Elephant Talk #245 (as text)
24 November 1995
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 95 19:48:07 UT
From: "Jim Sciarra" <Jim_Sciarra at msn dot com>
Subject: Who's the best vocalist? / And other meanderings
Greetings to all!
The thread on lyrics and vocalists is getting somewhat heated, and has
prompted me to inject my own opinion into the mix.
Personally, I never gave much thought to the meaning of the lyrics in King
Crimson's songs. The words simply contribute to the images produced by the
music. I remember one critic describing songs like "Happy Family" as
"twisted, satanic nursery rhymes." And we've had one poster here who
compared the song "Heartbeat" to Jeffrey Dahmer's thought processes. Hold
on here! I think maybe we're over-scrutinizing these lyrics. Sure,
Crimson's music is often dark and frightening (that's what I love about
it), but I don't think it's _evil_!
Someone asked "why bother to have a vocalist at all?" I see his point --
for me, Crimson's instrumentals are no less compelling than the vocal
songs. However, vocals do make a band more accessible to some people. I
have friends who are not really into Crimson (surprising) who say that the
songs with words are OK, but they can't just sit and listen to the
instrumental pieces. Go figure.
Now, who is the best singer Crimson has had? In my opinion, it's John
Wetton. I respectfully disagree with Tefkros Symeonides' opinion of Greg
Lake -- his voice is consistently off-key, usually a quarter tone or a half
tone flat, and lacks color. Haskell's vocals make me laugh -- at first, I
though he was deliberately singing badly to achieve some effect, but I
think it's just bad. Belew's voice has improved greatly on THRAK, and I
think it is fine for the current incarnation of Crimson. But my personal
preference is for the deeper, more masculine sound that Wetton had. There
aren't many lead singers in rock who have that deep, baritone voice that
Wetton (and David Sylvian) possess.
In the last ET, Gideon Banner asked "What did Tony Levin do before joining
Crimson?" The answer is "everything!" Tony has played with just about
everybody, from the famous to the obscure -- he is the session bassist of
choice for many musicians. The most bizarre albums I've found him on are
The Roches self-titled album, and a live album by jazz musician Ben Sidran.
I'd like to find more -- if anyone out there wants to play "Where's Tony?"
let me know.
Well, that's it from me. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 15:21:01 -0500
From: "Weissenburger - Jeremy S." <jeremysw at umd5 dot umd dot edu>
Subject: Re: Talking during shows
My personal favorite story:
I used to help my college put together entertainment for the students.
Waaayy before Bat Out Of Hell II came out, Meat Loaf played there.
Anyway, somebody shouted out for them to play "Paradise By The Dashboard
Light" between songs. Mr. Loaf's reply was (basically):
"Hey, you've ruined the surprise for everyone! So now, we're not going to
Incidentally, they did, after having the whole audience shout out
"a**hole!!!" at the person who started the whole mess.
>>If you don't like the way people around you are expressing themselves, tell
>Maybe where you live. You try that in New York city and you're liable to
>end up with a knife in your gut. Even at a KC show.
Actually, it'll happen anywhere. My fiancee (just recently turned fiancee,
tankyewveddymuch) went to see "Prizzi's Honor" when it first came out, and
after someone asked a person to be quiet during the film, a fist fight
broke out! And that was a while back! What is wrong with people these
As for talking during silences and such, the biggest problem is that rock
concerts are not though of as serious enough to wholly pay attention to.
If you go to most classical concerts, everyone is pretty respectful of
everyone else. (People don't shout out "Beethoven's 5th!!!")
There is a certain stigma that's attached to rock concerts as being loud
and unruly. Heck, look at their beginnings: when the Beatles played the Ed
Sullivan show, the girls would just start SCREAMING in the middle of their
On the one hand, I'd probably be ticked after a while and would want people
to actually pay attention to the music.
On the other hand, I wouldn't mind having a couple of thousand girls
screaming after me (nice stroke to the ego, there).
Sorry this turned out to be a rant. But the point is, that rock concerts'
beginnings were so rowdy that that's what people expect them to be. I know
this doesn't help if you want to enjoy just the music, but I think the
Crimso shows I've been to have been a step in the right direction. My
fiancee (at the time) noted to me how quiet everyone was, besides the
occasional shout. Imagine whole stadium tours of silent audiences. Scary.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 15:44:06 -0500
From: John Upwood <jhu at gti dot net>
Subject: "We don't do 21CSM"
>From: Ashley <morrisa at cs dot tulane dot edu>
>Not to beat a dead horse, but I'm clueless. Why does most of the ET group
>berate those who want to hear 21CSM at concerts? I know it's as old as
>dirt, but has Fripp said that he doesn't want to play it anymore? With the
>current lineup, it would be quite interesting.
Well, actually, yes. Listen to The King Crimson Barber Shop if you find
someone with a copy of the Frame by Frame boxed set. It's great. Though
they *are* doing encores these days, so you never know.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 15:52:49 -0600
From: vanvalnc at is2 dot nyu dot edu (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: "People"/Bruford on the radio
I just returned to my office from a trip to the bank(payday) and out of my
radio(which is there mainly for background noise) I hear "People"! Now
this seems highly unlikely even for New York, and especially because the
radio is tuned to K-Rock(WXRK-FM 92.3) the "Classic Rock" station here> I
mean the only Crimson they EVER play is "ITCotCK", and that only rarely.
The song ends and it becomes obvious--Bruford is there trying to drum up(no
pun intended) support for the Friday and Saturday gigs ath the Longacre(at
$60.00 each, good luck!). He says that there are plenty of good seats left
as the Longacre is "an intimate venue" Then the DJ, Pete Fornatale, in his
most cloying, saccharine voice says(insert nasal tone here):"Well, Bill,
THRAK is the album for 1995; here's the album for 1971" and they play "Your
Move" from The Yes Album. End of interview. Gone. What a bummer.
