Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Some stuff about Adrian Belew:

At the time, the internal relationships in Talking Heads were particularly strained. The band's rhythm section, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, covertly approached Belew with the suggestion that he should replace Byrne as the band's frontman - an offer which Belew politely turned down.[5] He did however go on to work with Weymouth and Frantz on their own spin-off project, Tom Tom Club. Joining them for recordings in Compass Point, Nassau, Belew played rhythm guitar on the sessions for the band's debut album as well as adding his trademark processed solos (and even performing the entire instrumentation for the track "L'Elephant").

Unfortunately, Belew's experience with Tom Tom Club was less harmonious than his previous work with Talking Heads. Tom Tom Club's recording engineer, Steven Stanley, was vocal about his dislike of distorted guitar and erased the majority of Belew's solos during the mixing sessions. Worse was to follow when Belew queried Weymouth about songwriting credits, having co-written several of the album's songs in addition to his playing. He was apparently blanked, with Weymouth no longer returning his phone calls. Belew did not play live with Tom Tom Club or contribute to any further sessions. Recalling the situation when interviewed twenty years later, he claimed that he had opted to pursue other work rather than involve himself in legal or personal struggles with Weymouth and Frantz; and that he had chosen not to let it bother him, as several other more promising projects were happening for him at the same time.[5]

Adrian Belew should maybe never be allowed near a microphone, but he's an incredible player and kinda deserved better than that...as did David Byrne who, you know, was the important guy in Talking Heads.

The Talking Heads' best band, with Belew on shrieks and roars and feedback:


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I never knew any of this. I liked (o.k. lurved) both the T.Heads and the Tom Tom Club.

I saw the T.Head live back in 80 or 79, in Hartford, maybe.

Another Kiwi said...

Wikipedia has it all Thudna. The heads are still not talking.

Capcha leaves me wanting more-exual

mikey said...

When all the voices are clamoring simultaneously, I put on "Life During Wartime" and somehow, it all makes some kind of sense...

M. Bouffant said...

See, when I hear that something is being recorded at Compass Point, Nassau, I know it's going to be crap.

And who or what gave the engineer the right to do anything but follow orders?

fish said...

The wiki does give me the sense that Belew actually wrote it himself.

Substance McGravitas said...

I dunno, it's the standard sucking-on-the-cock-of-my-idol Wikipedia stuff. Musicians get people trying to write like rock critics in smoking jackets. I love just erasing chunks of worship.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's pretty upsetting to think of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz as jerks.

Substance McGravitas said...

Yes. And Byrne got Weymouth to play bass! And she became a solid player!

davidly said...

I used to like Remain in Light the best, with Fear of Music a close second. But over the years I've come to appreciate More Songs for how incredible it is. I no longer have a favorite.

I also did the No Talking Just Head album, and the concert I saw of that band was pretty great.

By the way, coming soon to a town not near me:

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I love just erasing chunks of worship.

The terrorist has won.

guitarist manqué said...

Hard to believe but I was at that Hartford show too. It was good.

Saw both the Heads and TTClub later and didn't like it much. At the time I saw it as a judgement on RISD which is juvenile.

Met Belew a couple of times, once he was smooth, glazed and very polite, the other time NOT. My diagnosis: sideman syndrome. Very good sideman, but.

Substance McGravitas said...

Saw both the Heads and TTClub later and didn't like it much. At the time I saw it as a judgement on RISD which is juvenile.

I got down on them pretty quickly after the separation from Brian Eno. The songs got less interesting in all ways. The Tom Tom Club, whose first record I liked a lot, seemed like they had all the makings for a really shitty and disappointing live show, but at the time they were unlikely to be playing near me anyway.