Saturday, September 13, 2008

the thing about hardwood floors is...

they tend to look better with the occasional scruff mark or dent, whereas carpet embeds itself with the droppings of everyday life. things like boogers, or fingernails. and people lose thousands of hairs every hour, (well, maybe hundreds for me but anyway,) people discard their remains as they grow old. and stomp themselves unknowingly into their carpet. it's kinda gross.

so we got new hardwood floors upstairs. light colored maple like a taylor acoustic guitar and they clean easily with a broom. now the floors invite the sunshine in and create a very contemporary look.

now that I'm home from russia it seems like my every waking moment is devoted to playing guitar. or sweeping the beautiful new floors. more and more ideas for e flow my tiny brain. in october the powerful trio arrives 4 days before we leave for budapesk and europe. I want us to learn together, so I'm devising musical booby traps.

I don't care for baseball but the power trio hit a home run in russia. I am so proud of eric and julie and the way they've adapted. most people don't know this, but I detested touring for the first half of my life. but in 1990 when I met martha, things changed. there is more fun in my life now than ever before. including touring the world. nowadays I consider it an honor.

kazan, on the volga river, is one of the oldest cities in russia. in fact, the festival we played was a celebration of kazan's 1,000th year anniversary! so, one hundred and fifty thousand people were there. the biggest audience I've ever played for. (with talking heads we had 125,00 in central park in 1980). as far as you can see there are little tiny circles: people. behind the immense stage was a beautiful white ancient fortress. " it's the Kremlin", they said. so we learned there is more than one kremlin, most older cities have a "kremlin" because it means "fort".

a day later we flew to mockba (moscow). we had many many laughs in moscow. with characters like eddie jobson, p@t and tony, that was inevitable. but the one who made me laugh the most was the outrageous Finnish man kimmo, (pronounced like chemotherapy). he is the centerpiece accordian player for KTU. I have never known a more ridiculous person in my life. perpetually downing shots of wadka, unfaltering in his quest to be absurd, he was a spectacle just coming down in the glass elevator to the hotel bar and mooning the entire clientele. or sneaking up on his male buddies in the bathroom as they stand doing their duty at the urinal, and then grabbing them in a bear hug and pulling them backwards, causing them to wet themselves.

imagine a grown man with a stocky build sporting a mohawk, wearing a kilt (a dress basically) and playing an accordian. that's kimmo. like a big seven-year-old Finn. he saved his best trick for last though.

immediately after our big show in moscow we worked our way through a backstage filled with adoring fans wanting pictures and autographs. they crowded the hallway around our dressing room. everyone drinking and laughing; great happy people. knowing I had at best 4 hours of sleep available before we had to leave for the airport and the 20-hour journey home, I slipped quietly into the dressing room to begin packing my things. suddenly the door burst open and there was kimmo shouting and cursing at how much he loved us. he grabbed me in a bear hug and threw me down on the couch. he literally had me pinned down; I couldn't move. I thought I would suffocate. all the while telling me how much he loved me, he sucked on my neck for what seemed like eternity. yes! kimmo gave me a huge hickey!

once he let me up I bound out the door into the crowded hallway and began screaming, "look what kimmo did to me! he gave me a huge hickey! and I have to go home to my wife in four hours!"

now martha loves me and trusts me, but even I had a difficult time picturing how I might explain my shiney new hickey to her. "well, sweetheart, there was this finnish accordian player and he forced me down on the couch and sucked on my neck!"...yeah, right.

playing for 150,000 people was sensational but I liked it even more when we played in moscow at the large club called B1. it was sold out (2,000 people) and packed to the rafters with young russians. there was an energy verging on hysteria. and we played our hearts out. five years ago, my first visit to russia with krimson, I wasn't sure what to make of it. it seemed bleak, oppressive, maybe even dangerous. and the hotel (situated right on red square) was tired and outdated. to make a phone call you had to go down to the lobby, tell them you needed to make a call, then go back to your room and wait for them to call you with a phone line! phew.

one morning at about 8:00 I was sitting in bed when someone began pounding on my door.
"open up! let us in!" they demanded. "you must open this door!" I looked through the peep hole as the shouting continued. there were 3 russian soldiers with guns! I imagined myself sitting in a gulag, whatever that is. as I opened the reluctant door they burst in the room, "you must shut your windows! shut the windows NOW!" "okay, okay" I said, just don't shoot me.

there was no air conditioning in the hotel so I had my windows open, looking out onto red square. as it happened there was a military review that day in the square and they made sure all the hotel windows were locked (as though a gun can't shoot through a window) still, they could have just called me from the lobby. "good morning, mr. belew, would you mind closing your windows. thank you ever so much."

but this time in russia everything seemed changed. construction everywhere and a sense of growth, even optimism. the hotels we stayed in were beautiful, the people so nice. it was a pleasure to be there. it gave me time to continue my writing and read 5 books as well.

oh yeah, later I found out the old hotel had been demolished.

photo of the power trio onstage at the B1 club in moscow by tony levin. thanks tony.


  1. Good to hear from you again, Mr. Belew- you always do have some interesting stories to tell.

  2. You really got a hickey from a guy?? Grosssssss. You shouldn't have told that story. I'm ruined for life. How did Martha take it????

    Glad you had a fun and safe trip.
    Thanks for the twisted stories (I'm just joking).

    Take care

  3. I like Kimmo - he sounds like my kinda guy. One consolation from the hickey event is that at least he didn't plant one on your ass. That would have taken even more explaining... :-)

    Keep spanking that plank, dude.

  4. Welcome back Adrian, you were missed in cyberspace. I did get to see you in May in Florida and in August in New York, both concerts took my breath away.
    This blog was so funny, you sound juiced ! Can't wait for e, what is e btw ?

