Local Wire

Adrian Belew

There aren't very many guitar-slingers who could consistently work with such exacting taskmasters as Frank Zappa and Robert Fripp, not to mention the thin white duck, er, duke — David Bowie. Usual suspects: a) Tom Verlaine; b) Adrian Belew; c) Gary Sinise. If you chose "b," congrats! Between 1978-2002, Belew played for, in succession, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads, the reconstituted King Crimson (the first time Fripp shared the spotlight with another guitarist), Paul Simon, and Laurie Anderson. During that seminal period, he somehow managed to establish a solo career, plus a recurring dalliance with Beatles/XTC-ish power-poppers the Bears. Belew's wiry, fiery, protean style is enhanced by his use of sound-warping electronics, and unlike some six-string specialists possessed of merely tremendous technique up the wazoo, his approach has plenty of both heart and humor. More recently, his collaborators include Les Claypool (Primus) and Danny Carry (Tool). What he'll have up his sleeve this time 'round is anyone's guess, but if the possibilities of the electric guitar are food and drink to you, be there or be square.
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Mark Keresman