Date: Sat, 26 Feb 94 21:59:48 GMT From: Toby Howard <toby at cs dot man dot ac dot uk> Subject: WWW project
I have in mind a project: to create a World Wide Web database for Fripp/Crimson information. This might include the Discipline archives, suitably cross-referenced and illustrated with images, a hypertext version of the existing Fripp discography, links to interviews and articles, and other WWW resources (such as the Eno WWW pages (have lost the http, sorry), Chapman Stick (http://www.reed.edu/~bpt/music/stick/) and so on).
Joe Germuska ((j-germuska at nwu dot edu) has kindly started us off, but doesn't have the time to get further involved. And I am fully occupied editing and organising the list itself, so I am calling for volunteers to help set up and do the project. You don't have to have prior experience with the Web to help -- it's so easy to pick up how to convert existing text into hypertext HTML format.
We already have two sites for you to look at (all you need is a WWW browser, such as xmosaic), http://www.acns.nwu.edu/ezines/discipline/index.html, and http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/aig/staff/toby/discipline.html.
If you'd like to take part in this project, please contact me direct, and we can orchestrate the effort.
Thanks, this could be fun!
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 94 18:21:54 GMT From: Toby Howard <toby at cs dot man dot ac dot uk> Subject: Issues 116-124
A number of subscribers have been looking for issues 116-124 in the ftp.uwp.edu music archive.
They're not there, because the archive is full at the moment. So I have archived the missing issues temporarily on
m1.cs.man.ac.uk, in /pub/toby
Please feel free to take them from there
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 1994 18:14:01 GMT From: jay kuhn x535-3886 <JKUHN at cheeta dot messaging dot cs dot mci dot com> Subject: Larks Tongue title and opinions on boxed sets.
>>Re: the recent discussion about where Larks' Tongues in Aspic got it's >>name, I recall reading an interview with someone in the band many moons ago >>where this was explained. The band had just finished either recording or >>rehearsing the piece, and one of the bandmembers said (paraphrasing here) >>"What are we going to call it?" Jamie Muir quickly said "Larks' Tongues in >>Aspic, of course". >>Sadly, I do not remember where I read this, but I definitely read it >>somewhere. Perhaps in the "Young Person's Guide" booklet? >>Bill Davis
I believe I rememeber reading this in Melody Maker. Too many years have passed but I believe they were doing a special piece on the group. In the article, I think that was Muir's reply to the reporter. I think I remember bruford wearing basketball sneakers in the picture and Cross was wearing that Las Vegas suit. .....
Someone an issue back asked about if they should buy the Great Deceiver set , but my mail got bounced back, so I figure I might as well put my reply here and include my opinions (worth what you paid for them) on the Eno Boxed set. :-) :-) Great Deceiver: If you like to hear the differences in songs as they are played at different places or if you are a musician, it's interesting and worth it. There are also some other interesting moments on there (like Fripp talking to the tape operator) or this groups version of Cat Food. I think there are too many versions of some songs on there. If you are not a hard core fan, I'd don't think its worth $75 US which someone said was the price in Holland. The book is really interesting.
Eno Voice: If you have all the CD's, not worth it except this has RAF, Seven Deadly Finns and (hey it's rare) Lion Sleeps Tonight. They did a hell of a re-mastering job, and I am not sure if the other Eno CD's have been remastered as well as this. The problem I personally have with it is it leaves off a few songs on Tiger Mountain that I really like, but it's got the stuff from later in Eno's career like The Belldog from cluster and Wrong Side Up stuff with Cale so It would save you from buying that. I don't personally think his later stuff is as interesting, but it's kinda growing on me.
Hope my input helps someone make the right decision.
From: billforth at aol dot com Date: Fri, 25 Feb 94 14:29:57 EST Subject: Guitar Craft Courses
Dear F. Sheeran,
This is in response to your posting on the Discipline Newsletter for information on Guitar Craft courses. There are two Level One introductory Guitar Craft courses scheduled for this year, one in Japan and one in Argentina. If you wish to pariticipate, you should write to the respective registrars for the specifics on dates, fees and registration. Sorry, you can't e-mail, but you can send a fax.