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 13:32:03 -0800
From: richie at nova dot net dot com (Richard Schiavi)
Subject: Re: Shred This
David, I'd like to use my points to buy a pint of lager please :-)
>From: drl at eng dot cam dot ac dot uk
>Date: Tue, 21 Nov 95 10:55:16 GMT
>Subject: Shred this!
>1. How does Fripp play the repeating 6 demisemiquaver phrase at the start
>of "Frame by Frame"? (I hope there's a trick to it but I wouldn't be too
>surprised if he just picks the hell out of it).
I believe this is tabbed as (the way I play it at least, but if you play
any 6 pattern fast enough you'll be fine :-). standard tuning, maybe the
trick is the crafty tuning. The progession moves up the E, F# G G# A I
think. . .
1 2 3 4 5 6
C# E F# G# F# E
note in progression
>2. Would any stick playing reader care to suggest how to play the riff just
>after the intro trills of Elephant Talk?
This is in A. It is basically a riff with the A octave, and D E filled in
the middle and the striking chord of AE and BF#, so it is
AA [AE] DE A [BF#][AE]
>3. 10 points to anyone who comes up with a way to play the intro from
The bass line is slapped in A as well.
AAAA (slapping 1st string 5th fret A ), A (slap A octive on 3th string, 7th fret)
AAAA ( diddo ), G G(pop G octive on 3th string, 5th fret)
AAAA, ( slap thing) then D CC GG (using either the 4th string, or 3rd string sliding
down to the 12th fret, then 10, then back up to 5)
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 18:58:29 -0600
From: medtek at ghgcorp dot com (Sandra J. Prow)
Subject: Drum Trio
>The enchores were as spectacular with the Drum Trio being a real crowd
Does anyone know why this was not performed in New Orleans? Was the stage
Sandra J. Prow | I don't represent anyone,
medtek at ghgcorp dot com | Not that anyone
medtek at bix dot com | Would want me to....
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 20:04:13 -0600
From: medtek at ghgcorp dot com (Sandra J. Prow)
Subject: Levin on Bass...
Can someone enlighten a poor girl who doesn't do anything but sing the
difference between playing a bass with your fingers and playing it with the
finger sticks that Levin uses?
Do any women play Stick that you know of?
And- If anyone cared, the guitar brought to Mir I mentioned last newsletter
was made by Roscoe Wright of Wright Guitars in Eugene Oregon. It is indeed
an electric guitar and has a little pre-amp and a pickup at the lower end.
You use it with headphones. It does fold but was designed that way only so
it could be brought up on the shuttle. It comes completely apart and folds
very small (the body wires come off as well), but is not intended to be
taken apart often. The guitar plays very well and has excellent sound.
Thomas Reiter of Germany, who is aboard the Mir right now, is a good
classical guitar player.
This all from Chris Hadfield, who had the misfortune to be the subject of a
needling by yours truly this morning.
Sandra J. Prow
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 16:22:33 +1200
From: james dot dignan at stonebow dot otago dot ac dot nz (James Dignan)
>A Stick(R) is A Stick, but A Warr Guitar is not.
a suggestion to hopefully stop this mindless bickering :) Since the Chapman
Stick and the Warr Guitar are variations on the same instrument, a separate
generic name is needed. It's okay to say "it's like calling a 'Les Paul' a
'Fender'", but you could simply call both of them "guitar" and be
One solution would be to call both "sticks" , using the full name "Chapman
Stick" for the CS or WG if you wish to be more specific. Since Emmett
Chapman is obviously not keen on this idea, the alternative would be to use
a new term - like (off the top of my head) 'Touchstring Guitar' - as a
generic term. Again, if you need to be more specific, you've got the
original tradenames available for that purpose.
As to "Free Bird" - I never realised Mr. Parker was in jail :)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 11:44:32 +0100 (MET)
From: Johannes Korn <johakorn at indy1 dot biologie dot uni-freiburg dot de>
Subject: TL with ABWH live
This message is in MIME format. The first part should be readable text,
while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.
Send mail to mime at docserver dot cac dot washington dot edu for more info.
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII
Content-ID: <Pine dot SGI dot 3 dot 91 dot 951122151147 dot 23822C at indy1 dot biologie dot uni-freiburg dot de>
> I don't know if TL ever toured with ABWH or not -- a guy named Jeff
> Berlin played bass on the road with
> them for at least some of their 1989 tour.
I saw them with TL in Cologne during that tour. One of the highpoints of
the show (besides hearing "Heart of the Sunrise",my favorite Yessong) was a
duet between Tony Levin on bass with funk fingers and Bill Bruford. If my
memory serves me well, it was based on the theme of Peter Gabriel's 'I Go
From: stehelin at citi2 dot fr (Dominique Stehelin)
Subject: BB interview, the sequel
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 13:34:28 +0100 (MET)
B.B. in Aspic part III (hum...):
Q: K.C. is going on tour (well guys this interview sometime is quite late)
What room will you let for improvisation, are we going to hear old titltes?
B.B.: The music is not all improvised, There are "loose" part in the cuts,
but they are quite strictly written. Of course we will play things like The
Talking drum, LTiAp2, Red et nous jouerons excerpts from Discipline, but
mostly new cuts.
Q: Are you critical on your play from beginning, is there things to make
B.B.: It's a little bit like when you look at an old photo. it's a little
bit embarrassing, kind of cute, but it is you. When I look back, I see a
whole buncof accidents, most of them embarassing, my play seems really
featherweight, hardly flicked, very polished. Nowadays, drum are played
very stronger. At these times, drums were played gently, and mixed in the
bottom (far end?).
Q: Does this music still have an emotionnal value for you?
B.B.: Yes, it makes me feel like an urchin, young and enthousiast, not the
old bitter man I am today! (laugh).
Q: Ten years ago, you told this story: Fripp ask you to play something, you
do it. Then he ask you to do it again, but slightly different. The re-do it
exactly the same way, without changing the slightest thing, and ha says "I
prefered the first one".
