Letter from Robert


Date: 29 Jan 97 12:07:03 EST
From: Discipline Global Mobile <73064 dot 1470 at CompuServe dot COM>
Subject:  Letter from Robert
Discipline Global Mobile,
PO Box 1533,
SALISBURY,
Wiltshire, SP5 5ER.
(44)722 781042: fax.
73064 dot 1470 at compusserve dot com

Tuesday 28th. January,
1997.

Dear Team,

	In ET 259 Neil Corkindale writes (Saturday 10th. February 1996) on
the subject "Meeting The Stars":

	"I once stood at the back of the Manchester Apollo (UK) to get
Robert Fripp's autograph. It was (I think) 1977, and Fripp was touring as
part of Peter Gabriel's band.

	The band showed up for the soundcheck, and getting out of the driver's
seat of one of the cars was Fripp. I approached, with a copy of  Giles, Giles &
Fripp (I thought a signature would add to the value of the LP!)...

NC:	Robert, Could I have your autograph please?
RF: 	I'm not Robert Fripp
NC:	Yes you are!
RF:	No I'm not!
NC:	Yes you are!
RF:	No I'm not!
NC:	Please Robert, I've come a long way for your autograph 	(lying now,
	only 8 miles actually)
RF: 	I've come all the way from Winbourne (sic)
NC:	That proves you are Robert Fripp!
RF: 	No I'm not - I'm his brother!

	During the concert, Fripp sat behind the curtains, off
stage. Gabriel introduced him as Dusty Rhoades! (sic).

	Carved in the Stage Door entrance to the Manchester Free Trade Hall
is `Robert Fripp's a Toad!' (Crimson's first gig in Manchester was 1971).

	I did, however, get John Wetton and Mel Collins's autographs when
they were part of Bryan Ferry's band, also in 1977.

	I mention this because I happen to love King Crimson's music
(especially pre`74), I find Fripp's diaries and notes fascinating, but I
don't think Elephant Talk should ever get into the cult of the
individual. I always look forward to his music, but I do think Fripp, as a
man, is a prat (English version of nerd).

	Any comments?".

I

	Actually, yes.
	Firstly, "Winbourne" is spelt "Wimborne".

	Secondly, Dusty "Rhoades" is spelt Dusty "Rhodes".

	Thirdly, "prat" in English refers to what in Dorset is called
"fore-arse" and so might be also rendered as "fanny". An American word to
convey Neil's general sense is probably "jerk", although the technical
meaning of the word is rather different. And isn't "nerd" a lesser form of
"geek" in American?  Appropriate English (loose) synonyms might be
"pillock" (also used in Dorset, as in the expression "yer gurt steaming
pillock") and "pranny", widely associated throughout the UK music industry
with Reg Presley of The Troggs. "Gurt" is a corruption of "great", implying
a magnitude of accomplishment. Michael Giles, revolutionary drummer of the
Crimso the Great, used the expression "the pillockry is great" when finding
himself in situations of great, well, pillockry. That is, often.

	But I get Neil's general drift.

II

	Here is an alternative presentation of the exchange between Neil
and myself.

NC:	Robert, Could I have your autograph please?
RF: 	No thank you.
NC:	I want an autograph!
RF:	No thank you.
NC:	I insist you give me an autograph!
RF:	Please excuse me.
NC:	No, I won't. And, to prove it, I'll use a dishonest strategy 	to
manipulate your feelings. "Please Robert, I've come a 	long way for your
autograph".

RF: You're lying. You know you're lying, and I know you're lying. But if
you use a "my greater discomfiture gives my wants greater precedence over
yours" strategy, then actually I've come all the way from Wimborne and you
live in the Greater Manchester area.

NC: I don't care! It doesn't matter to me that you don't want to give me
what I want! Give me what I want!  RF: Please grant me my privacy. But to
show you that I retain a robust good humour despite your boorish, dishonest
and inconsiderate behaviour: I am not Robert Fripp - I'm his brother!

III

	Neil tells his "Fripp is a prat" story 19 years after the
event. Neil has continued, generously, to take an interest in my musical
and written work since.  Also generously, he finds my diaries and notes
"fascinating".

	My impression from his story is that after our meeting, Neil came
to the opinion that Fripp certainly was a prat. I have no disagreement with
this: Fripp is a prat. And Neil's telling of the story 19 years later
implies to me that he feels Fripp is still a prat now, as he was then. I
also agree with Neil that ET (maybe anyone and everyone?) avoid/s a "cult
of the individual".

	Neil's story disturbs me in several ways. Would Neil be kind enough
to respond to these questions?

1. How did you come to the (uncontested) conclusion that Fripp is a prat?
(For example, was it is a sequence of events, our meeting in Manchester, my
onstage behaviour, interviews and reviews in the NME and Time Out?).

2. Do you consider that autograph hunting might contribute to developing a
cult of the individual?

3. Do you consider that Fripp is today a / the same / different prat of 19
years ago?

4. What is it that Neil finds "fascinating" in and about my diaries and
notes?

5. Has it occurred to you at any time during the past (nearly) twenty years
that there was, and are, different possible interpretations of our
exchange?

	Sincerely,

	Robert Fripp.


Mike Stok