March 25-31, 1994 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contact: Hernan Nunez, FAX 54 1 8211372
August, 1994, Tokyo, Japan
Contact: Hideyo Moriya, FAX 81-471-82-53
Please allow time for a response. (The registrars are working musicians, and often on the road.) If you wish to have your name placed on a database to be informed about future courses in the U.S., send a postcard to: Guitar Craft Seminars, 14431 Ventura Blvd., Suite 118, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, U.S.A. There are no GC courses on the calendar for America currently.
To answer your specific questions: While we try to take everyone who wants to participate, courses are generally limited to the number of students that Robert can meet with personally in a day, usually 30-40. The Level One course is open to all players, regardless of their length of playing experience, and anyone is welcome to apply. L1 courses generally continue for 5 1/2 days, and they are offered in a residential context. The only requirement is a measure of commitment, and payment. While nothing is compulsary within the context of Guitar Craft courses,the use of drugs is not permitted.
Regarding the course in Japan you express interest in, the registrar has told me that it probably isn't the best choice for English-speaking students. (The course in Argentina would be the better option.) Nontheless, if you really wish to attend, I'm sure your application will be honored. Let us know how we can be of service, and good luck until then.
Best wishes, Bill Forth/for Guitar Craft Seminars.
From: "Dave W. Fulton" <dfulton at ednet1 dot osl dot or dot gov> Subject: A Fripp in the Crowd Date: Fri, 25 Feb 94 22:05:25 PST
All this talk about Fripp's attitude has prompted me to make my 1st post to this fine group. I saw RF and the LofCG on Sat. Oct. 20th 1990 at the Melody Ballroom in Portland Oregon. This is kinda cool place to see a show, for you can buy Micro Brew and sit down in a nice table with your friends and watch the show.
We arrived there early so we had a chance to get a table up front, get a beer and chat before the show. Looking around we saw RF sitting alone at a table in the back of the room (this is not a big place), no one walked up to him or said anything to him. He just sat there looking rather stern sipping a beer.
About 5 minutes before the show, he simply walked away. Never saying anything to anyone. Now I wanted to walk up to him and ask a few question, but based upon what I saw, I felt like he wanted to be left alone. Maybe I was wrong. But when I left I bought a poster and found that it was hand signed by Robert Fripp. What does this mean? I don't know but he must sign autographs. And if no one talks to him, he won't say anything! And of course, anyone can be an asshole! So don't think to much.
Dave Fulton dfulton at ednet1 dot osl dot or dot gov KOPB-TV Engineering
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 94 01:51:02 EST From: <tlkalka at mailbox dot syr dot edu> Subject: Billy's Buds
I few weeks ago, I posted:"Does Bill Bruford have any friends? He seems to quibble (perhaps justifiably) with everyone."
I was just kidding. Tounge in Cheek, and all that.
It has been pleasing, however, to see so many people support the unique and powerful musician that is Bill Bruford.
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 94 11:05:48 EST From: frostd at h01 dot pgh dot wec dot com (David R. Frost x4132 ) Subject: NIN, Acoustic, etc.
> Date: Fri, 18 Feb 94 11:18:15 PST > From: "John Relph" <relph at presto dot ig dot com> > Subject: Re: Discipline #125 > > Did anybody pick up _The Acoustic Adrian Belew_? He's got a couple good > tracks including an acoustic version of, what is it, "Matte Kudasai"? > Decent material.
Adrian brought several copies of that CD along with him a few months ago on his tour. Supposedly, only 1000 were initially run. He sold about 50 at the show, and was kind enough to hang around at the end of the evening to sign them all and chat with people. It's certainly worth picking up, especially if you didn't have a chance to check out the tour. A nice side of Adrian we should see more of.
Also at the show, he debuted some new KC. At the time, it impressed me as being very Discipline-ish. Sounding as great as it did "unplugged", I can hardly wait to hear it electric! At the audience's insistence, he also hammered out a few bars of "Big Acoustic Cat" and we all had a good laugh.
> Date: Mon, 21 Feb 1994 14:43:51 -0600 (CST) > From: 26H3KESSLERR at vms dot csd dot mu dot edu > Subject: NIN & Belew > In the March '94 issue of "Musician" magazine there is an interview with > Trent from Nine Inch Nails. He talks a bit about his use of Adrian Belew > on the upcoming NIN release (Mar. 1 or so). [...]
