Like a lot of people, I first heard about the Chapman stick when Tony Levin started waving one around with Peter Gabriel and King Crimson in the Eighties. Last week I bought the December issue of Guitar Player in order to read the tributes to the late Les Paul, and found a profile of Stick creator Emmett Chapman that showed he may yet earn himself a place in the pantheon alongside the great player and inventor.
Does the Log lead inevitably to the Stick? Here’s Bob Culbertson playing “Little Wing” on an acoustic Stick:
How about something bluesy on an electric Stick?
Taking it back to the beginning (for me, anyway) here’s Levin leading his solo band through “Elephant Talk,” which helped launch the reconfigured Eighties edition of King Crimson into the stratosphere.
Adrian Belew sounded a bit like David Byrne when he sang the original version. To my ears, Levin occasionally veers toward Sacha Baron Cohen doing King Julien. But the man does make his fingers sing.