Adrian Belew: The History and Future of Guitar Noise
The electric guitar, with its vast potential for tonal colors, volume levels, and special effects, is one of the truly transformational technologies of the past century. Invented in the early 1930s, it has ridden the wave of American music evolution and starred in the fantasies of countless rock aspirants. One of its greatest innovators is Adrian Belew, who has coaxed the instrument to do and say things that the fine folks at Fender and Gibson never intended or imagined. Guitarist and singer for King Crimson, lead guitarist for David Bowie, the Talking Heads, Nine Inch Nails, Paul Simon, Frank Zappa, and Laurie Anderson, Belew has built an extraordinary career melding soaring melody and acrid distortion, pop hooks and avant-garde forays, startlingly accurate animal noises and grooves in funky 13/4 time, all blended with clever showmanship and powerful expression. Who better to take us on a guided tour—guitar in hand and effects rack at the ready—of the myriad capabilities of the most omnipresent of all instruments?
Guitarist Adrian Belew has played with some of rock's biggest names over the years (Frank Zappa, David Bowie, the Talking Heads, King Crimson, etc.).Like all great guitarists, Belew has his own recognizable style/sound (one that admittedly tends to be quirky and off-the-wall at times), and is an incredibly versatile player, as he's always found a way to make his signature style fit into a wide variety of musical genres.