B.B.: That's a method used by a lot of drummer when in session. The
producer declares "I don't know drum, but can you play harder, more
gently". You always say yes, and you continue to do what you did before. It
works because people don't really pay attention, you have a lot of
parameters to handle, like, if in the second teka, the guitar changed, then
the producer thinks the drums changed too, even if not.
Q: Would you say it reveals how producers usually don't know drums?
B.B.: Of course, a lot of producers have a minimal understanding of rythm,
how make a drummer work, make him comfortable, or even what's best for the
title. What is good to hire a drummer or a specialist in rythm, if you
tell him what tdo. A good drummer will know what is best. I think that a
lot of session musician know how to give this little man producer the
feeling that he's important. Well but, he has a label to deal with,
musician to deal with, so if he finds no one, he takes on he drummer.
Q: By the way, you have always produced yourself your albums, solo or with
Earthworks, Have you ever been tempted to produce others artists?
B.B.: It does not really interest me. I prefer to do my music, rather than
realise other's ideas. Besides, production is dealing with policies with
majors, which want a hit to get back quickly their money. The reality is
that nowadays, majors sign incompetent artists and the job of the producer
is to make them sound like the company wants to have them souding. I'm more
interesting in playing music. I'm good in a group, I am not egomaniac. I'd
rather be part of a band of people who produce a unique music. My force as
a musician is taht I try to find something on the drums, that is going to
take the project further and make it sound better.
see you soon for part 4...
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 09:33:20 -0500
From: AAronson at aol dot com
Subject: THRUM & B'Bish
For those who are wondering...
According to the band's set list (taped to the floor in front of Tony) the
drum thing Bill & Pat play at the show's opening is entitled "THRUM", and
the trio with Adrian is called "'B'Bish".
Thought you'd like to know...
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 11:18:23 -0500
From: AARONPRIME at aol dot com
Subject: Would the real fans step up!
I must say that I enjoyed two shows of KC at the Longacre theatre on
MON. and TUES. night. The crowd was fantastic giving appropriate ovations
to CGT and showering Kc with similar respect, albeit some requests (Ha!)
for some SABB tunes of the past.
However the crowd on Tues night should be ashamed! The people that were
sitting around me (I was 4th row center on mon. and 3rd row center tues.)
showed hardly any enthusiasm for CGT. I must have been one of a handful of
people to give them a standing ovation and I was whooping and holleering
twice as loud just to make up for the suckers who weren't cheering. I'm
glad they did an encore even though they seemed reluctant.
And now for the people who aren't Crimson fans who somehow manage to get
good orchestra seats. You should be relegated to the back of the
hall. Stupid questions about who is the band now is just pure blashemy and
should not be tolerated. I feel that the diehard fans should get the good
seats. Same goes to the yuppies who were in the audience on tues. who
thought they were at a classical concert or something. How can you listen
and watch a KC show without bobbing your head to the crazy rythms. "If I
had my way I would have all of ya shot!"
I'm just upset that real KC fans were suffering in the back after they paid
a whopping 50 bucks. And I am especially pissed of at a New York Post
columinist named Sasha. You review was disgusting. You obviously are just
clueless and have no brain whatsoever. I hope you get blackballed. Ya
probably had front row seats too didn't ya!
Real fans representing the NYC KC fans such as Chris Van Valen and Michael
Jeter should be praised. At leat they realize that 21CSM or Book of
Saturday will not be played and wasted breath requesting these song will
make you just short on cheering power. I'm glad that you guys got good
seats too. Have fun.
Happy happy holidays to all the KC fans in NYC and around the nation!
also e-mail me at aol or at aqs7379 at is dot nyu dot edu
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 04:40:55 +1100 (EST)
From: Marcel Safier <msafier at ozemail dot com dot au>
Subject: Bryan Ferry, Greg Lake & KC
In ET 243 Jon Johnson wrote:
>..because of the Roxy Music song "Do the Strand" (also former EG clients)..
An interesting piece of Roxy related trivia cited in KC folklore is that at
early auditions of vocalists for the band Bryan Ferry and Elton John tried
out. I have always found this curious and had the opportunity to ask Bryan
in 1988 about this and he verified that he did in fact audition but ended
up forming Roxy. Imagine if he had got the gig! Heck, imagine if Reginald
Kenneth Dwight got the gig!!! Downgrade that Dinosaur to a crocodile.
On the subject of vocalists Greg Lake has also said to me that he considers
there was only ever one KC and that was the first LP's line-up. He thinks
a different name should have been used for subsequent incarnations. I
suppose RF almost called the 80s version Discipline didn't he? Actually I
can understand this sentiment to some degree - check out the Talk To The
Wind bootleg (Oil Well RSC 045 CD) - fantastic! Greg in particular is
great on this but the date of Feb 9, 1967 live in Cheltenham can't be
right. Does anyone know the source of this recording? I would love to
know what recordings RF has of this period which he could release. Until
then can he blame us for listening to boots - he has had over 25 years to
get some product out.
Lastly - does anyone know of a KC boot listing on the net?
I have ordered his new live CD which features some KC tunes and await it
expectantly. John Wetton's recent live concert CD Chasing The Dragons
features Easy Money, Starless and Book of Saturday. Fair versions IMO.
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 15:17:41 -0500
From: JMYandel at aol dot com
Subject: What Gunn's playing, part two
Last time I talked about Gunn's part's on Thrak, and this time I'll list
his parts on B'Boom. One thing I found easy about finding his parts is
first locating everybody else, and then you'll here Gunn easily. It takes
quite a bit of abstract listening though! Remember, I've not yet seen KC
live, except on the Conan O'Brien show. 8^) But, I imagine he'll still be
playing on the Warr Guitar(R) the same parts he played on the Stick(R) on
B'Boom, so maybe some of you will find it easier to interpret his playing
Also, the guy is such an amazing ensemble player that when he doubles other
players, it sounds like one instrument! Phenomenal. I hope I get a chance
to meet him so I can tell him how much I appreciate his playing. Again, as
last time, I hope this helps others appreciate him more too.
