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Alternative Rock Band

Alternative Rock Band

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Belly Biography

Belly formed in 1991 after Tanya Donelly left the critically acclaimed Throwing Muses, which she’d founded with her stepsister Kristin Hersh while they were both still in high school. Just prior to leaving the Muses, Tanya co-founded The Breeders as a side project with Kim Deal of The Pixies, but soon realized she needed more space to pursue her own fractured-fairytale alternative-pop-rock song-writing vision.

Tanya recruited Fred Abong to play bass (he had played on her final Muses album), and brothers Chris and Tom Gorman- friends from her native Rhode Island- to play drums and guitar, respectively. The band immediately got to work rehearsing and demoing the material that would eventually become Belly’s debut album, Star. Star was recorded in two sessions, the first in Nashville, with engineer Tracy Chisholm, the second in Liverpool, England, with producer Gil Norton.

Just before the release of the album on 4AD/Sire/Reprise in January 1993, Abong left the band and was replaced by music scene veteran and hard-rocker Gail Greenwood.

By turns dreamy, creepy, jaggedly delicate and melodically expansive, Star was propelled by the single “Feed the Tree” to gold-record status in the US, earning two Grammy nominations and eventually selling two million copies worldwide.

Belly spent more than a year of nearly nonstop touring for Star, performing throughout the US, UK, Europe, Australia and Japan, with opening bands that included The Cranberries and Radiohead. The band also opened for U2 and the Velvet Underground at the Hippodrome in Paris.

In the summer of 1994, Belly began writing and rehearsing for their sophomore release. Produced by the legendary Glyn Johns and released in February 1995, King was a more ‘rock-oriented’ and live-sounding album, reflecting the band’s experience of hard touring that preceded it, as well as Johns’ minimalist production style. Stripped down and direct, King dispensed with much of the layering and idiosyncratic charm that had characterized Star.

Another extensive tour followed the release of King, with dates opening for R.E.M. in Europe, and U.S. dates supported by the Catherine Wheel and Superchunk.

Alas, King didn’t meet record-label sales expectations. Falling prey to the all-too-common rock-and-roll cliché of industry pressure, financial issues, personal conflict and divergent creative ambitions, Belly disbanded without ceremony on Nov. 11, 1995, after playing the final show of the King tour at The Dragonfly in Los Angeles.

Tanya went on to pursue a solo career, continuing to perform internationally and, to date, releasing four albums under her own name: Lovesongs for Underdogs (1997), Beautysleep (2002), Whiskey Tango Ghosts (2004) and This Hungry Life (2006). In recent years, she has self-released a stream of digital EPs known as The Swan Song Series, an expansive collection of collaborations with some of her favorite musicians and authors. The entire series is to be released on CD and vinyl in 2016 by American Laundromat Records. Tanya lives in Boston with her husband, musician Dean Fisher (the Juliana Hatfield Three), and their two daughters, and works as a postpartum doula.

After Belly, Gail spent three years playing in L7, followed by two years as touring bassist for pop-punk artist Bif Naked. Since 2002 she has performed with her partner Chil Mott in the metal-inflected power-punk band Benny Sizzler. She lives in Rhode Island, where she and Chil run a graphic design business and are active in anti-sprawl efforts and lobbying for land conservation. They share their home with Bear and Maurice, trained therapy dogs who perform in libraries and nursing homes, star in Benny Sizzler videos and have been featured on the PBS Kids’ show “Martha Speaks.”

Not long after Belly called it quits, Chris moved to New York City and opened a studio to pursue commercial and fine-art photography. He’s also designed and built several restaurant spaces, a yoga studio and his own surf shop. In 2015, he published his first children’s book, Indi Surfs. Chris lives near the beach on Long Island with his wife, two kids, two cats, a dog and a fish named Godzilla.

Tom briefly played guitar and keyboards with Buffalo Tom after the breakup of Belly, toured with Kristin Hersh in 1999 and eventually moved to New York City, where he joined Chris in the commercial photography business. He now splits his time between New York City and rural upstate NY, where he and his wife are implementing permaculture design on their small farm. They are also active in the fight against fracking and the expansion of fracked-gas pipelines and infrastructure- in their small town and everywhere.

Belly Videos

  • Belly - Feed The Tree (Video)

FAQs on booking Belly

  • How do I book Belly to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Belly for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Belly, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Belly or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Belly

    Speaking fees for Belly, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Belly are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Belly, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Belly speak about?

    Belly is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Arts & Humanities, Music.
  • Where does Belly travel from?

    Belly generally travels from an undisclosed location, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Belly’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Belly for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Belly for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Belly or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Belly is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Belly for your event is available upon request. Belly generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Finish Ticket, Nick Waterhouse, Kings of Chaos, Lake Street Dive and Cassadee Pope. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Belly for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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