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“Where Were You?” – Adrian Belew & The Bears (w/ Monkey Rhythm opening) at Berkeley Square, in Berkeley California [February 10th, 1986]

Another post which has been delayed numerous times, over the past few years, which has finally come to fruition; partly due to my not being certain of the actual date, for some time (maybe, Kimba, if you are reading this, you might have made a record of the date?!!). The confirmation of the year came about as the result of a Facebook post of a Berkeley Square monthly calendar being shared, which also listed the opening act – that was the final clue needed to ensure that I put together a “complete” post with these photographs of long-time favorite, Adrian Belew, appearing with his frequent collaborators, The Bears.

I had followed Mr. Belew‘s career, ever since seeing him on tour with Frank Zappa in 1977 – although it would only be after his touring with David Bowie, that I would come to know his name (my photos of that appearance with Zappa, are found here: Where Were You? Frank Zappa at Louisville Gardens, Louisville KY[11-10-77] ). Having missed my opportunities to catch him with Talking Heads and, later, his band Gaga, opening for the League of Gentlemen at Bogart’s in Cincinnati (financial constraints abounded, and a general lack of awareness about the weekly listings for a venue, from a state 100+ miles away, played their parts…). For an exceptional overview of those years between his time with Zappa, through working with Bowie and then Talking Heads, please read:

I would finally see him again, on King Crimson‘s “Three of a Perfect Pair” tour, at the Greek Theatre, in Berkeley, California. That show was a tremendous performance, under open evening skies, and with very good seats & sound, after years of wanting to see the band! In fact, I missed seeing Crimson during my high school days, thanks to my parent’s school night restrictions…. aarrgh!!!

The only time I could have seen King Crimson, where I lived, in the 70‘s – 1972, to be exact – but no wheels & a school night restriction set by the parents nixed that idea… This would have been the line-up touring behind “Islands“, and, subsequently, resulted in a cross-pollination of guest appearances from the bands on the bill appearing on Alexis Korner‘s “Snapelp

The evening in 1984, when I would finally see & hear King Crimson, live, on what would be the last tour for some time, at the Greek Theatre, in Berkeley, California (no photos permitted).

Mr. Belew already had an impressive track record of recording / touring with several artists that I owned records by, when his first solo lp, “Lone Rhino” came out. This release rewarded the listener with even more experimental guitar sounds, mixed with very tuneful pop songs, as well as a touch of sadness: all key elements that would be found again on nearly each and every subsequent release, over the years. Upon its release, “Desire Caught By the Tail” was often on my turntable, as it reminded me – in places – of Nino Rota film scores, which I had recently discovered, and still enjoy listening to, even today. So, it was a real pleasure to learn that he would be coming to the Bay Area with his latest project, “The Bears“, and get to see and hear what he and the band would get up to, in the confines of a small club. It was a delightful surprise to see that he had his Piet Mondrian-styled custom guitar in tow (as depicted on the cover of “Twang Bar King) for the majority of the show, and hear the band workouts from the lip of the stage. I would catch myself grinning ear-to-ear, at times, as the performance was just so much fun to experience!

Apologies to the drummer, Chris Aduser! I do not seem to have any frames with your image in them: low lighting, bad angles to shoot from, or bodies in the way?? A constant challenge to get that integral member of any band on film

Adrian Belew, The Bears, "Where Were You?", Michael Conen, Canon AE-1, Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California
Adrian Belew, The Bears, "Where Were You?", Michael Conen, Canon AE-1, Rob Fetters, Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California

I believe this shot was during the encore series, and will credit the sax playing to Rob Fetters, as I am not sure about that…

The Bears, Rob Fetters, Bob Nyswonger, "Where Were You?", Michael Conen, Canon AE-1, Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California, Adrian Belew

Rob Fetters on guitar, and Bob Nyswonger on upright bass, from The Bears. You can also see Adam Gates, from the opening band, Monkey Rhythm, looking on, in a pensive mood, at the bottom right. I wonder whose idea it was to put Ronnie Reagan‘s photo on the monitor/amplifier?!

Adrian Belew, The Bears, "Where Were You?", Michael Conen, Canon AE-1, Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California
Adrian Belew, The Bears, "Where Were You?", Michael Conen, Canon AE-1, Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California

All of that guitar work – and singing – can make a guy thirsty!

Adrian Belew, The Bears, "Where Were You?", Michael Conen, Canon AE-1, Berkeley Square, Berkeley, California

I did not use a flash very often – if at all – during the show, so I hope that I wasn’t a distraction!

There are so many varied clips of Mr. Belew performing, but I will share one from my personal archives of a promotional video done for “Mr. Music Head“, that features an intro with his daughter, Audie, done for ye olden 120 Minutes program on MTV:

There are numerous other great clips of Belew from his early days with King Crimson, and more exceptional information, in the second part of the overview of his career, found here:


A timely documentary which focuses on King Crimson and its former & current members, is coming soon; see the trailer for more on that:


I also took a few snapshots of the opening group, Rhythm Monkeys, which definitely had their own “sound”, but their presence in the Bay Area did not last long, after the release of their one and only vinyl title, as far as I can remember. Not sure that I caught all of the band on film, as I did not find any shots of the drummer/ percussionist, or a guitar: the vocalist/bass player is definitely Adam Gates, and I am guessing that the keyboard player is Graham Clarke, while I do not know who the backing vocalist that appears faintly, in the background might be …..


The Bears entry on Wikipedia:


The Bearsofficial website:


Adrian Belew official website:


Monkey Rhythm entry:


Alexis Korner & Snape entry on


As all matters King Crimson-related, go through Mr. Robert Fripp, here is the entry – a starting point, as always – on the lone original member, on Wikipedia:


Piet Mondrian entry on Wikipedia:



While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let the curmudgeon in me explain why I choose to present my work in this manner.

No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs.  On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night. 

Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then.  Hence, the old dictum, Supply and Demand; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers:  a venue for discussion.

Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach proof quality which is what you will see here.  This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.

Want to change that situation? Contact me about donations, in return for removing watermarks, and providing financial support so that I can devote more time to working on more images in my archives; or, perhaps you might consider purchasing a custom print of your choice, which will not contain those watermarks