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Howard the Duck 08-03-2011 06:03 AM

by default, my fave prog band

have almost their entire discography

i'm even gonna check out their ProjeKcts soon

SIRIUSB 08-03-2011 09:52 AM

A tremendous artist and human being, Robert Fripp has inspired me in many directions.

Early in the summer of 1985, I was made aware (from a friend who worked for the same music company that I do now 25 years later) of a chance to study with Fripp, whom he knew I admired greatly. I was shown the magazine article, which I mulled over and eventually inquired into. Soon I found myself to be one of twenty two guitarists from around the world chosen to be the very first Guitar Craft Course.

Robert Fripp, it seems, had taken a teaching position at the American Society for Continuous Education in Claymont Court, West Virginia after serving on the Board of Directors, and this was his immediate task. I was 25 years old and welcomed the opportunity for what I would now consider as a "Rite of Passage".

In October that year, I arrived in West Virginia, at a cold and desolate train station late at night. It had been raining and thunder/ lightning echoed in the sky. I was picked up in a van and shuttled back to what turned out to be George Washington's Nephew's Estate. Most of us had arrived during the day and were already there. I entered into the behemoth mansion that would be my home for the next week, the lightning and thunder increased and I was sure that I had entered The Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson's first album, released in 1969).

We stood in a huge, dark-lit room introducing ourselves and anticipating something! As we mingled among ourselves, with the dramatic help of a lightning bolt to illuminate the area at the top of the stairs, stood Mr. Fripp. This was way too cool and I knew this was going to be life-changing. After greetings and small talk, we were advised to group into threes and fours, we were given the "New Standard Guitar Tuning’ that we would be working with but which none of us knew how to use. We were then informed that we had a gig this Wednesday (three days) at a local watering hole full of rednecks. Terror, delight, anxiety!

This was one of many devices used that week to break down our habits and force us to "Become Awake", as Gurdjieff would put it (a favorite study of Mr. Fripp by the way). We learned Alexander Technique, meditation techniques, various Zen-like activities like performing kitchen duties, enjoyed expertly prepared vegetarian cuisine, discussed musical philosophies over cold pints of home brewed ales, and of course music and technical instruction. The goals were to breakdown and eliminate old practice habits and thoughts and to develop a personal relationship with the instrument, to Become a voice for the Muse to be heard through.

Aside from the disciplined, mind numbing technical prowess this musician has worked towards, Fripp has always ventured into the Dark corners of the World's cultures, a dip into the Underworld if you will, and brought back with him new ways of expression on the guitar, he is without a doubt a true ‘hero' of the guitar in every sense of the Joseph Campbell Word.
Robert Fripp knows how to Remanifest.

Some of these new expressions were exotic scales and sounds from the Middle East and the Gamelan of Indonesia. These sounds on the guitar resonated heavily through me when I heard them then and still do today. So intrigued with them as I have become, they have led me to take up playing fretless guitar and studying ancient music, particularly Egyptian and Persian. From reading much of these music philosophies, I uncovered a universe of deep and metaphysical attributes associated with the creation of music and Creation itself. Of these attributes, one that I find ultimately pulling me towards it, is the Egyptian AUM. Known as OM in Hindu philosophy, it is said to be the Primordial Vibration of the Universe. This subject I hope to understand better and to expand on with the help of the Temple.

At times I have used sigilism, mantras and yantras during the composition process to engulf myself in the essence of what I am working on. This came to fruition with my three part composition for orchestra and fretless guitar, A'nen Sedjet and continues now as I create Initiatory inspired music and sound collages. I greatly look forward to learning advanced magical techniques to create further evolved music from Within.

- SB

Howard the Duck 08-04-2011 12:56 AM

he's a total dick in person, though

there was this KC fan message board, and you aren't allowed to address him in a "casual" manner

one of my friends did and he was banned

Holerbot6000 10-29-2014 08:20 AM

Robert is prickly. That's what makes him Robert. KC at the Greek Theater in Berkeley during the Beat tour. Best concert I have ever seen.

Fripp is in the new edition of The Wire talking about past present future King Crimson. The implication is that there will be a new album eventually and there is a sampler of new stuff going around that sounds quite promising.

Robert, if you're reading this, forgive the informality, but how about some nice Vinyl versions of Thrak, Happy and Power?

There is always hope.

The Booman 03-29-2020 09:37 PM

Their first album is for me their best. Incredible drumming and that mellotron! Wonderful lyrics. They kind of went the way of Soft Machine after that. Harder and harder for me to get into.

MidnightRambler 07-03-2020 03:01 PM

I've got an original era gatefold pressing of In the Court of the Crimson King. I would have really liked to listen to it with my best friend had he not died of testicular cancer

The Batlord 07-03-2020 06:15 PM

RIP Optimus Prime

Ayn Marx 06-09-2022 11:48 PM


Originally Posted by Seltzer (Post 433998)
I've been working on this thread on another forum, but I thought I'd copy it here too, even if Boo Boo has already done this. Reviews take a long time to write, so please be patient!