At the same show, Adrian mentioned that session. I didn't realize it was being released, however! Seems they had a blast together just being crazy. But (for obvious reasons) I don't think we have to look for any future collaborations. On the same trip, Belew said he jammed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, too. Man, talk about personality clashes!
Keep us informed on the Belew/NIN release ...
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 1994 16:05:13 +1000 From: Douglas Miller <dougcc at brt dot deakin dot edu dot au> Subject: Re: What does 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic' mean?
There have been several postings on this subject, but none seem to have addressed what I understood to be the intent of the original question --- what is the connection between the title and the album?
In my mind this has always been clear. Larks' tongues in aspic must surely represent the (real or fictional) ultimate exotic delicacy. In conjunction with the medieval symbol on the cover, the mental image conjured for me is of the culimination of an exclusive medieval banquet where the ultimate titbit is brought out to tempt the jaded palates of the most privileged and degenerate of gourmets. The connotations are medieval, delicacy, and cruelty. Which fits the music, especially the title track (IMHO).
I've never worried too much about whether larks' tongues in aspic is a real dish or not, but now my curiosity is aroused. Can anyone provide any references for this food ever being made and eaten?
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 02:09:59 EST From: <tlkalka at mailbox dot syr dot edu> Subject: Richard W. Palmer-James
So who is this guy, anyway? He wrote words to Book of Saturday, Exiles, Easy Money, The Great Deceiver, Lament, The Night Watch, The Mincer, Fallen Angel, Starless, and Doctor Diamond.
But how did he come into contact with the group? Has he published anything else? What are the words to Dr. Diamond?
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 1994 08:59:05 -0500 (EST) From: "Scott T. Lillis" <sl4q+ at andrew dot cmu dot edu> Subject: Assymetrical Time Meters
Well I posted about this on alt.music.progressive and to my dismay got no follow ups, so maybe you all will find the topic more interesting. I have for some time tried to ascertain the different time meters used in Crimson's more off-beat, irregular tunes and here are my guesses and findings:
Larks' Tongues pt I: All I found was that the first heavy, distortion part is in 7/4 but I get lost after that.
Larks' Tongues pt II:Most of the riffs seem to be in 10/8 but the hard part that starts with guitar power chords and has the twisted violin solo seems to be in some weird combo of 3/4 and 4/4 like:
1 2 3 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 4 | G F# - | E F# - | F# G - |G F# - | E F# G - |
Is this right and what else am I missing in this song?
Industry: is pretty straitforward and is in alternations of 4/4 and 5/4(or 8/8 and 10/8 which I think more accurately describes the rhythm) where the snare falls on the first 3 and first 5 eighth notes of the 8/8 and 10/8 bars respectively. How bruford improvises around this with out losing this beat is beyond me.
Indiscipline: 5/4 for the instrumental part at least. How about the vocal part though?
Frame by Frame: Well the vocal part is a base meter of 7/8 but for the 'looping procedure'(which I'm sure many of your understand) is 14/8(No different than 7/8-7/8, this is easier for reference) for Adrian and 13/8 (or 7/8-6/8) for Robert. But what about the instrumental where Fripp plays insanely fast?
Discipline: Now this beast is my hardest song to analyze(and my favorite). In terms of the guitar and I'll leave out the off-meter in the looping parts because I don't know them. It starts in 5/4. Then goes to some off beat 8/4 bar. Then back to 5/4 does the 'looping procedure'. And back to the 8/4 thing. Then every thing after seems to be 15/8 or variations on that with the looping. But the first one seems like :
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 | F# ? ? E ? F# ? ? E ? F# ? ? A ? |
where they fill in notes at the '?' and they play transposes and variations of this later. Can anyone help here. And when are the drums in the same time with the guitar or are they ever?
One more Red Nightmare: It starts with a 7/4 bar of chords alternating with an 8/4 bar of amazing drum fills. But what about the rest of the song?
Red: The first & last part with the 'Fripp' scales is in 5/8 (and is fun to play on the fretless guitar) then the rest of the song seems to be in pretty even meter.
Starless: The vocal part with the 'sad' melody(which I have worked very hard to get on the fretless,but can't get it quite is smooth as Fripp) is in 4/4. The twisted build-up where Fripp picks one note for extended periods is in 13/4 then it goes into the fast, sax jam in 13/8. It concludes with the original 4/4 melody. Am I missing any small parts here?
