Elephant Talk #1118 (as text)

5 May 2003

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 19:04:56 +0100 (GMT Daylight Time)
From: "dr" <d-reid at blueyonder dot co dot uk>
Subject: Is RF about to retire

Hi all,

I read that things are not well with RF and the music world again, and that there may be tension in the band.

For purely selfish reasons I hope that this is not the case. I've never been lucky enough to see KC live, and I was anxiously awaiting the European tour dates to see if they were going to play anywhere in the UK (I live in Scotland), but, no joy again.

What is it with RF and not playing in the UK?

Does anyone know if KC plan to play anywhere in the UK on this tour, or after the European leg?



Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 13:39:18 -0700
From: "Joseph A. DeGregorio" <degregoj at ohsu dot edu>
Subject: Oh No Not AGAIN!

This really ticks me off. The darkness again descends over the King Crimson's Court. The "King" sounds like he's ready to abdicate....again. Following is from Fripp's 4/17/03 diary entry:

Those who see RF as Crimson Dictator, even Bandleader, or He Who Must Be
Obeyed, might be interested to note that I have repeatedly stated I have no
plans, nor intention, of making "the next album". And there are good reasons
for this...

The bulk of the work falls to me, at the beginning and at the end, to
Crimsonise a Crimson album.
I do not want that work.
I am not paid for that work.
The recording is mostly a joyless exercise for me, of alienation &
When the album is concluded, mastered, delivered, the reward is...
interviews interviews interviews.
Alternatively, pressure implicit/explicit to do interviews, promote,
I am not paid for these functions.
They are an ordeal.
It is not work that I seek.
It is part of making an album.
It is a brain-dead & unimaginative strategy.
As a strategy it has been superseded, by BootlegTV.
As a functioning strataegy, it is not yet up & running.
I do not have the energy to force this forward against the inertia of
conventional thinking.
David Singleton, the originator of the strategy, is not a member of the

But, regardless of my notional position as Crimson Kingpin, and although
none of this is newly expressed, seemingly none of it has been incorporated
into KC touring strategy.  En passant, when I listen to TPTB, I do not hear
the effort nor the distress that it caused me.

I would like to address some of these points individually:

  1. The bulk of the work falls to me, at the beginning and at the end, to Crimsonise a Crimson album.

Well, isn't that the way it's always been? Why are you couching your words this way? Liner notes in the 30th anniversary edition of Discipline come to mind, when you are providing suggestions to Bruford on how you prefer him to play his "Batterie." The cymbals have drowned out guitar leads on occasion, but that's not the point. What's more to the point is that this is your original creation, and a "crimsonized" version of a King Crimson album is what enthusiasts look forward to. You should consider your role and purpose as one of the creators of King Crimson music. It has been a reflection of you for 34 years and you would not be in the position you are in today were it not for faithful enthusiasts who have observed the growth and change of this ongoing experiment and have taken a part in it. In other words, KC would not have existed this long if the interest were not there. And your itemization above would be moot. Frankly, Robert, it sounds like you're whining just a bit.

  1. >I do not want that work (See last sentence under 1, above).
  2. I do not get paid for that work

You're paid for the work through the purchases of KC enthusiasts, and the concert tours. This reasoning makes no sense. Obviously most, if not all KC albums, suggest a very personal touch corroborated by their intense originality of sound, song selection and sequence (TPTB, THRAK and LTIA come immediately to mind). You have imposed the burden of production upon yourself (and we appreciate it) since you don't want "outsiders" compromising the quality and end-product. KC does not hash out a crappy product to be fine-tuned by an egotistical "renowned" producer who works on the "big hits" by the "big stars." This is the road you've chosen and the methods you've chosen and you should seek the high road. I know you don't owe your fans anything but I know most, if not all of us would like to see King Crimson continue.