(1) Vrooom--He adds the distorted bass an octave above Tony's in the fast
section, and also contributes to the descending chromatic chords w/ Fripp and
Belew. At first it sounds like one person playing chords, but if you listen
closely, they're each playing only one or two notes each at the most.
They're that good! The distorted bass sound is easily heard during the very
beginning, when Fripp adds his little guitar screams, and Belew is playing w/
feedback. During the quiet section, Fripp is playing the arpeggios, Belew is
playing that solitary mournful wail at the very top, Levin is playing the
bass statement, and Gunn joins in on a Bach Fugue-like bass duet w/ Tony.
They both play clean bass parts in this section.
In the Coda, I had a little trouble, because I couldn't hear Tony's bowed
bass. But, Trey is still playing the chugging chords that descend
(2) Frame By Frame--Trey adds the "wooshing" sounds. If you listen closely,
they're not really "wooshing" noises but rather heavily processed Stick
sounds. Esp. after the first woosh, you'll hear along w/ the suceeding
wooshes some very cool Stick playing by Trey. I drool over the effects that
he must have! 8^) At the very end, he plays the chorus melody on the Stick
twice, while Fripp and Belew are playing the interlocking guitar parts. It's
(3) Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream--After the opening chords by Belew, Gunn
plays this nasty wah-wah sound right before the drums kick in. He then plays
the very audible licks throughout the song. His Stick sounds very deep and
full sounding, not unlike an oboe sound. It is a very full-throated sound.
In the chorus, for instance, when Belew sings "Sitting in the fireplace,
burning up my mind", right after "burning", Trey plays a little lick that
goes nicely w/ the overall direction of the music. His playing is not to be
confused w/ Belew's backwards guitar playing later on, or Fripp's screaming
guitar--for when these two guys are playing those sounds, Trey is adding a
lot of echo and reverb to his playing, coloring the background while the two
guitarists paint the front.
(4) Red--Trey really kicks some major butt on this one. Fripp plays the
chords in the opening lines, while Belew and Gunn play the single-note
ascending melody. Gunn doubles Belew an octave below, and is very tight, so
really listen! After the first statment, Trey plays the bottom of the
melody, while Fripp and Belew add in the rest. Actually, Gunn's is the most
audible of the three melodies. A good way to hear him is to first discern
him from the other two--when each statment is finished, Fripp usually plays
one of his elephant-trumpet-guitar-screams, and Belew about 50% of the time
goes off on a crazy feedback line, or else most of the time has fun w/ his
whammy bar. Gunn, however, always holds his ground. In the stabbing chords
section, Gunn plays little trills that coincide rather effectively w/ Fripp's
psycho chords. At the very end of the piece, he's the very last to let go of
his note, Belew letting go a micro-second before him.
(5) One Time--Trey takes the supporting role here, adding the crystal
bell-like effects that are not unlike Fripp's guitar effects at the
beginning. After Belew's oboe sound repeats twice, the rhythm is suspended,
and Gunn adds a slow descending line that repeats twice before the calypso
rhythm returns. You can't miss it. When Belew begins singing again, Trey
doubles Adrian's vocal w/ a very echo/reverb-drenched Stick. He also doubles
Belew's oboe sound on the last two lines.
(6)B'Boom--He adds to the soundscapes--the lower tones, as opposed to the
higher ones, which are Fripp. Very much like the "Threnody for Souls in
Torment" or "Firescape".
(7)Thrak--Gunn plays the distorted bass-lines that are an octave above
Tony's, yet below Adrian. Fripp plays the syncopated chords. After Belew's
little wolf-whistle, Levin starts going bananas on bass, while Belew brings
out the power drill, and Fripp and Gunn hold their ground in standard
format--Gunn underneath, while Fripp on the top. The textures get very dense
>from there on, w/ everybody doing their own thing. Gunn sometimes goes below
Tony, while Tony goes into the baritone register, but most of the time Gunn
stays in the upper baritone to lower melody range--his sound is usually very
distorted. There is a moment where Trey plays some wah-wah rhythm chord
playing, which is before the xylophone break.
(8)Improv--Two Sticks--Trey openes this one up w/ a very "wet" sounding
Stick, while Tony plays a very "dry" Stick. Nice contrasts. After Levin's
statement, Gunn plays a really warped line that travels to the very low
register--it is soaked w/ delay and reverb. Tony then answers w/ a clean
line that uses a volume pedal, not unlike a cello, while Trey takes the
melody. Tony then proceeds to take the slow arrpegios while Trey sort of
solos overhead, ending in a line that seems to go on forever. I've got to
find out how he gets that incredible sustain! 8^)
(9)Elephant Talk--Gunn adds those rushing noises again, but this time they
sound really aggravated. Very annoyed-sounding. These wooshes happen very
frequently throughout the song.
(8)Indiscipline--Tony starts the statment, while Gunn adds two more notes to
Tony's rhythm until it all crashes. He then takes the baritone melody w/
Fripp on top, Belew soloing, and Tony still playing the rhythmic chords
underneath. When it quiets down, and Belew sings "I didn't know what to
think", Gunn starts a very distorted trill in the background, that continues
all the way up until Belew sings "to see if I still liked it." After "I
did!", he takes the bass, while Tony still adds those chords.. Trey then
repeats the same trill as before after Belew sings "I repeat". Then, in the
next explosion, he takes the bass yet again.
(1)Vrooom Vrooom --Trey plays baritone yet again in the opening lines. He
then proceeds to both double Tony at the octave and add to the chromatic
descents in the melody (he makes use of his two hands here). In the stabbing
chords section, he and Tony play in unison, w/ Trey on dirty bass, and Tony
on clean. Then, the opening theme returns, but instead of joining the rest
w/ the fast notes, Trey chooses to play slower intervals, adding a little
dirty vibrato. Later on, he duets w/ Tony in the bass, and the playing is
very tight--they both ascend toward the upper register, while Fripp and Belew
descend toward the lower register, adding a great deal of tension.
