Just so anyone doesn’t get the wrong idea, this is Adrian Belew (and it’s the only cassette single I ever bought). Reeves Gabrels was the guitar player in Tin Machine, with Soupy Sales’ kids Hunt and Tony on Rhythm.
I actually kinda like some of the songs on the first side of their first album.
He’s certainly not untalented, but what he’s done with that talent has mostly left me indifferent at best and considerably annoyed most of the time.
I was a janitor in a gay bathhouse in Chicago circa early ’80s and had the Gospel of Bowie preached to me by the rank and file. I heard a lot about his 4-octave range. My response was, “It would be nice if he bothered to distinguish it into tones of the scale.”
I do enjoy his do-it-yourself ethos. I can ‘hear’ him think through his compositions. I think what Bowie needed was an adamantly opinioned, equally talented, songwriting partner.
Much like how Spielberg focused Lucas via Indy Jones. Or the Fagen-Becker syndrome.
Eh. He got old, and he got rich. The former was inevitable, the latter deeply deserved. Neither of them are noted for focusing the creative energies of pop musicians, although there are a few notable exceptions. (Neil Young and… um… Neil Young? Although maybe “focus” isn’t really the word to use there.) At least he’s been willing to follow his own weird little muse, rather than doing another Sound+Vision tour every 3 years.
(Of course, I actually liked the first Tin Machine album, so you may rationally consider my opinion to be suspect at best, deranged at worst. But Reeves Gabrels was an awesome and hugely underappreciated guitarist.)