Neurotica: The chorus is in 7/8. That's all I found there.
Lament: There are some very off-beat parts in this song and one part, where the guitar goes up and down scales, seems to have different meters for the drums and guitar. What are the time signatures in this song? It has always foxed me a bit.
Any additions, comments and corrections are invited(I implore you).
Sorry for the long post, but it seems an interesting and suitable topic.
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 22:43:05 -0500 From: javasque at entropy dot bph dot jhu dot edu (Jaime Vasquez) Subject: scores
I am wondering if it's possible to get scores of some of Fripp's "guitar gamellan" stuff. Have some of you worked them out note by note and written them down? Something like those interlocking guitar parts from Indiscipline, China (I Advance Masked), you know what I mean... Happens that I am taking a harpsichord class and I am extremely curious to find out how it would sound.
Jaime Vasquezjavasque at eos dot ncsu dot edu
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 23:07:14 PST From: rosenblu at UCSD dot EDU Subject: Who else talks to the Wind ?
Hi there Crimsomaniacs!
I have a question that must have come out more than once, but anyway, here it goes:
Not long ago I saw on MTV a funny video of a strange, "galactic" girl, all dressed in a glittering, tight space-suit (more like an ET-suit). (She was pretty, I have to say.) She was, if my memory is right, singing and dancing "in heaven", between clouds and stuff. The funniest is that this bizarre beauty was singing a cover of "I talk to the Wind", the song had been "slightly" transformed into a dance-oriented, techno-pop-like tune. I have to add that, even though at the beginning I was a little shocked, since then I have felt very courious to find out who that strange woman was/is and what did I see that night !!! I don't have a TV (I know, I know that that's impossible but...) so, I seldomly watch anything, especially MTV. Was that a dream, a nightmare ? Are those things really happening out there ? If anybody has any info about this, please let me know. (I hope the next thing to come out is not "Prince Rupert awakes" turned into lambada.) THX a lot.
--------------------------- Alan Rosenblum rosenblu at bend dot ucsd dot edu UCSD School of Architecture
From: "Christian Guettge" <REHA_GUETT at rz dot dshs dot uni-koeln dot de> Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 08:59:49 Subject: the Essential Fripp and Eno
Hi toby ,this is for Discipline:
On Friday I bought the newest FRIPP/ENO - Production " THE ESSENTIAL FRIPP AND ENO" .
Here is the track list:
Tracks 1-2 is from the Fripp/Eno LP No Pussy Footing (1973), tracks 3-4 is from Evening star( 1975).
Unfortunally there is no information about any kind of new stuff on this old recordings. I have this two LP`S and I think that there are some (little) new part s on it.
Tracks 5 - 7 are produced in 1994 by Fripp/Eno.
By myself, I am a little bit disappointed about Tracks 5-8, because this stuff is real boring. (my opion!!). Tracks 5-8 are always the same theme , with little variations. I don t know , if this is more FRIPP or more Eno. But if someone don t have the two FRIPP/ENO-Production, this is real good stuff. Built your own meaning about that!
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 94 03:50:14 EST From: mathias at tarkus dot ocis dot temple dot edu (mathias thallmayer) Subject: Anekdoten
Anyone who is into the Fripp/Wetton/Bruford/Cross KC should pick up the new album by Anekdoten, "Vemod".
Here is the line-up:
Nicklas Berg-Guitar, Mellotron
Anna Sofi Dahlberg-Cello, Mellotron, Vox
Jan Erik Liljestrom-Bass, Vox
Although they don't have the virtuoso abilities of KC, they are quite good musicians and they almost have the KC "sound" down perfectly. The bass player sounds especially like Wetton and the guitarist has many of Fripp's sound and Fripperisms. What he lacks is Fripps amazing lead lines. They also have the moody, Gothic Mellotron sound. This is a very heavy intense album.
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 13:41:53 +0100 From: Eric Rutten <Eric dot Rutten at irisa dot fr> Subject: new FRIPP & ENO album - rec.music.misc #119650
It contains the two sides of "(No Pussyfooting)", two pieces of "Evening Star", and approx. 20 mn of unreleased material, which seems to be new (copyrighted 1994) although sounding a bit like dating the 80s (rhythm machines and sampled voices, a bit like in the Byrne and Eno stuff of that time).