(2)Matte Kudasai--Trey takes the back seat here, only adding little trills
underneath Adrian's gull-sounds.
(3)The Talking Drum--Yes! I am blown away by Trey every time I listen to
this! Tony begins the bass line, and Trey comes in w/ some very sinister
sounds; then he begins a great Gypsy flavored solo. Adrian comes in later w/
the violin sound, while Trey keeps on playing underneath. But then....then
Fripp comes in w/ the immortal guitar line. But wait. If one listens
closely enough, one will notice that Gunn doubles Fripps guitar NOTE FOR
NOTE. Exactly. His playing is so phenomenal here, that I can't find words
to describe it--he's got to be one of the tightest ensemble players to ever
exist--but then so is Fripp and Levin, of course.
(4)Lark's Tongues in Aspic Part II--The little ascending lines inbetween
Fripp's slashing chords are again doubled perfectly by Gunn underneath Belew
or Fripp and above Levin. In the slower section, Fripp is playing the
two-note slurs, and Belew is very discernable because of his feedback
playing. Gunn comes in below Belew, creating a three-part ensemble. Listen
for a very full-sounding guitar-like quality--Belew's is a very shrill
sounding tone. It's easy to hear because Belew lingers for a while in
feedback, and then both he and Trey kick in at the same time, w/ Trey
underneath. Then of course, as the theme ascends, the interweaving gets so
complex that I really can't explain it here. Just concentrate first on where
Belew is playing, and then Gunn will be right there.
(5)Heartbeat--Gunn really shows his Crafty training here by displaying
massive restraint. There are two places in the song that could be either
Trey or Fripp. The watery-sounds at the beginning, and the rushing metallic
sounds at the end. They sound very characteristic of Trey, but Fripp is a
bit unpredictable. Guess I'll have to wait until I see them live.
(6)Sleepless--Again, Gunn is very hard to hear here. He mostly doubles up
the other guys, adding those interlocking guitar parts w/ Fripp and Belew.
(7)People--More audible here. He creates those screeching wah-wah effects
that are heard right at the beginning, right before Belew's guitar, and
inbetween Fripp's glissondo lines in the middle. Also, he contributes a lot
to Belew's main guitar riff--if you listen closely, you'll hear two guitars
instead of one. In the chorus, he's doubling Fripp's riff an octave below.
Also, in the glissando, he's adding the distorted bass, w/ Tony below him on
clean bass. In the coda ("She's so Heavy section), he's doubling Fripp most
of the time, making that repeating riff very scary-sounding. I do miss his
ghost lines that are on Thrak's version.
(8)B'Boom--again, he adds the lower registers to the soundscapes.
(9)Thrak--He starts out as before on distorted bass, but the middle section
is different than before. That manical distorted bass is indeed Gunn's
playing, when Belew is drilling his guitar and Fripp starts to solo. Levin
is very reserved here. Anyway, Gunn's dirty playing is very audible here
throughout, but he is mostly towards the bass end of the spectrum. Levin's
bass is clean. However, when the main theme returns, Gunn takes the main
riff, while Belew adds syncopated slashes, and Fripp adds soundscapes.
Well, that about wraps it up for B'Boom. I'd like to remind everyone that
this thesis, if you will, by no means claims to list ALL of Gunn's parts on
the album. Rather, this is a guideline to his most audible parts. He is an
incredibly restrained musician (not at all unlike Fripp) and doesn't take the
spotlight from others.
Mr. Banner asked me to post a list of Trey's parts on The Bridge Between.
Right after I get done mailing this out, I'll start on it (what a way to
spend Thanksgiving!). 8^) BTW, I thought it was rather interesting that he
too noticed the Eno influence on TG's 1000 Years. When I first heard it, I
thought it sounded a bit like _Another Green World_, which is without a doubt
my favorite Eno record (before he got into new age and producing U2). 8^)
From: aprasad at ccs dot carleton dot ca (Anil Prasad)
Subject: Scott Merritt on Adrian Belew
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 95 11:58:46 EST
This is only barely related to Crimson, but Scott Merritt is one of my
favorite artists, and he's worked with Adrian Belew in the
past. Belew-heads will likely find Merritt's comments about working with
him quite amusing! :-) Here goes:
An in-depth interview with Canadian singer-songwriter Scott
Merritt is now available exclusively on the INNERVIEWS website.
In this rare interview with Merritt, you'll encounter the following
- Career update
- Discussions about his work with Adrian Belew, Roma Baran, David
Van Tiegham, Daniel Lanois, Matt Zimbel, Arthur Barrow and others
- His views on the music industry and how it treats artists
- And in-depth look at the making of his last album _Violet and Black_
- A glimpse into Merritt's politics and environmental outlooks
- The state of the Canadian pop/rock scene
- and much, much more
Please check it out at:
From: aprasad at ccs dot carleton dot ca (Anil Prasad)
Subject: Caifanes website
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 95 18:58:50 EST
I don't have the web address handy, but if any of you want to learn about
the Caifaines, do an infoseek web search for "Caifaines" and a _great_ site
full of photos, artwork and soundclips will be found.
Anil Prasad aprasad at ccs dot carleton dot ca
Visit the INNERVIEWS website featuring in-depth interviews with
some of the world's most interesting and innovative musicians!
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 18:59:37 -0600
From: gdstrip at edge dot net (George and Dianne Stripling)
1999 came up in conversation a minute ago and I just thought I'd post about
how truly beautiful this music is. 2001 is incredible. This is very intense,
dynamic music, requires maximum volume. !!Urgently requires your
George Stripling Jr.
gdstrip at edge dot net
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 15:50:24 +1200
From: james dot dignan at stonebow dot otago dot ac dot nz (James Dignan)
Subject: I must be blind...
you can call me unobservant if you like, but I've only just realised that
the back cover of B'Boom is a digitised version of the front cover of
Thrak. Sorry to waste bandwidth if you've already noticed it...