King Crimson is truly a dinosaur of progressive rock. As a band which is constantly changing its sound, progressing and innovating, they are the very definition of a prog rock band. King Crimson's sound has evolved over time and is darker than that of their peers. While King Crimson is undoubtedly incredibly skilled in the technical department, they place great emphasis on originality and songwriting, and apply a more textural approach to songwriting than many prog bands.

Robert Fripp, Michael Giles and Peter Giles formed Giles, Giles and Fripp in 1967 which was largely unsuccessful. Having broken up, Robert Fripp and Michael Giles planned the formation of King Crimson with the lyricist Peter Sinfield, Ian McDonald of Foreigner fame and Greg Lake who would later form Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The band name was Sinfield's creation and intended as a synonym for Beelzebub, the Prince of Demons. Given their experimentation and some of the chilling music they would later create, and the fact that they've been described as 'organised chaos', this name is apt.

Since their inception in 1969, King Crimson have gone through 20 members and Robert Fripp has been the only constant member. Aside from the members already mentioned and Robert Fripp, the genius himself, some notable members are:
  • Tony Levin - Extremely influential prog bassist, having also written material for and played with Yes, Peter Gabriel, Liquid Tension Experiment, David Bowie, Deodato, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd etc. He is well known for his use of the Chapman Stick as well. He is very technically adept, yet is also a master of minimalism and groove. Levin is a current member of the group and has been with Crimson for 22 years.

  • Bill Bruford - The granddaddy of prog drummers, having also played for Yes in their prime era, Genesis, Gong and fusion jazz group Brand X. Bruford's style is highly complex, polyrhythmic and jazz-influenced. Bruford spent 26 years with Crimson.

  • Mel Collins - A well-travelled saxophonist/flautist, having also played for the Alan Parsons Project, Camel, Caravan, Bad Company Humble Pie, Joe ****er, the Rolling Stones, Uriah Heep, Roger Waters, Robert Palmer, Eric Clapton and Meat Loaf. With this impressive resume, he only ended up sticking with Crimson for 4 years.

  • Adrian Belew - His primary role in King Crimson is that of guitarist and vocalist. He is often overlooked in light of Fripp's presence, but he is a fairly remarkable guitarist himself and his vocal style is often compared to David Byrne of the Talking Heads. He has contributed to Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Talking Heads, Cyndi Lauper and Porcupine Tree. Adrian Belew is a current member who has been with Crimson for 26 years.
So despite the numerous lineup changes, there have also been musicians who have held a long tenure within King Crimson. As an interesting side note, Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree's drummer) has recently joined King Crimson. Robert Fripp himself has said that King Crimson is a 'way of doing things rather than a particular group of musicians'. This leads to their varied discography, but even then, King Crimson have consistently delivered interesting, innovative and challenging music with few exceptions. And this brings us to Robert Fripp who, being the only constant member and a primary songwriter, plays a big part in Crimson's sound. He is quite simply, a musical genius, and I don't use that word lightly. He and Belew are the primary proponents of the quirkiness and textural songwriting style of King Crimson. Fripp is known for his use of Frippertronics, and pays as much attention to soundscapes as post-rock musicians - in fact, he created the soundscapes/audio for Windows Vista. Along with his solo material, Fripp has also written for and played with Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie and Porcupine Tree.

As for where King Crimson stands in the music world... aside from influencing practically every prog rock/metal band, they reach surprisingly far into the metal crowd too. In fact, Tool and Mars Volta, two of the biggest prog bands around today, were both hugely influenced by King Crimson.

Current Line-Up:
* Robert Fripp — guitar and mellotron (1969–present)
* Adrian Belew — guitar and vocals (1981–present)
* Tony Levin — bass and Chapman stick (1981–1999; 2003–present)
* Pat Mastelotto — drums (1994–present)
* Gavin Harrison — drums (2007–present)

Best album to start out with:
In the Court of the Crimson King
Best album full stop (IMO): Red
Most underrated album: THRAK
Most overlooked album: The Power to Believe
Greatest song: Starless


Haven’t listed to Court of The Crimson King for decades but i do remember thinking of it as being obviously influenced by some kind of drug consumption (uppers, not downers) I’ll give it a spin tonight as see if it still has that effect on me.

Queen Boo 06-10-2022 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by Howard the Duck (Post 1092251)
he's a total dick in person, though

there was this KC fan message board, and you aren't allowed to address him in a "casual" manner

one of my friends did and he was banned

Fripp has always had that stern English teacher energy so this doesn't surprise me.

The Batlord 06-10-2022 03:16 PM

Yeah that guy's dead.

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