  1. When the album is concluded, mastered, delivered, the reward is... interviews interviews interviews.

Most reporters are ignorant and ask stupid questions no-one would have thought to ask. Either they try to be too hip and end up sounding phony and moronic, or they are simply clueless. Who would ever aspire to a vocation that makes its living off the lives and accomplishments of others, while spreading unnecessary gossip and rumours? (My apologies to all the good, intelligent and insightful reporters who subscribe to this newsletter). In addition, they usually do not do any reasearch before they ask questions, and then they are put off if the interviewee loses interest in the interview. Recently, Rasheed Wallace of the Portalnd Trailblazers was fined $30,000.00 for not "cooperating" with a reporter during an interview after a basketball game. I guess it's in the players' contracts to "cooperate" with the press, even when they don't want to, have other things on their mind, their car was just stolen, their wife just left them, etc. The point is most people, except those "celebrities" who crave attention and who think everything they think and say is earth-shatteringly important, would prefer to be left alone. Others feel the same way you do, Mr Fripp. You've dealt with for over 30 years and you've survived. Sometimes, however, you appear to be a walking contrdiction of yourself. While you project an image of someone who values his privacy and likes to keep his feelings to himself, you've written thousands and thousands of words about topics that interest you, and place them in your liner notes for all to see and read if they choose. This is, in effect, an interview, only here you ask and answer the questions yourself. Of course the questions are better (they're your own), but your thoughts and feelings are well known, thanks to you (e.g. music industry issues). Interaction with the public whether in your own forum or through an interview with a second party is a necessary evil. Why don't YOU choose who you want to be interviewed by?

  1. Those who see RF as Crimson Dictator, even Bandleader, or He Who Must Be Obeyed.......

You are. Everyone knows it, acknowledges it, accepts it. Your bandmates do, and listeners assume it to be true, based on everything we've seen and read. You're the only original member. King Crimson is a way of life, remember? I've done the math. Obviously you enjoy the concert experience. I was at the KC concert in Portland, I know there were some equipment problems, but after the encore, the whole band looked happy. Yes the WHOLE band. Concerts are given to support the lastest album releases. You need to make an album in order to justify a tour (unless you're an oldies but goodies band, which you're not).

Your notes above seem to resemble the "con" side to a "pros and cons" list. Only you can say what the pros are to continuing King Crimson. Why don't you finish the list? Or, is your last statement from the positive side of the list:

En passant, when I listen to TPTB, I do not hear the effort nor the distress that it caused me.


Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 20:44:45 -0400
From: "muslchead" <muslchead at prodigy dot net>
Subject: Club 22 impressions

I've been listening to the ProjeKct One CD quite a bit since I received it on Saturday. The first thing I can say is how much I love it, and hope that there are more free improv residencies in the future. One of the interesting things about this band, though, is that, for my ears at least, it sounds like Fripp, Gunn, and Levin, are working towards the next phase of Crimson, but that Bruford sounds very happy where he was at the time. In particular, Fripp and Gunn are expanding their vocabularies with their new toys and had a much looser feel than is possible in Crimson. Brufords very conventional kit sounds a bit out of place here, although I like it in an interesting way. There seemed to be a tension between the old and the new, and obviously the new won out. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that Bruford never played with Crimson again after this. I still love him and am a major Earthworks fan, but this CD seems to emphasize their moving in different directions.

Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 07:20:28 -0700
From: "Joseph A. DeGregorio" <degregoj at ohsu dot edu>
Subject: Is Toby a Punk?

This is from the Vicar's diary of April 29, 2003:

Punk's sordid little has been transformed into, miracle of miracles, an interesting discussion forum. As if four or five interesting people decided to sit down and have deep metaphysical discussions in a disused toilet. Go for it boys. These are important issues.

Is Toby the "punk" the Vicar is referring to? Sounds like a description of ET.

Oh well. Just wondering.


[ No, as far as I'm aware, I'm not the "punk". --Toby ]

Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 16:02:37 -0400
From: "bh" <cirkusfreak at hotmail dot com>
Subject: Dr. Diamond bass line

I've got some questions for the transcribers, and bassists out there. I've been doing some serious listening to "Doctor Diamond" off of the Live in Mainz KCCC cd, and I'm I've got most of the song figured out, with the exception of the very beginning. It's a bit muddled in the mix, an very fast, so I can't quite distinguish all of the notes. If anybody out there has a notation of tablature for this or would be so kind as to write it up quickly, I'd certainly appreciate it. A secondary question- How is "Dr. Diamond 1997", as heard on the Wetton/ Palmer James album "Monkey Business"



Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 21:52:25 -0400
From: "Tom Hranowsky" <thranowsky at hvc dot rr dot com>

Anybody have any information on this? I've read that it was released at the end of January, and I've also read it is supposed to be released this month. Is anyone actually in procession of it? What I've heard of the Peter Gabriel SACDs is simply stunning, and I am eager to hear any King Crimson in this format.