From: d dot zemel at genie dot com
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 95 04:16:00 UTC 0000
Subject: Taking Requests...
I agree that requests for songs work only in the small intimate setting and
the show that I attended where it worked perfectly was Adrian's Words and
Music Acoustic tour. At least here in Milwaukee, the show was Adrian, a
few acoustic guitars (including a dobro) and a potted plant. He explained
that the show would consist of the audience asking questions and he giving
answers and playing acoustic tunes, including requests. What a magical
night! The house lights were turned up so that he could see faces and
hands raised and he called on virtually everyone with a question. We were
told about the plans for King Crimson (this almost a full year before
Vroom), his Guitar as Orchestra album and much, much more. He played much
of what was requested, including joke requests like Purple Haze ("Purple
Haze on an acoustic guitar...right!). He also gave homage to the Beatles
with some covers which were stunning. My question to him was about
influences other than the Beatles and included a specific reference to Todd
Rundgren. He responded that there were some similarities between him and
Todd because they were both so heavily influenced by that original British
Invasion, not that either of them influenced the others. He then mentioned
XTC as another group who was similarly influenced, adding that they are one
of his favorites (as they are mine---what a delight to see pictures of
Adrian and Andy Partridge in the latest Little Express, the XTC fan
magazine). Anyway, it was a delight to hear so many great tunes
"unplugged" and he was a real wonderful person and performer to have
offered us such a great environment.
From: ohsawa at csg dot sony dot co dot jp
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 95 14:53:16 JST
To: toby at cs dot man dot ac dot uk
Subject: B. Bruford Interview
This is a continuation of the translation of B. Bruford Interview article
in a Japanese magazine.
Int: Why do you think it became so? (having fun playing)
BB: You could think of many reasons. But probably because we all became
older (laughs). You could say we became grown up. We all can take other
members as they are. There's no such situation where we battle fiercely as
we had done when we were young.
Int: In the old interviews there were stories implying tensions among the
members. Things have changed a lot since then ---.
BB: That's right. During those days every member was busy making their
statements "I, I, ---". Now it's different. We have a self-realization
that King Crimson as a band has its own world and that it doesn't exist at
all anywhere else. Of course, it does not contain all kinds of music. But
there's no doubt that it's the place where I can truely do what I want to
do. My place is there.
Int: Can you briefly explain about your equipments for this tour?
BB: The main set is Tama's Star Classic. Since I have an endorsement
contract with them, I can contribute to their research and development. I
think the comments of Simon Philips and mine are reflected in many ways. I
also use Simmons' Electric Pad. So I have a combination of acoustic and
electric. I also use a small sound module called Emu's Procussion.
Int: Do you have a preference for either acoustic or electric?
BB: Not specially. I only try to use the one that fits the sound required
at each point of time. Music being played decides the kind of set I'm
going to use. That's before my preference.
Int: What is that acrylic fences on the stage for? Is that for sound-proof?
BB: Yes. It prevents my drum sounds going to Tony's place too much. It's a
Int: Before an encore, three of you, you, Pat and Adrian played a
percussion session. How was Adrian?
BB: He was the most nervous one, for sure (laughs). He's not a professional
drummer or a percussionist. You can't help it. But his rhythm as a
guitarist is incredible. There was no problem as a rhythm player on stage.
Int: Can you tell me about the piece you played at that time?
BB: It's titled "Prism". It's a material from the album "Thinking Drums"
by a Swiss drummer Pierre Fabre (spelling?) . We changed it a bit and added
some improvisation. It was only three minutes but was fun.
Int: What do you think about playing the older songs like Red, Larks
Toungue in Aspic Part II in a double trio formation?
BB: Sometimes it's good, sometimes not. I think it would be the best to
play in the double trio the song written for that purpose. Fundamental and
original portions of such songs are made with double trio in mind. Older
songs basically do not consider doulbe trio. But I feel it's interesting to
do it as a new trial.
Int: As a drummer, is there any technique that you are studying or idea
that you are trying?
BB: As I get older I tend to think of further polishing the style I've had
so far. At the same time I am paying attention to new things. In my case,
the core is the style I've had since the '60's. It's difficult to explain
it in words. I'd like to take a good look at those. Ideas for playing will
always be there. It's not possible to explain each idea in detail here but
I think people would understand what they are if they listen to the albums
I have released in the past. The latest ideas are of course in the latest
album. I think those ideas are also giving positive effects to the band.
Int: What quality do you think is required most of a drummer?
BB: Stamina. Not only a physical stamina but also psychological and mental
strength are important. Personal practicing aside, you have to spend very
long hours rehearsing with the band. In the case of King Crimson, we spend
4 months out of one year for its activity. Rehearsal alone is quite a
thing. We don't play around during the remaining 8 months either. We spend
the time for personal practicing and rehearsals (laughs). Even today I
practice drumming at my own studio. It is perhaps an important factor
whether or not you could spend enough time of yours for drumming. In that
sense musicians are forced to work in solitude. Many ideas come up when you
face yourself. And if others like your ideas, you're lucky.
Int: Is King Crimson the basis of your activity?
BB: Yes. There's Earthworks for jazz playing. I also join other musicians'
albums. But my main work is being a member of King Crimson.
Int: If there is any project scheduled, please tell us.
BB: There are many projects I am thinking of but I shouldn't say anything
now (laughs). I'm also receiving many offers. I will announce them as they
get decided. You can look forward to them. At the moment I want to spend my
power on King Crimson.
This completes the translation.
From: "Olev Salasoo" <OLEV at dc dot sr dot se>
To: toby at cs dot man dot ac dot uk
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 17:22:49 +0200
Subject: Re: That Speeded up bit on Exposure
It doesn't really sound like anything speeded (sped?) up in the "normal"
analogue sense (a la tape fast forward) - as Clive Backham found out after
a bit of empirical research. An idea that has been niggling away at the
back of my head for a while is - what if Fripp (+ technical personell)
converted the original speech to digital and then took every 60th (or
whatever the reduction factor is) sample and assembled them, thereby
resulting in a series of totally discrete samples which they then converted
back to analogue?