The inlay card doesn't give any detail as to the exact origin of this new material: anyone knows more?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Eric Rutten | room: 221 IRISA / INRIA | phone: +33 99 84 72 33 Campus de Beaulieu | fax: +33 99 99 38 F-35042 RENNES CEDEX - FRANCE | e-mail: rutten at irisa dot fr ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From: RAMIZ at vms dot huji dot ac dot email@example.com Date: Mon, 28 Feb 94 16:21 +0200 Subject: Re: Discipline #124-126
A few remarks/contemplations/ramblings that have gathered on my (virtual) desk:
(0) Toby and all Discipline posters - this newsletter is the best there is! I repeat myself (and definitely not under stress!) - it's the best thing one can do with his/her clothes on :-) (1) Isn't it about time Discipline had a FAQ file? I think it's much needed. If anyone (mad enough, i admit) is willing to take up, i'm willing to lend help from my experience with the PH/VdGG FAQ file. (2) Thanks to all of you who have responded to my Larks' etymology question. You seem to have saved me a few wasted years of futile efforts trying to de-anagram it :-) (3) On Earthbound-USA, i think that another opinion should be heard - During the last year i was exposed to both albums, being the only Crimson live performances i've heard to date: Earthbound - I can understand Fripp's antagonism towards it. It sounds like a domestically recorded jam session (as my netpal Alex says). Lots of jazzy improvs (which i find to be pretty boring), *atrocious* sound quality (present also on the source, i understand). But, take away about four improv minutes from Schizoid, and you got a great rendition of the song (as i said, i can compare with only two more ones). USA - All in all, i wouldn't give too much for it either. It's just that i expected more. Lament, Exiles and Easy Money are disappointing, Schizoid, LTiA II, and the improv Asbury Park are very good. Sound quality is satisfying (i have the original LP). The fact that it was overdubbed takes away from it (and any other live performance) a lot, imo. My operative conclusions: a) Buy The Great Deciever set? Dunno... Isn't it too repetitive? It was remastered & overdubbed, wasn't it? b) Sorry Fripp... buy KC boots? I'd appreciate opinions on this debate! (4) Someone asked about the resemblence between GGF's Suite No.1 2nd movement and Islands Prelude - well, it's hard not to notice it, i too believe that the former was used when composing the latter. (5) Lame guitarists who can't quite play tabs (that is, the likes of me :-) - Anyone interested in chords for Cadence and Cascade? (6) Tony Levin fans - I've heard on local radio that he's participated in a project called "Spin 1 2" (or something alike). It's a one-record-project where the play renditions of some 60s and 70s songs (maybe there's a thread). I've heard All Along The Watchtower (singer was ex-Squeeze's Paul Carrack(sp?), can't recall other musicians but they are well-known). (7) On the ongoing autograph-personality-etc. debate: I disagree with those who claim that the artist and artwork should be *totally* separated from one another. Take this respect - one helps to comprehend the other - naturally, the more interesting direction being artist -> artwork (unless you're an energy vampire :-). I find it to be an important respect, but accept it that others might find it unrequited or even hindering. o o ^ Rami.
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 94 13:30:06 EST From: msmith at crt dot doj dot gov Subject: Discipline #126
Re: U.K.: _Danger Money_ (John Neumann, et. al.)
There have been a few comments recently regarding U.K.'s _Danger Money_, one in particular warned against its' purchase. I must disagree. Both U.K. studio albums should be must-haves for any prog fan, though I think _Danger Money_ is the better of the two. The first U.K. starts off great with "In the Dead of Night" but the rest of the album isn't nearly as strong, IMHO. _Danger Money_ seems more mature, consistent, and Jobson and Wetton more than make up for Holdsworth's absence. In fact, there is no guitar on this album at all! This is certainly a Jobson tour-de-force. Wetton provides some of the best vocals of his career, and we certainly haven't heard anything this good from him since then. Bozzio is no slouch (he was incredible when I saw him live with Mark Isham). If the songs "The Only Thing She Needs" and "Carrying No Cross" (their best song hands down) don't illicit positive responses then you're not listening attentively.