Date: Sun, 4 May 2003 20:28:34 +0100
From: "Neil Ingram" <neil dot ingram at blueyonder dot co dot uk>
Subject: Still

Peter Sinfields album Still was released thirty years ago, on May 25th, 1973. Do you have powerful memories of that album? Do the songs bring back vivid recollections? Are the songs still part of your life? I am trying to collect together peoples thoughts about Still. Hopefully, I will put them together and publish them on Peter Sinfields website, Song Soup on Sea.

If you would like to add your reminisces to the collection, then please e-mail me at obviouslysixbelievers at hotmail dot com <mailto:obviouslysixbelievers at hotmail dot com>. Alternatively, please visit the SongSoup guestbook at <http://books.dreambook.com/jrgreen1/songsouponsea.html>.

Thank you

Neil Ingram

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 18:17:54 +0400 (MSD)
From: Andrei Rouliakov <rouliakov at hotbox dot ru>
Subject: Jamie Muir's accident at the Marquee Club

Well, first of all let me congratulate all of you with the 2,000,000 visitor of ET.

I actually subscribed to ET newsletter just today (after reading the site for a few months) and paid some attention that the counter turned over 2,000,000 (I was visitor No. 2,000,005).

Now for some information. I am actually not sure that it wasn't discussed before, but since it is not in the FAQ (and in the off-topic list), and most other sources (non-ET) contain somewhat strange and improbable date of Jamie Muir's sad accident, I decided to shed some light.

Among these sources are Steven Sthole's article 'THE GREATEST BAND IN THE UNIVERSE' and various translations, the book 'THE RUSSIFICATED KING CRIMSON' by Vladimir Kalnitsky and many other articles based on Steven Sthole's original.

The problem is that all these articles state that Jamie Muir fractured his foot on February 17, 1973 and left the group after that. The thing is that the date can not be February, 17. Let us see the newspaper and magazine clips, which may, among others, be found in the scrapbook of the 30th Anniversary Edition of LTiA. There are two articles, which are quite short, so I won't use mush of your bandwidth if I present them here completely.

One is from Melody Maker 10 Feb 1973 (which was a Saturday):


KING CRIMSON are set to play two nights at the Marquee Club on February 10
and 11, as a break from recording their first album.  These will be their
first live appearances since their sell-out concert at the Rainbow last
December. Plans are also under way to make a half hour film of the

What we get from this article is that there were two concerts planned for February 10, 1973 (Saturday) and February 11, 1973 (Sunday) and that there were no concerts earlier this year. The reference to the 'first' album means LTiA, the first album by the Cross/Fripp/Wetton/Bruford/Muir incarnation.

Now the second article from Melody Maker 17 Feb 1973 (which was also a Saturday):


KING CRIMSON'S second drummer Jamie Muir fractured his foot during
Saturday night's performance the London's Marquee Club and the group played
the following night's show without him.  "It was touch and go whether the
group would play the second night at all," Marquee manager Jack Barrie told
the MM this week. "I was very grateful to the group for carrying on without
him on Sunday because there were hundreds of fans who would have been

Well, it is easy to see, that the accident happened on Saturday and that the group as a four-piece played the following Sunday, which can only be the 10th and 11th of February respectively, since the article was published on the 17th.

So the date of the accident may be safely established as February 10, 1973.

Now some even more weird info from Robert Fripp (from the booklet of 'The Night Watch' album, page 14):

Jamie was far too intelligent and well-balanced a human being to stay with the group for long. Confronted with the nonsense of life on the road he opted for life. He fell ill and missed two gigs at the Marquee, February 10-11th, 1973, when Bill assumed the role of drummer/percussionist for the first time. This was actually the debut of the four-piece Crimson personnel on these records.

