Elephant Talk #343 (as text)
10 February 1997
Date: 06 Feb 97 10:40:41 EST
From: Discipline Global Mobile <73064 dot 1470 at CompuServe dot COM>
Subject: Responses, rebuttals, raucousities, re-articulations ...
Discipline Global Mobile,
PO Box 1533,
Wiltshire, SP5 5ER.
(44)722 781042: fax.
73064 dot 1470 at compusserve dot com
Thursday 6th. February,
Responses, rebuttals, raucousities, re-articulations ...
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 14:07:25 -0500 (EST)
From: TwEbB2436 at aol dot com
Subject: RF questions
TwEb: I have seen bits of the Fripp-as-creep strain coursing throughout over
these past months ...
RF: Firstly, Fripp IS a creep.
Secondly, these past several years.
TwEb: For those who have had questionable run-ins with Fripp I say this:
consider singular impressions. If you had just performed after months on
the road, ups and downs of performances, sketchy available diet,
etc.... Would you be able to always paint on a smiley and shake all the
hands in want?
RF: Sure. No problem: Chuckles Fripp, your Man From Dorset.
TwEb: As a student of music I have found Robert Fripp a
particularly accessible person.
RF: Very good. My wife and I bought a house for students to come and live
together in England, and practice, and perform, and find how to live and work
together under the imperative of serving music. This project, at the Red Lion
House, ran for three years.
There was no difficulty in access. The problems were aim, commitment and
TwEb: ... I wouldn't mind a published treatise illustrating how to put the
pieces together into music ... please Robert, more writing more writing more
RF: This is a good suggestion.
I'm currently working on two instruction manauals: "Lighten Up! - Have
Fun With Serial Analysis And Chromatic Substitution" and "Play In A
Lifetime - A
Guide To The New Standard Tuning".
TwEb: Biographies- People are fixated on finding the person behind the
works... Perhaps Fripp might authorize a real one, or better yet write one
RF: This is an even better suggestion.
Much of the material is already available, but I haven't been able to
decide on a name for the book - one which reaches out to my public and invites
them in, as it were. Several under consideration are:
"I Only Wanted To Say Goodbye - At Length".
"I Had No Rights - Only Your Money".
"I Did It Someone Else's Way".
"I Only Wanted To Say `No Thank You' Very Briefly".
These are definitely more fan-oriented. A more serious possible work is
the influence of topography on a musician's work, maybe:
"From Wimborne To Cranborne - My Life In Music".
Assuming, expecting, anticipating the success of that volume, I might
squeeze out a sequel:
"From Cranborne To Wimborne, via Witchampton - More Life, More Music".
Maybe readers have their own suggestions?
"Fripp - The Movie" is clearly very close, but no presently available
stars have either the right, or enough money, to get the part.
Date: 06 Feb 97 10:40:59 EST
From: Discipline Global Mobile <73064 dot 1470 at CompuServe dot COM>
Subject: from Robert Fripp
Randall Powell's posting of November 8th. 1995 (ET 236) has
recently been referred to as "infamous". It deals with Randall's
"Fripp-Off" at The House of Blues in New Orleans and is a definitive "Close
Encounter Of The Enthusiast Kind".