Oh well, back to work...
Take care all.
P.S. I know that if I want a greater chance of having a productive
conversation with my son, I'll knock on his bedroom door before I go
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 15:16:45 -0500
From: LOUSFC at aol dot com
Subject: King Crimson-21/Nov/95-Longacre Thtr, NYC
Set List: (8:50 - 10:35pm)
Drum Duo (Pat & Bill)
Thela Hun Ginjeet
Frame by Frame
Walking on Air
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
2 Stix Improv >>
"DrumBell" Trio (Pat, Bill, Adrian)
Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 2
Coda: Marine 475
Very amazing perf overall as anticipated! "Thela" seemed just a bit
subdued, but by the end of "Red" Bruford was kicking the band into high
gear with snare pops, rimshots, & cymbal splashes. THRAK is the real
centerpiece, dissolving into eerie, dissonant improv with much space
between the notes & noises. These musicians are listening to each other
very well! Rarely do "rock" bands tread this turf. This version did not
conclude/wrap up with the main THRAK theme, but segued seamlessly into
"Neurotica" directly from the middle improv section. "One Time" was
stunning as usual, showcasing Belew's formidable writing & singing
talents. "Sex Sleep" was a funky & spunky highlight of the set. Band
interaction was at a real peak; they seem to be more of a fully integrated
sextet rather than a "double-trio". Trey Gunn is a very under-rated (and
under-mixed!) player, adding great color and counter-melodies -- a nice
contrast to Mr. Levin's more percussive, pulsing, rhythmic punch. "E Talk"
ended the way it usually does, then an impromptu "reprise" of the ET ending
popped up.... it seemed totally off the cuff. VERY funny moment! All
members seemed to be having a great time onstage. Can't wait for more new
material from this line-up...hopefully they'll be back in studio SOON after
this tour concludes. I only wish I could afford to see more than one of the
Minor note to ET-ers: KC may be a more "male-skewing" band in general, but
certainly not exclusively! My wife (a drummer & guitar student) is now
totally smitten w/Bill & Adrian. Her sister came to last night's show
completely unaware of KC, & loved the show!!! Another female co-worker here
is a major fan as well. So there.
Best to all,
LOUSFC at aol dot com
"..this night wounds time..."
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 17:01:59 -0500
From: John Upwood <jhu at gti dot net>
Subject: Long glowing review of 11/21 Longacre NYC
REVIEW OF THE 11/21 CRIMSON SHOW AT LONGACRE THEATER IN NYC
I would first like to say a few words about the California Guitar Trio.
They were quite impressive, and I enjoyed listening to them. They were
obviously trained well--the technique was formidable, and the musicality
was not found wanting. I have two criticisms, which may actually be only
one criticism depending on how you look at it: First, there were some bass
effects going on which tended to make the music sound muddy instead of
having the crispness it deserves. I don't know if it was a bad mix, or if
their equipment needs a tune-up, so to speak, but it could definitely be
improved in my opinion. The second criticism is that while the use of
dynamics was effective and appreciated, I think they played everything too
loudly. The quiet parts were simply not quiet enough, and the loud parts
were so loud that the tone quality from the guitars suffered at times. An
axiom amongst symphonies is that the best way to make your fortissimos
sound like fortississimos is to make your pianissimos sound like
pianississimos. I think these musicians could do well to work on
this--keep the same dynamic range, except move it down a couple of notches.
All in all though, I liked them!
And now, on to King Crimson:
It was a sustained moment in time that you wished with all your heart, even
perhaps believed, would never end. Time seemed suspended in music and you
could feel enveloped and surrounded and protected by it all at once. To
me, it was a womb-like tent I could climb inside of, close around me and
exist in complete happiness. I haven't smiled so fully in a very long
I walked into this concert with a number of expectations. #1., I expected
this to be the best rock concert I've ever attended--given the musicians
and the oeuvre involved, I don't think this an unrealistic expectation.
#2., I expected this to somehow be a life-altering experience--certainly if
it managed to push my perceptions of the range of musical possibilities it
would succeed at that also. #3., I expected the experience to be partially
ruined by the surrounding audience members--again reasonable because it's
been a long time since I've been to a concert where this hasn't to an
Two out of the three expectations were fulfilled.
It was one of the most well-behaved rock audiences I've ever been a part
of. And to think, in New York of all places. I was a bit disappointed
however, that about a third of the audience committed a faux
pas--apparently unfamiliar with the new album--as they applauded during the
seven-second silence in Dinosaur. It was an annoyance, and how spectacular
it would have been if there had been an unadulterated seven-second silence,
or longer! (Question: Has this happened anywhere yet?) However, the
audience partially redeemed itself when during Indiscipline, one astute
audience member called out with impeccable timing--"Did you?" to which
Adrian clearly enjoyed replying "I DID!!!!" I'm not sure, but Belew may
have even skipped a beat to achieve the flawless 1-2-punch effect. If
that's the case, it was a fine job of reacting by all six of them!
There were moments in the show when I became aware of myself and of the
audience around me, and it was a moving experience to suddenly realize that
every person in the house was experiencing the same sensation--complete
rapture. You could look around and see that everyone was completely
absorbed by the music and the musicians on stage. In fact, as I looked
from person to person in the room, the expressions on their faces were
nearly identical. It was a magical sensation.
Musically, they were amazing. Words that I overheard the exeunting
audience use to describe the show included "Tight, precise, stunning,
impeccable," and "frightening." When analyzing this ensemble, their music
and their demeanor demand that you speak in terms of nearness to
perfection. While it was not perfect--there were some subtle
synchronization errors in the first half of the concert, if there were any
errors at all in the second half of the concert, they were too subtle for
my ears to pick up. So though they didn't quite reach perfection, they
came dangerously close. One of the most striking things about seeing them
live in concert is the way they listen so closely and react to each other.