Well isn't THAT strange (or is it 'ethical') on the part of RF?

Hope this will be of interest to some people.

Andrei Rouliakov

P.S. I was less than one year old at that time.


P.P.S. And I am going to see Crimso live for the first time in my life on June 12, 2003, when they come to Moscow, Russia. Hope there'll be no accidents.


Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 11:16:03 EDT
From: Bknt at aol dot com
Subject: The Lost Wages of Norbert Fragg

Dear Fraggophiles,

A pliant plaint, posted in the on-line diary of the dyspeptic and occasionally apoplectic guitarist Norbert Fragg, has filled the fetid offices of Reactionary Records with endless grief. It seems that Fragg has told his Japanese hosts that he will not make a subsequent Thing Dismal recording because he feels he has been inadequately compensated for the trouble, toil and dribbling he contributed to the latest Thing Dismal recording, the Power to Reweave.

This Fraggmatic refusal has sparked an investigation on behalf of Her Magesty's Ministry of Ineffable Twaddle. Borrowing a phrase recently used to describe the overall honesty, integrity and reliability of the American news media during the recent Iraqi war, presiding magistrate Lord Bupkes, a Thing Dismal enthusiast since the release of In The Court of the Bilious Barrister, exclaimed that the "Fragg Matter" was rife with "crock and bull," and vowed to "separate Fragg from friction."

The following are excerpts from the off-going investigation:

Lord Bupkes: Mr. Fragg, you stated that among your uncompensated acts was sending a rough mix of the current Thing Dismal recording to a marketing and focus group agency that played the record before housewives and cats. Can you tell the court why you should be paid for this?

Mr. Fragg: For music to come into the world, it is sometimes necessary for it to be despised by married females as a loud, dissonant, polyrhythmically hopeless preoccupation of their aging mates. In addition, in Eastern musical traditions, which are far superior to the West, the quality of music that causes feline species to vomit spontaneously is considered to be inherently superior. The Thing Dismal song "Cat Puke" began a process that is continues with the current composition, EmetiKc. Both are about about the law of Unintended Retchedness.

Lord Bupkes: According to documents before the Court, EmetiKc, was originally titled Another Fine Fraggture. During a recording that ditty, you have stated that you developed an itch on your left forefinger, causing you to play an A minor chord as an F sharp, and for this you did not receive payment.

Sir Shpilkes (acting as solititor for Reactionary Records): We have replayed the relevant passage, your Lordship, and we have not been able to identify any audible evidence of such an event. As our friends in Germany might say, der itch ist nicht!

Mr. Fragg: In my inestimable, disagreeable and far too humiliating career as professional musician, which has lasted 37 years, 2 months, one week, three days, sixteen hours and 27 minutes, I have developed abilities that some may call psychic. For example, I can identify individuals who are thinking about possessing cameras and recording equipment, regardless if these individuals have this equipment in their possession or have the capability to operate the equipment properly. This ability manifests itself as an irritation, annoyance, a great, gasping, heaving orb of despair that descends like an obese London music journalist upon a post-performance meet-and-greet buffet spread. This ability is more remarkable, because, given the generally unsupportive, vindictive, materialistic and unbathed nature of Thing Dismal fans, most are incapable of coherent thought.

Sir Shpilkes: So you do their thinking for them, Mr. Fragg?

Mr. Fragg: For which I have not been paid! I cannot begin to explain how irritating this is.

Sir Shpilkes: Indeed. If I may, your Lordship, introduce before the Court an insubstantial entity named Ish Kabibble. Mr. Kabbible is the Good Fairy whose assistance Mr. Fragg cited as crucial in the completion of the previous Thing Dismal studio recording, The EruKctation of Spite. Mr. Kabbible, have you received any compensation from Mr. Fragg for your spiritual contribution?

Mr. Kaddible: Not a fraggin' farthing! And then, when I reads in the trades that ol' Norbie's finally popped his noggin to make a new record, I shows up in Knishville with me bag o' tricks, all set to render me usual services, and I'm told to bugger off, as I been replaced by a Machine!