In my view, it deserves closer attention than might be apparent at
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 23:29:34 -0600
From: rpowell at mailhost dot tcs dot tulane dot edu (Randall Powell)
Having waited more than 20 years for my first opportunity to see
King Crimson live, I was quite excited to see Fripp at the back of the
House of Blues here in New Orleans. He was standing near the mixing
console, drinking a cup of coffee. I politely said "Excuse me," intending
to briefly tell him how much I had enjoyed Crimson over the years. Without
giving me the courtesy of acknowledgment that any decent human being would
exhibit, he raised his hand as if to shield his ears and face from contact
with a commoner who had paid more than $100 for two shows. He then
proceeded to raise his coffee cup between his two pudgy little hands with a
melodramatic gesture reminiscent of taking communion, then turned with an
equally affected manner to float away as if he were some god walking in our
I have never been so disgusted and disappointed in my life. In
less than thirty seconds he managed to ruin for me all appreciation for his
music. With apprehension I awaited the beginning of the show, thinking this
was going to be an anticlimax of epic proportions. Fortunately, my fears
were ill-founded, as it took about thirty seconds to realize that Robert
Dripp has been rendered irrelevant by Adrian Belew. In fact, Fripp-Off has
become a sideman in what was his own band. You may think I offer this
opinion because of his inexcusably rude and arrogant behavior. In truth, I
cannot totally separate my reaction from my evaluation of the performance,
but I think it's more than fair to say that Adrian is behind the bulk of
Thrak. I expect the shitty behavior exemplified by Fripp from poseurs such
as McDonna or the Guns'n'Roses level cretins, but I suppose I didn't
realize that he felt he was such a "star". So go ahead and buy all the
recycled box sets and masturbatory noodlings masquerading as soundscapes,
but buy Adrian's albums and those of the other wonderful musicians in the
band if you have an aversion to being taken for granted. I, for one, shall
never put another penny into his coffers by buying anything with his name
on it. Perhaps he can reunite with the equally pompous and pretentious
Eno. I would suggest "The Unending Circle Jerk of Onanism" as the title
for their opus. After all, just play one tone into a tape loop and declare
it a work of minimalist art. Apparently, there are a number of naive fools
who will buy anything this shameless fraud will foist upon them. I know
this quite well; I once was among their number.
By the way, the other members of the band circulated throughout the
venue and were quite friendly and approachable. Pat Mastelotto, in
particular, is a most congenial and impressive individual. I spoke with
him before the second show the following night. What a treat it was to
watch Bruford and him playing off each other. And Levin was his usual
This is a rare combination of accurate observation, blindness,
reaction and interpretation. This strange brew then combusts.
Firstly, the major issues (aplying the devilish use of the Socratic
Dialectic referred to by Rhino in ET 336 (January 27th. 1997).
RP: Without giving me ... acknowledgment ... he raised his hand.
RF: Robert was standing towards the back of the venue, near the mixing desk
(traditionally a place of relative safety for a performer in a public area)
drinking coffee. A man approaches, quite excited, and seeks to initiate an
exchange. He says: "Excuse me".
Robert declines to engage by using the language of gesture: He
raises his hand. The gesture says: "No, thank you".
This was Randall's first acknowledgement.
RP: (Fripp) then proceeded to raise his coffee cup between his two
... hands with a gesture reminiscent of taking communion.
RF: This is exactly, precisely what it was.
Fripp is in the audience area, serving his own purposes (whatever
they may be). A man approaches. He makes an overture to Fripp, which is
declined. Fripp assumes (reasonably) that the man is part of the audience
for the show, and that he has paid a high price for his ticket.
The man seeks to engage Fripp's attention. Although this may be the
right time and place for the man to approach Fripp, it is not the right
time for Fripp to respond in the fashion expected / anticipated / wanted by
the man. Fripp declines to engage by raising his hand.
Then, to acknowledge the mutuality and commonality between audience
and performer, to acknowledge our common humanity and aspirations, the cup
was raised symbolising the reality of our communion.
(Please see Jacob Gorny's posting for January 15th. 1997 in ET 333
for the superb clarity of his commentary on this topic).
This was Randall's second acknowledgement.
Secondly, the secondary issues.
RP: Having waited more than 20 years for my first opportunity to see King
Crimson live, I was quite excited to see Fripp at the back of the House of
Blues... I politely said "Excuse me"...
RF: A polite "Excuse me" demands nothing for itself. That is, it may be
RP: ...intending to briefly tell him how much I had enjoyed Crimson over
RF: Firstly, Randall's intentions were set. He was not prepared to have his
Secondly, briefly is relative. I have no doubt that Randall's
generous expression of interest in Crimson music over 20 years would have
been brief, but it would have been a first (in my recall).
"Excuse me" rarely means what it purports to mean. It is usually a
foot in the door, a wedge into your bunch of bananas. "I only wanted to say
... " usually isn't, usually doesn't. It leads to a question. Often this
question is of a factual kind, such as "What is Peter Giles / Jamie Muir
doing now? Do you ever speak to them?".
The promised, intended or implied sequence of overture > opening >
engagement > development rarely seems to move to closure by its own
But this is only Robert's experience.
RP: Without giving me the courtesy of acknowledgment that any decent human
being would exhibit ...