There have been several Fripp stories lately regarding his refusal to sign autographs after shows. Well, if this is so important to some of you, I have a solution. I have two Fripp autographs and I didn't even have to ask him! At a Crafty show I picked up a Dicsipline logo sticker signed by Fripp around the edges. I believe it was for $3-4. My copy of the RFSQ's _The Bridge Between_ (which is excellent) came with art-paper autographed by the group. Two Fripp autographs, no looks of disdain... (Is there a 12-step group for people turned away by Fripp?)
Re: "Starless" (Mikel Orsborn)
Mikel, I also voted for "Starless" in the Marillion list. I was, however, the only one who voted for _Red_ as best album. I guess some have trouble wading through "Providence" until "Starless" kicks in.
Re: Adrian Belew CDs
Someone asked whether _Lone Rhino_ and _Twang Bar King_ are on CD. Unfortunetly, no they're not to my knowledge. However, the compilation CD _Desire of the Rhino King_ includes most of these two records, as well as a couple tracks from _Desire Caught by the Tail_. I would still prefer his first two released on disc in their entirety.
Re: The Whizzo Quality Assortment
Other flavors include: cherry fondue, cockroach cluster, and anthrax ripple. Not to mention Inspector Praline's suggestion for 'crunchy raw unboned real dead frog'.
As this is my first post to Discipline I hope I haven't stepped on any toes here. If I have, please flame away.
-Mike Smith (really) msmith at crt dot doj dot gov -------------------- "Something tells me I better activate my prayer capsule." -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 1994 09:39:57 -0500 (EST) From: strauss at apm2 dot ncsl dot nist dot gov (Brett W. Strausser) Subject: Wake of Poseidon - Devil's Triangle
Can someone tell me anything about the titles of the movements in the Devil's Triangle? I have wondered where they came from. Are they from Greek mythology? Any enlightenment would be appreciated. A pointer to a source would also be welcome.
Brett W. Strausser Bldg 225, Rm B229 Automated Protocol Methodology Group National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD 20899 e-mail: strauss at apm2 dot ncsl dot nist dot gov tel.: (301) 975 3620 FAX : (301) 590 0932 Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Date: Wed, 02 Mar 1994 18:26:33 -0500 (cdt) From: Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man <MOHANJP at AC dot GRIN dot EDU> (John P Mohan) Subject: Recent Performance
This past Saturday my band was in the middle of a fairly successful set. Then we started playing "Lark's Tongues In Aspic Part II", which was the only cover in the whole set. Then, about two minutes into the song, right in the middle of the part with the guitar playing the main riff and the bass and snare doing fifths over it, our guitarist's string broke. We had to stop and the bassist and I did a duet for seven minutes before our guitarist came back out with a different guitar. Then we launched back into "Lark's" and for the rest of the song we were a bit shaken, but still played it decently. I'm not sure if we'll ever do the song again. From that point on, the show was a roller coaster ride of good points and bad points, culminating in the Grand Finale (an epic we wrote called "Metropolis") where we had to stop again because we were getting tremendous feedback and our sound effects tape wasn't working. It was very depressing. I'm not really sure what the whole point of this story is, other than that, why did the string have to break in the middle of "Lark's"? I mean, my mom really likes that song.
Oh well. Unceasing ski patrols still ski on (otherwise they wouldn't be unceasing, now would they?
JP "I wish you were here to see it!" Mohan
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 94 13:01:36 GMT From: Toby Howard <toby at cs dot man dot ac dot uk> Subject: An open letter to Robert, and his response
Robert has sent some correspondence he's exchanged with a number of people, for inclusion in the newsletter. Here's an open letter to him published in "Input" magazine, followed by his response.