Particularly striking is the interaction between Masteloto and
Bruford--talk about listening, talk about precision! (And speaking of
listening to each other, CGT did quite a bit of that themselves.)
I read a review of THRAK (though I can't remember which
publication--probably a Rolling Stone-type comment) which spoke of Belew's
dominating songwriting presence on the album, and making a passing
reference to the Discipline-era Crimson said that KC is still Belew's band.
I sensed at the time that this was a somewhat ridiculous assessment, but I
didn't think about it much further than that. After witnessing Crimson in
concert, the fallacy in such a statement becomes obvious: with six
virtuosic musicians working with each other, pushing against each other,
working above, underneath, beyond and within each other, it is plainly
obvious that this is _nobody's_ band. It's not Belew's band, nor Fripp's,
nor anyone else's. For Belew's part though, I must say I was impressed
with the guitar as well as the superb vocals. In addition to being a great
player, I knew that Belew was a wizard of special effects on the guitar,
but I'd never seen him live before, and, well...I just had _no idea_ how
good he is. For the band's part, I would be tempted to come to the
conclusion that these six gentlemen have sold their souls to the devil in
exchange for their gifts, a la' Paganini & R.L. Johnson, but this music is
not from Hell--it is from somewhere else entirely.
And for Fripp's part, I've seen quite a bit of commentary on this
newsletter about perceptions of Fripp's coldness to the audience, quotes to
the effect of, Fripp appeared as if he'd rather be anywhere else doing
anything. Also statements that say that Fripp's playing was unmemorable
and that he perhaps seemed to have the least musical presence of any of
them. Well, perhaps it was a special night for Fripp, and I was lucky
enough to catch KC on a good night (which I find unlikely--I rather think
it remains consistent. It remains consistent. It remains consistent.)
Perhaps it was simply the way I perceived the musicians, but I felt as much
a part of Fripp's world as I did of Belew's or Levin's or anyone else.
For my part, my personal reaction as the concert progressed moved from a
feeling of despair--that I should never again pick up my instruments, and
that I should never fool myself into thinking that I can hope to play
anything worthy of being called "music," (a common first reaction to
hearing great musicians) to an intense desire to quit my job so that I can
lock myself in my room 22 hours a day to practice non-stop for a couple of
years, (a common second reaction) to a yearning to earn a lot of money so
that I can go out and buy a Stick, a rack of synthesizers and MIDI guitar
controllers, Belew's effects rig, and a big 'ol house in the country where
I can make as much noise as I possibly can.
And it's a damn good thing no-one tried to shake my hand after the show
because I would have been likely to go into a hyper-spasm right there.
<jhu at gti dot net>
The opinions expressed in this message are exclusively those of
my employer and bear no relation, direct or indirect, to my own
personal sentiments. If you have a problem with anything I've
written, please contact my employer at:
<boballen at att dot com>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 00:15:16 -0500 (EST)
From: brat prince <reive at phantom dot com>
Subject: 11/22 gig
Absolutely phenomenal, blew the Town Hall shows out of the water completely.
First, went to dinner with a musician bud of mine before the show, he
decided to walk down to the theater with me to see if there were any more
tickets available-- not only does he get a ticket, it's orchestra and 4
rows in front of me! Would someone, anyone care to explain that to me?
My seat is in the last row of the Longacre (which is fine, it's a great
theater) against a weird outcropping of a wall. The seat however is dead
center, and between the slope of the floor and the fact I can siton the
seat while it is still folded, puts me in the absolutely perfect viewing
spot. Having the wall to one side of me also made the seat feel very
private-- it was actually kinda cool.
The CGT had new guitars as previously mentioned, and Hideyo's shades were
pretty hip. There seemed to be a few problems in their set, but I can't
place where or what exactly, just that sense of things being a bit off.
Their set was still very good and got a strong reaction.
The soundscape intro (with Fripp playing) did not occur as I read in many
other reviews, but my guess is that was due to people milling about
compulsively. During this compulsive milling I came to a comclusion, that
crimso fans (myself included) seem to be geeks with vests... what's the
deal? It's really sorta an odd trend. (sorry, I'm a chick I have to
fashion commentate here).
I don't do set lists, I am sure someone else will cover it. Frame by Frame
was very strong as was Walking on Air. The percussion stuff others have
mentioned totally blew me away ( and that sorta stuff doesn't usually do it
for me). The sound was much much better here and I could hear everyone's
parts very clearly. The lighting was more interesting and also did hit
Fripp fairly consistently. I could see hands; I was happy. There was some
Soundscapes stuff in the middle of the set which is when I reminded how
much audiences bug me.....
Soundscapes to me are at times like watching someone cry.. I find them very
moving, disturbing and isolating. I can't tell you how jarring it is when
in the middle of such an experience the guys in front of me stand up, chat
for a bit and generally really disrupt something beautiful. They did this
both at the beginning and the end of the Soundscapes segment. Very very
uncool. The same lovely folks later indulged in flash photography as well.
Other stupid audience tricks: the guy who commented on Bruford's (horrific)
tie and the guy who shouteed "we love you bob. At least the thing g about
the tie was funny.
In watching the band play I started thing about their relationships with
their instruments. To me, Belew's playing is like the guitar has become
part of him, whereas Fripp's playing is like he has become part of the
Really strong show, seemed to be a good crowd although my friend Peter said
that the guy at the box office, when asked if they took plastic said "he'll
at these prices we'll take any sort of payment we can get." Definately not
a cheap show, but highly worth it, if you're in the area and haven't
decided whether or not to g, I'd highly recommend it.... at least certainly
an inspiration to me to get off this damn compputer and go do some work.
Racheline Maltese | "My neighbor with no arms wanted
reive at phantom dot com | to know how it feels to let
http://www.phantom.com/~reive | something go." -Jeffery McDaniel