The Chicago Humanities Festival has a wonderfully entertaining video that’s just Adrian Belew talking about and messing around with guitar technology for an hour. If you’re not familiar with Belew, you’ve almost certainly heard him—if not through his band King Crimson, then through his work with Frank Zappa (he was discovered by Zappa’s chaffeur), or the Talking Heads, or David Bowie, or Cyndi Lauper, or Laurie Anderson, or Nine Inch Nails.
The best part is when he talks about seeing comedian Morey Amsterdam—the Dick Van Dyke show star and former entertainer in a Capone speakeasy—goofing around with his cello and making animal noises. That led Belew to start making his own animal noises on the guitar… which later turned into the shimmering, bending guitar noises that give Remain in Light so much texture.
You can hear (and see) a lot of Belew’s tricks in this live version of “Crosseyed and Painless”; now you can teach your pedals and computers to do it.
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