OPEN LETTER TO ROBERT FRIPP I've been a big fan of King Crimson for many, many years and like a lot of other people, the unpredictability of the music is why I enjoyed it. But now I hear you are reforming the band yet once again (goodl) and you ar using Adrian Belew and Tony Levin (bad!) in the "new" lineup. I'm sorry if I step on some toes here, but your collaborations with these guys have already been thoroughly exhausted LONG ago. I realize the 80s version of the band was exploring minimalism but that doesn't mean you need to get REDUNDANT. "Beat" and "Three Of A Perfect Pair" were contractual obligations and though they had their (few) moments, they just took the music from "Discipline" and beat it to death. So it baffles me why you would reform the group in this format. Also the new band is to include Trey Gunn who may be a nice guy but quite frankly has little to offer. I saw him play solo chapman stick and SURPRISE he played it EXACTLY like Tony Levin on "Discipline" (as do most Chapstick players) . And as a student of yours, he has shown himself to be a fine CLONE but free of any originality. And Jerry Marotta does not have a reputation as the most creative drummer in town, so I question your desire to work with him. I understand that you are putting the band together to make some quick cash to pay your bills but the reality is that lf you toured under the name "Kin Crimson" with a group of completely obscure musicians, you'd still draw a huge crowd especially since Crimson has had such a wide influence on so many different genres and music fans. So I do not comprehend why you are playing it VERY safe and going with the tried-and-true (albeit talented) Belew and Levin. Certainly there are plenty of musicians you can work with that would make for a more compelling lineup. From Fred Frith to Vinnie Coliatu (?) there are lots of creative musicians to choose from in both the rock and avantjazz worlds. Many current rock bands are trying to cover some of the ground you forged, such as The Jesus Lizard, Primus and so on. Surely you could ask around and try out some fresh blood, Or move back to New York City because there is a lot of amazingly inventive and skilled musicians in the Downtown scene who've arrived since you left. Plus with the conservativeness shown by your lineup choices, I'm afraid you won't tackle anything but that 80s sound you already produced. I'd like to see you subvert the very technical speed metal or industrial metal that arose after the last Crimson disbanded, Everything from goth music to house has learned a bit and could learn a lot more from Crimson. With some new blood, you could subvert hip-hop and techno structures, or the recent reemergence of funk and other very rhythmic musics, You could really kick the crap out of world beat, new age, grunge, or modern classical stuff. You could even get into the "unplugged" sweepstakes. But nooooooooooooo. You just want to rehash? Wake me up when YOU wake up. CX Brodeur 63 Pitt St #5f, NYC 10002 ***************************** Robert's response: January 22nd. 1994. Input, GFTPM, PO Box 1490, PORT CHESTER, NY 10573. Dear Input, In your January Input you include an open letter to myself from CX Brodeur of New York, which prompts comments general and specific. General Comments: 1. Thanks to CX for taking the time and having sufficient interest to comment on King Crimson. It's heartening to find passion for music. 2. I do not believe that CX is as stupid as he/she purports to be. 3. The aroma of cynicism wafting from the letter is excusable, understandable, but unacceptable. Public debate is currently appallingly naff and won't improve if we accept discussion at this level. Cynicism is too high a price to pay - it closes us to music - and, for a musician, cynicism is death. 4. I have sympathy and time for punters who get frequently stupped and hand over hard-earned money, often prised deceitfully from them (like with bad bootlegs). So, I respond to CX's letter seriously, but not respectfully. Specific Comments: 1. CX understands "that (RF) is putting the band together to make some quick cash to pay your bills but the reality is that if you toured with a group of completely obscure musicians you'd still draw a huge crowd". CX is misinformed. Although I have no objection to paying my bills King Crimson is not, and regrettably never has been, a way to make quick cash. i) The group shares the money. No one person in a group gets rich quickly this way, if at all. (This is how to tell whether a group is a group, or not: a real group shares the money). ii) Any new concern in whatever business takes several years to establish itself and setting-up costs are immense. The running costs of KC on the road I estimate at $70-l00,000 per week. This is for theatre-level concerts - a good standard basic but no frills. iii) If I did tour with a group of obscure musicians perhaps l could keep more money, but "RF + Obscurities" wouldn't be King Crimson and the tour would be dishonest. And no punter would be able to trust the name of King Crimson again. Quite apart from ethical considerations, I consider that bad business. Right now I hope Crimheads and general punters, with the possible exception of CX, could go to any King Crimson show and relying on getting Crimson and its best shot (although it might not be what was expected). I consider that good business, although I don't anticipate getting rich, slowly or quickly. iv) My musical choices are made for musical reasons. Music appears in the world despite the music industry, not because of it. The life of the professional