condition itself. The Purple New York Party is the perfect way to get the message out there—with the help of some incredible celebrities to boot.”

Celebrities attending the event include:

• Paul Shaffer of the Late Show with David Letterman
• Project Runway Season Five winner Leanne Marshall
• Former NY Giants Super Bowl Champion & current Cincinnati Bengal, Geoffrey Pope
• Harlem Wizards player “Mighty” Mike Simmel
• Model Jaime Paetz (one of Maxim Magazine's “10 Hotties”)
• Paul Green, founder of the acclaimed School of Rock
• Dr. Alan Greene, pediatric expert for WebMD
• Cassidy Megan, founder of Purple Day

Here's Eric, setting up his drumkit, while simultaneously watching the staff at Dylan's Candy Bar set up this amazing chocolate (well, it was white chocolate colored light purple for the event) fountain where you could make your own s'mores.

Julie, Eric, and Chris, warming up the crowd:

And who is that now standing next to Eric in the photograph directly above? Why, it's one of the day's special guests of honor, Paul Green, founder of The Paul Green School of Rock Music...and the man pretty much responsible for launching J&E's career, other than their insane hippie father and mother, of course, and introducing Julie and Eric to Adrian Belew. As I've mentioned here several times in the five years since this blog began, Julie and Eric were Paul's original fourteen students, taught in his apartment, and that was the start of what would become 49 schools worldwide and yes, yes, the total life story ripped off in the Jack Black film, School of Rock. Of course there is also a pretty famous and now cult documentary produced in 2003 called Rock School in which, if you watch that trailer, you'll see a very young Julie and Eric trashing bands like Bush and 311...I believe there are also shots of young Eric both starting and ending the clip...I forget, haven't watched it in a while.

In talking with Paul, wow does he have some interesting plans for the future but I'll let that news come from his camp as it's pretty exciting stuff. But of course I'd be remiss if I didn't once again add that if you really want to read about the beginnings of Rock School, I have just the book you need...and it's doing quite well on Amazon, thank you very much.

Obligatory sales pitch: You can purchase it right here.

Moving on, it would be nice if I actually resumed promoting Purple Day, so here is Ms. Julie Slick, holding a banner with the guest of honor who brainstormed this entire day, the angelically beautiful ten year old Ms. Cassidy Megan:

Some notable guests in the audience - uber agent Dan Conaway and his brilliant, stunning client, my pal Susan Henderson:

Here's the woman who organized this event, Debra Josephs, along with Cassidy who is thanking the crowd for being there and supporting the cause:

Another shot of Julie and Cassidy because you can never have too many photographs of beautiful girls:

Speaking of beautiful girls, here's another guest of honor (and yes, she also has epilepsy), Jaime Paetz, one of Maxim's Top Ten Hotties:

Jaime's purple dress was designed by the most recent winner of Project Runway, and here's a shot of said winner with Jaime and her gorgeous creation, Ms. Leanne Marshall:

And now the moment you've all been waiting for, the main event...Paul Shaffer! (who, by the way, follows me on Twitter, but more importantly, gave Julie, Eric, and Chris a big thumbs up while they were playing and snagged a copy of both their (Adrian Belew Power Trio Side Four Live) CD and Chris' as well as my book!

Now this is pretty cool and insane. Debra's hairdresser (I am pretty sure that's who she said he was) is also a sculptor, and he presented Paul with a special gift...what else...a purple brain (you can figure out the epilepsy tie in, I'm sure):

Naturally, after receiving this gift, Paul did what only a brilliant musician would...he burst into an impromptu version of "Purple Rain" by Prince...only of course he sang "Purple Brain, Purple Brain"...I think it's going to be up on You Tube soon so I'll add it here as soon as it's available:

It turns out that Cassidy is an aspiring drummer and naturally she was smitten with Eric Slick...I mean, who isn't...and Eric happily obliged her request to join him and Chris Opperman on a little percussion:

But Chris got, um, a little distracted by Jaime Paetz and you know I had to grab the camera for that one:

Eric the healthy vegan caved and could not resist a luscious purple cupcake, courtesy of the Corner Bakery:

So we had an absolutely fabulous day which ended with probably the best goody bags I've ever received - not only stuffed with my favorite chocolate (Cadbury bars...they have purple wrappers so there's that tie in), face creams, eye make-up, nail polish...ooh, I want to give a special mention here - that polish is really spectacular stuff and I don't usually do my nails but I had to make an exception when I saw the pale colors...this is the brainchild of a lovely woman, Jacqueline Saulsbery ( Jacqueline's fabbo daughter, Denise Saulsbery Williams, filled our bags with these absolutely outrageous chocolate almond cookies ( ladies do not have websites but they'd better get with the program...they are amazing!

And that was the Purple Day Kick Off Party in New York City. Do I have the coolest life or what?

But all banter and gossip aside, I don't want to diminish the importance of that day and urge you all to offer your support by wearing something purple on March 26, 2009 in honor of Purple Day.

Oh, and let me add that the whole reason my family was there is because I am great friends with another one of the supporters/organizers of this charity event, the extraordinary author and fiction editor of Agni Literary Magazine, Jessica Keener! Thanks, Jess!

Finally, in case you haven't had a chance to watch the incredible hour long television show featuring the Adrian Belew Power Trio, here's an outtake - one of my favorite songs from Side Four Live...Of Bow and Drum:

Oh, and over at Lakland Bass, whom Julie is proud to sponsor, they have updated her artist page to include not only new newest, fretless bass but a link to the entire Rockpalast movie. Cool!