  5. the show in Moscow really was fantastic! a thousand thank-yous to all and please come back )

  6. adrian, always great to hear what you're up to. glad to hear you had a fantastic trip! sounds like barely enough time time to catch your collective breaths, and you're off again. please bring the trio to toronto! i'm jonesin' for a show.

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  8. hey hey! Welcome home! Missed your musings and stories. Have fun in Europe.

  9. Welcome back to Blogville Ade! I can't help but wondering (re: Kimmo).. what would RF do? Probably implode.

    .. but I have to draw the line at interfering with private piss time, because, come on dude.

    Your tour sounds like it was amazing.

  10. Great stories. See you next month in Barcelona, just 10 days after Porcupine Tree. Gosh! I can't wait! What a month!

  11. Haha, that sounds like a really fun time. I'm glad you can go out to all of those really cool places, meet really interesting people, and tell all these great stories. I hope you still have plenty to come. Keep livin'!

  12. Can't wait to hear some new songs that come out of your experiences.

  13. What an incredibly welcome SURPRISE!
    Welcome back Ade!
    Phew! What a busy time you have had this summer! First the big ABPT tour of the U.S., then Canada - when joy'O' got to meet me in Quebec City! :D
    Then more of the U.S. Then the big King Crimson event! And if that ain't enough, you, Julie and Eric scoop the pool in Russia!
    WOW! Kudos to you all, for sharing such stunningly brilliant music with us all!

    I know that the Power Trio is the centre of your musical world right now, but Ade, I have to ask you about the re-awakening of the slumbering Crimson King....what was the whole experience like for you on a personal level; were you happy with the outcomes of such a huge undertaking; did it make you want to explore that monster beast of virtuosity some more? I, and many others would love to read your take on the whole 40th anniversary tour : )

    It is wonderful to receive this unexpected gift, and I can only hope and pray that you may find some time to share some more with us....
    To be sure, Kimmo is no fence-sitter - he certainly is a "love 'em or hate 'em" kind of guy :D
    Warmest regards to all at Casa Belewbeloid!

  14. I´m so glad of read your stories Mr Belew!
    Want to know WHEN U COME TO COSTA RICA?? WHEN?? :(

  15. With immigrant parents from Russia, I know exactly what you're talking about. Wish I could have gone with you to be translator. I probably could have gotten you to some places too. Sounds like a wonderful time. Those Russians are wonderful people, despite the government in whatever form it's in. As soon as they get to trust you, you're as good as family.

    Glad to see you posting again. Look forward to what's next.


  16. I'm glad I stopped by. Come to think of it, carpets are gross. The Russian tour sounds like it was great. I admire your enthusiasm, and the fact that you are in creative mode, the trio must be getting tighter and tighter. I ask myself what traps you must have set for those wonderkids.

  17. Great to see you blogging again!


  18. You hated touring before 1990? I've seen footage of you on the 1978 Bowie tour where you seemed to be enjoying yourself, or, at least, the Musikladen performance, which I admit may not have been as stressful as a proper gig.

  19. welcome back!!!!------to the show that hopefully won't end --(sorry keith--and you guys got him drunk)
    my friend--being a "insider"--has its bennies----i've heard some of that "newstuff"-you speak of---
    (at least your basic tacks)----
    i cannot wait -but will--for what it all turns into------
    and yes i think a homerun was hit
    overseas and by all three trio members-------keep on bloggin'--

  20. Slick Daddy,
    You are a tease ! When do we get to sample some of the e stuff ?? I can only imagine how good it is. I am certain our patience will be rewarded.
    Peace and love to all..

  21. Okay, let me be the first to say it. Gary shall hereafter always be known as "Slick Daddy".



  22. Hey Robin !
    And of course what goes along with a "Slick Daddy" ? You guessed it...
    " Slick Mama " :) Happy to give YOU a chuckle for a change. Truly I am dying to hear e, Adrian sounds inspired !

  23. The Russian tour sounds like it was great.I can only imagine how good it is.I hope you still have plenty to come.

    Sreevysh Corp

  24. Hey Adrian,

    Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed the show in Budapest last night (in spite of your technical difficulties :) ). Made the two hour trip down from Bratislava to see the show. I used to see you a lot when I lived in the D.C. area, but hadn't gotten the chance to see you since. So, thanks so much for coming out to this part of Europe!

  25. Bravoo... bravoo Mr.Belew !!!

    Absolutely fantastic concert!!! Man...what a great show was in Budapest. I came all the way from Romania (Pitesti) to see you guys. Julie you are phenomenal ! Never seen such a young woman playing bass so intense and so technical. Eric you are incredible ! I have rarely seen such powerful rhytmic energies coming from a drum set. It seems that the guy in the middle has teamed up with some of the finest musicians around. You all deserve to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Don't forget Romania has lots of your fans so maybe one day you'll come to Bucharest also. Hats off to you guys !!! Man.. what a night...

  26. here is a link of agata playing electronic guitar . he plays with a japanese band called melt banana . watch this cat go !

  27. Hi Mr. Belew, I'm Eduardo Fabregat, argentinian journalist: we did an interview when you came to Argentina with Crimson in 1994 (I'll never forget that), and another when you came solo (with the skull and the chat with audience on stage). I sent a mail to your management asking if I can send you some questions about Side Four (i loved it, but that's not surprising for me) and this power trio...

    Thank you for your time (and your music)... and sorry for my poor english!!

  28. Just came back from your concert at the moods club in zurich and wasn't able to say goodbye. Thanks for your music, for your open mind and heart, for the beautiful evening!!
    claudia bretscher (singer flashback:-)