musician is pretty wretched and the only payment musicians ultimately receive is the privilege of music occasionally leaning over and taking them into its confidence. For that privilege we pay a very high price. The challenge for any artist, probably the supreme challenge, is to work in the market place while not being governed by the rules of the market place. I don't myself play music for money, but I take money for the music I play. Given the choice between a piece of work which pays and a piece of work which doesn't, I generally do both. v) The only time I made a lot of money from KC was for 2-3 years after the group "ceased to exist" in 1974: the bills stopped and the records continued to sell, but breaking up does seem a rather radical strategy to make money from a group! I invested that money buying time during which I tried to figure out how a professional musician might work in an industry dominated so completely by business, the frailties of musicians and the demands (not always courteously expressed) of the public. My work since, both in and out of the public arena, has been based upon the research work done in that period. As a point of interest, the KC musicians received no wages for live work between 1969-74: the management view was that the musicians got paid from record and publishing royalties. vi) The current members of King Crimson are planning to support themselves for the first year by work outside KC, and this is not the first time. I can earn more from one week of solo concerts in Argentina than one month on the road with Crimson, and sessions for Adrian and Tony earn them far more than Crimson wages. In this outfit, the musicians pay for their opportunity to play! 2. CX writes: "With the conservativeness shown by (RF's) lineup choices..." and "You just want to rehash?". These are two impressively dopey comments. i) When have my line-up choices been conservative? Crimson personnel must be the most radically varied and discontinuous of any rock group which claims continuity of identity. The suggestion has even been made that KC has no continued identity (although I would disagree). And that's just Crimson. ii) When was the last time I "rehashed"? Here is a brief overview of 1969-94: Crimson to Crimson to Eno to Crimson to Retreat-from-the-music-business to NYC - Gabriel - Bowie - Blondie - Hall - Roches - Frippertronics to League of Gentlemen to Crimson to Guitar Craft/League of Crafty Guitarists to Sunday All Over The World to Orb to Sylvian/Fripp to Crimson (with each of the Crimsons different)? Have I missed something in here (and I've left a lot out) where I was repeating myself more than in any one year? 3. "Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair ... took the music from Discipline and beat it to death". Actually, and as a point of musical fact, that's incorrect - although I wish it were true. At the end of 1981 and the Discipline touring I felt KC had found a vocabulary and approach worth developing and taking a lot further, but the other guys felt differently. So, effectively, we abandoned the 1981 approach without, in my view, replacing it with another coherent aural vision. So, at the end of the period of professional and personal commitment, we disbanded in 1984. I don't tell the other guys what to play, although I usually have my own sense of which direction I believe KC should take, and make musical suggestions. Historically, other Crims seem to go along with my suggestions for about a year and then we disband under the pressure of disagreement. Nearly everyone who has ever been in Crimson (and I am in regular contact with nearly all of them) really enjoyed being in the band - several years after they left. It seems to take time for the Crim-penny to drop. CX realises "the 80s version of the band was exploring minimalism"... This is a simplistic, facile judgement which might have come from an English music comic. It misses the point where the real action was happening. 5. "Certainly there are plenty of musicians you can work with"... ... and perhaps some of them would like to work with me! CX makes good comments and suggestions on how CX might choose the current Crimson personnel. And it's a good shot. But there is a simple and basic difference between CX and myself: CX's view of how Crimson might be and my own. And I would rather follow my own sense and picture of Crimson. This is how it happened: i) Around 1987 music began to appear under my fingers which only Crimson could play. When music appears which only Crimson can play, then it's time to begin thinking about putting Crimson together again. ii) One afternoon about 18 months ago, driving past the village church one afternoon, a picture of how Crimson should be in its present incarnation flew by. In Guitar Craft this is called "a Point of Seeing" - direct, immediate, irrational. And this Crim was not what I was planning nor intending. For the past 18 months I've been trying to fit together the music and the picture of the personnel, and two weeks ago they came together. It may well be the craziest Crimson yet. CX closes the letter: "Wake me when you wake up". This is both rude and intentionally insulting. After 36 years and 1 month of playing guitar, 32 years and 6 months of climbing into the back, front and both sides of vans setting off for gigs, and producing, interviewing, recording and playing on four continents over a period of 26 years, I don't feel the need to alert any ill-mannered commentator on my life and work to where the action is, however enthusiastic they may be for Crimson past or future. Robert Fripp.