Lord Bupkes: It is the judgement of the court that, rather than demand payment for talents that are, at best, unique, at worst, manifestations of personal compulsions that have little, if anything, to do with music, Mr. Fragg must acknowledge that, in having an artistic existence that remains long, vital, meaningful, valuable and, despite his best efforts, APPRECIATED in ways that even this court cannot fully catalog, Mr. Fragg owes far more than he can ever repay. It is our hope that he continues to make his music available to those who will pay to hear it, and that he develops other, less dubiously psychic abilities, that will remind him of the abundant richness that has been given to him to share, and that gratitude is its own reward.

Case dismissed!

Bill Kent

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 20:12:53 +0200
From: rolf k <rolfkl at stud dot ntnu dot no>
Subject: Gig in Oslo


I saw an ad for KC playing in Oslo, Norway, 4th June. tickets are available on www.billettservice.no

love on,

"play with your mind,
not your hands."

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 11:45:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: RS <kingcrimson2 at yahoo dot com>
Subject: Fripp is done? Vegetarians in KC

From Fripp's diarys april 16th

This makes me a difficult character to work with professionally, in addition to the numerous personal failings commented upon by former Crimson members, and online fans whose consumer rights have been violated. So, this is a formal acknowledgement that the life of a working player is no longer right for me. Alternatively, I am no longer the right person to be a working player.

This is now official: I am in the wrong line of work.

Hopefully Fripp is just having a moment of frustration. Everyone has parts of their job they hate. But I'd do all the interviews and promotion I had to make an even average living to play the music I liked professionally. In a heartbeat. He is an extremely lucky man that he can do just that. If is gripe is lack of money well it is limitation of this line of work. Very, very few people can become rich in music. I'm sure Fripp would excel in any line of work he chose. I'm positive if he decided to be an investment banker he would be quite rich and well regarded in his field.Also Fripp has a flare for being, well, a little overdramatic. If he is a true musician he will not quit playing out. Passion can not just be snuffed by a little adversity. I know Fripp is a vegetarian. Is anyone else in KC likewise?

The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 11:56:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jim Sheridan <jimsheridan at yahoo dot com>
Subject: Bruce/Taylor/Bley Band
>From: GORTAY at aol dot com
>Subject: Jack Bruce Live album
>I've just obtained a copy of the soon to be released
>Jack Bruce album recorded live at Manchester Free
>Trade Hall in 1975. The line-up is Bruce, Bley, Mick
>Taylor on guitar, Ronnie Leahy also on keys and Bruce
>Gary on drums.

That was an AMAZING band and sadly one that never made it to the studio. They did appear on the Old Grey Whistle Test, bootleg videos of which can be found easily, and some of that performance came out on a disc called "Jack Bruce and Friends: Live on the BBC" or something like that - but the solo from "Smiles and Grins" was edited. A shame!! I have always compared this band to Yes, but you're right, the Mellotron does recall Crimson.

You may wonder at the presence of Mick Taylor, ex-Bluesbreaker, ex-Rolling Stone, in this band, but do note that Taylor played with Mike Oldfield and with Gong in the mid-70's, and his first solo album had some proggy instrumentals to die for. I can't wait for this disc to come out! I have a few bootlegs of this line-up but the sound is always pretty rough on them.

Definitely check this disc out!!!! Jim Sheridan

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 11:52:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: Josh Donald <gunnlevinfan at yahoo dot com>
Subject: Best way to purchase CD's.

Greetings lovers of music. Due to the various styles of music I listen to, I tend to purchase the CD through the record label's web site. Example: DGM, Racket Records and so on. My main question is, is it better to purchase CD's from these web sites than purchasing them on Amazon or in a store like Tower Records? I ask because I want to make sure that most of the money can actually get to the artist. Sometimes I have an impulse buy at a store because I couldn't believe that they had a particular CD in the first place. Or should I have waited and bought it online through a label's web site? Anyone who has information on the distribution of monies and what is the best way to support an artist when purchasing CD's would be greatly appreciated. Thank you ET'ers! Josh

The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.

Date: Mon, 05 May 2003 15:21:17 -0500
From: "Golden, David J." <djgolden at utmb dot edu>
Subject: Re: Is Fripp about to retire and LAST CALL FOR RF?