I think that's it for now, but if not, you know the drill...


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Adrian Belew at Sweetwater - The Interview

Part I of a very recent interview with Adrian Belew at Sweetwater, where he talks about how it all began, Frank Zappa, and King Crimson...

Part II, which totally gave me the chills, where he talks extensively about Julie and Eric Slick and his/their plans for the future...


Friday, March 06, 2009

Tonight: Eric Slick with Chris Opperman and Dave Dreiwitz

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I've been a bad blogger but I really hate this time of the year. I've had enough winter, we had a bizarre snow storm Sunday night into Monday which dumped an uncharacteristic amount of the stuff everywhere but naturally today it's going to be like sixty degrees and almost seventy this weekend so it's all melted and a distant memory. Fun while it lasted; now I'm so, so ready for blooming cherry blossom trees and long walks with the dog in warm sunshine.

But I do have some things to report - well, that which I can talk about...arghh...still waiting for permission to blab the big Eric news but part one of that has already been posted on Adrian's blog so I guess it's okay for me to post it here as well...Eric is now an official endorser of Ludwig drums...yep, the very same brand used by Ringo...and next time you see him on tour, which will be very soon, he'll be sitting behind a new, incredible kit. But not yet, or tonight, when he will be playing a very special gig with not only Crescent Moon but the brilliant keyboardist Chris Opperman as well.

That's the art from Chris' new CD, Lionheart, and in one of those weird small world we're all connected kind of things, Chris' new orchestral piece, The Porpentine, is based on Neil Gaiman's Sandman, and the artists who did the illustrations for the CD were also a Sandman artists, the awesome Mark Buckingham and the equally incredible D'Israeli.

Anyway, the gig tonight is at the Clash Bar, 39 Harding Avenue, Clifton, New Jersey. I think they go on at 10:00 p.m.

In other news, Eric, Chris Opperman, and daughter Julie will be performing at a very special event in New York City this coming Tuesday afternoon, March 10, to kick off Purple Day, and if you click on the logo on the right hand side of this blog, you'll learn all about that, but of course I'll have a lot more to say in my next blog post tomorrow or the next day...just know that it's very, very cool and I will be there as well.

So let's see, what else. Oh yeah, if you follow me on twitter, (and if you don't, please do, you do not know what you are missing har har) then you probably already know how I spent my Sunday night. I mean, I was already standing in the kitchen, which has big windows facing the street, watching the amazingly gorgeous snowfall, when three police cars stopped directly in front of my house. Huh? Nothing prepared me for what would happen next...the 27 year old resident of the house, a guy I watched grow up and go to the same elementary school as my kids (he was in 6th grade; Julie was in 2nd grade)...well, I knew he had "problems" and was in a special ed class, but I had no freaking idea he was capable of this!

Yeah, I know.

I watched him being lead from the house in handcuffs, but still I thought, well, maybe he just freaked out on the cops or something.

But then the coroner's van drove up...

It was a surreal scene to watch; my beautiful, tree lined street, the soft falling snow...and a murderer being arrested.

So the week has basically been spent gossiping with neighbors learning even more sordid details and I think I'll spare you but trust me, as a friend remarked "Have you thought about maybe, totally out of the United States?" Ha! Yeah, all the time, but there's the little matter of my family, a house I adore, and a dog I worship. Of course had Obama not been elected, my house would probably be for sale as we speak.


I am again reminding you that I have a new book out, which is a chronicle of not only my life (though please keep in mind it's a highly fictionalized version; hence it's why it's called a novel and not a memoir) but an interesting story of the genesis of the School of Rock and the infamous west coast tour of summer, 2004 when I spent three weeks on a tour bus across America with several incredibly talented teenage musicians. Please help a girl out and improve her rather scary Amazon numbers (Ha! Just all authors know, those numbers do not mean anything, but it's still cool to be in the top 10,000)...

And here's the link to purchase it over at Amazon. Oh yeah, a note to my contest winners, your books are going out today. I've been trying to finish some guitar pick jewelry to send along with them, but I'm still playing with the results so rather than make you wait, I'll send the books out today and the jewelry/keychains or whatever I end up making to you shortly. But...the first place winner still has not come forward and I have no freaking idea who it is. Ha ha, who else could that happen to? If you entered the contest, please scroll down to the post "and the winner is..." to see if it's you, shoot me an email, and a copy of the book and some guitar pick whatevers will be yours.

In other news, have you been checking out daughter Julie's blog? She's so incredible...and as I've mentioned before, her blog and mine are the prototype for our new joint venture - a rock and roll tour/travel/recipe/restaurant reviews from all over the world cookbook which will also include personal photographs and illustrations by the multi-talented Ms. Julie. I've got the query done; been trying to finish the proposal, and have been scoping out the perfect agent for this project. So we're pretty psyched about that, and the chance of working on something like this with my best friend/extraordinary daughter has me more than a little bit excited.

This afternoon I'm attending the WXPN 4th anniversary blow-out of their Free At Noon Concert Series. That should be interesting. Performing will be Shemekia Copeland (whom I adore!) and the Indigo Girls (erm, not so much)...anyway, should be fun and hopefully I'll remember to bring a camera and take some photos to post here later.

I think that's it for now...I'll be back tomorrow with news from the XPN show today, more about Purple Day...and maybe...just maybe...I'll be able to shout out my blockbuster Eric news.