Reading through his diary, I do get the strong impression that Fripp is pretty miserable recording and touring. I enjoy his music as much as the next person, but if he's so unhappy, then why doesn't he simply call it quits and go do something he enjoys? Or is he contractually obligated to finish the TPTB tour?

Just wondering. :)

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 23:00:50 +0200
From: "Kees van Dongen" <kees dot van dot dongen at planet dot nl>
Subject: KC at 2003 North Sea Jazz festival???

Hi all,

I saw that KC is sceduled for a gig at and during the North Sea Jazz festival in the Netherlands.

Now I'm going to attend for sure but KC and Jazz???

Any idea's?



Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 18:14:14 -0400
From: "David" <vze2ncsr at verizon dot net>
Subject: Kurdt - a Fripp fan...?

I wonder what it would have been if Kurdt Cobain and Robert Fripp would have ever met and played music together. Two individuals with such different traditions, each connecting with a guitar in their hands.

In a October 1989 interview, answering to criticism from NME rock journalist, Simon Reynolds, that "they [Nirvana] are too complex for their own good," Kurdt Cobain replied:

Well, the track he was describing [off the SubPop 200 box set] was pretty much the most complex thing we've ever done. We're moving towards simplicity and better songwriting all the time. There are two songs on the album which only have two parts to them. That one has three. Fuck that guy, what does he know? He was probably in a bad mood or something! He doesn't like Robert Fripp, that's for sure. He probably doesn't listen to Eno either, which is stupid! Eno's great!"

Taken from the new UNCUT special on Nirvana -- page 14.

David Kirkdorffer

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 20:10:11 -0400
From: "Chris Holderfield" <belewfan at wideopenwest dot com>
Subject: Re: is Fripp about to retire?

I'm not sure about Fripp possibly retiring, because I have not been a fan for too long....

But when I look at the amazon.com sales ranking (currently at 821 as I write this), you have to remember that this is out of millions and millions of products! And during pre-order and the first couple of weeks, the album saw sales rankings on amazon.com of 40-100!!!

So no, the album is not doing as well as would an album from U2, NSYNC (EWW), Britney spears, whatever, but (from what it seems) this type of music is not everyones fav.

But for what its worth, one of my friends at school is a big fan of TOOL (I'm not, but i heard KC toured with TOOL in 2000). I let him have a copy of TPTB, and he loved it!! He described it as being (and I quote): "almost spiritual"...he loved the way it started off with Belew's soft almost eerie lyrics, and then to the loud electronic LEVEL FIVE. He was very impressed by the album, and continues to hardly ever leave his CD player.


Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 20:20:47 EDT
From: Jacbeerbs at aol dot com
Subject: Is the sky falling?

Wow! What a wallop. Why all the negative letters about They Might Be Crimson? Is it the end? Is it a new beginning? I think we should wake up every morning and shout a very loud chirp of joy because, out there in Tomorrow Land, the honest to God (whatever God may be to you) King Crimson is roaming the earth. That means something far larger than things we can normally think of.

The phenomenon that occurs at Crimso shows and certainly other times and spaces, in the space time continuum is a thing we are all confronted with and amazed and terrified by in various ways all the time.

It is called music. Amazingly, it's just music.

Date: Mon, 5 May 2003 20:28:59 EDT
From: Jacbeerbs at aol dot com
Subject: Hwwyhtbhw Lyric, Reprise.


For the record.

              " And for a second verse,
            a terse economy.
             I'll brew another pot,
                Of ambiguity. Then...
               I'm gonna repeat the chorus!"

Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 00:24:00 EDT
From: Jjvince1 at aol dot com
Subject: final days

yes it looks like this could be the end of an awesome band once and for all lets hope that there was plenty of music recorded for mass consumption and i am looking forward to tptb live dvd would like to hear some japanese reveiws and please euro et ers keep us posted sounds like there were a few bad north american shows but at least the chicago park west 2 nd show will be etched in my mind forever...ps i hope robert knows that at his age he rocks harder then most half his age and that he is the only veteran 70s guitar hero who does not look totally ridiculous on stage just keep releasing the music rf and ill keep buying it .......peace.. ps the california guitar trio june 4th stl mo cant wait see ya

Mike Stok