RF: Randall seems to equate decency and humanity with being given the
response he wanted / expected / intended, having missed the two distinct
gestures of acknowledgement which he has already been offered.
RP: ... a commoner who had paid more than $100 for two shows.
RF: The commercial imperative again. Randall has rights because he has
parted with his money in exchange for two concert tickets.
My understanding is, when Randall bought the tickets he was
acquiring the right to attend two shows by one of the world's finest live
groups. I didn't know that by agreeing to perform with Crimson at The House
of Blues I became part of an implicit or explicit agreement to get personal
with members of the audience. Intimate, yes; personal, no.
Professional performers do have responsibilities to their
audiences. These are currently the subject of a larger debate within ET.
RP: (Fripp) turned with an equally affected manner to float away as if he
were some god walking in our midst.
RF: Fripp acknowledged the communality of audience and performer as
represented by the agencies of Randall and Robert.
Perhaps to open a (brief) debate on "The Language of Gesture - An
Alternative To Suffering Through A Few moments Of Sincere Compliment?" was
not a valid or realistic option.
Robert left, quickly.
RP: In less than thirty seconds (Fripp) managed to ruin for me all
appreciation for his music.
RF: No. Within thirty seconds Randall's reaction, to not being given the
attention he had expected, managed to ruin all Randall's appreciation of
RP: ... Fripp-Off has become a sideman in what was his own band.
RF: No again.
Firstly, King Crimson has never been my own band.
Secondly, I am not a sideman in the present one.
RP: You may think I offer this opinion because of his inexcusably rude and
RF: Actually, yes.
But Fripp's response to you is / was excusable and
explicable. "Rude" and "arrogance": well, it seems I have sometimes
functioned as mirror to the occasion.
RP: In truth, I cannot totally separate my reaction from my evaluation of
RF: Randall's observations are back on form. This is honest, honourable and
RP: ... but I suppose I didn't realize that (Fripp) felt he was such a
RF: I also answer to the name "Boppin' Bobby" and have performed in public
as "The Great Roberto" (although I was only 14 and didn't choose the name
myself). RP: I, for one, shall never put another penny into (Fripp's)
coffers by buying anything with his name on it.
RF: Firstly, Randall has no idea of how the income flows within the music
industry flow, or not.
Secondly, it seems unfair that audiences can choose their
performers but performers have little choice in their audiences.
RP: By the way, the other members of the band circulated throughout the
venue and were quite friendly and approachable.
RF: I should love to circulate, but I get hit on. Constantly. Repeatedly.
Without courtesy, without generosity, without consideration. And occasionally
with courtesy, with generosity, with consideration.
And Fripp is also friendly and approachable. You simply have to
find the right time, the right place and be the right person.
"Right person" doesn't mean "good person" or "clever person" or
"rich person" or "interesting, convivial and amusing" person. It means that
this is the right person, here, now. Some 1200 people who were prepared to
exert themselves to get to a Guitar Craft course are among them. Some of
them had even previously made me suffer through a few moments of sincere
The other members of Crimson are rightly popular, but I seem to
attract a level of enthusiast who is (how shall we say?) intense. Or very,
very enthusiastic? My general policy is to recommend the enthusiast develop
their interest in Pat. And Trey. And Adrian. And Bill. And Tony. And then
John Sinks, our guitar equipment manager.
Words beginning with "S" this time: Short Shots ...
1. "Excuse me" doesn't always mean excuse me.
2. Briefly is relative.
3. If I don't have the freedom to say no, I don't have the freedom to say
yes. And if I can't say yes, I am more likely to say no.
I hold no ill-will towards Randall.
His letter is a classic of its kind and it took a lot of balls to post.
Date: 06 Feb 97 15:17:52 EST
From: Michael Sheehan <103734 dot 3601 at CompuServe dot COM>
Subject: Mootlegging, boyalties and the roment.
I would like to begin with a bit of self-contradiction.
First, I want to say how pleasant it is to have a chance to read Robert's
consistently interesting and frequently amusing communiques here in ET. Next, I
want to suggest to Toby that messages consisting of nothing more than words to
that effect be on the "ET topic blacklist."
Now on to the meat.
Robert writes us on 2/5:
And now an offer: if any readers have prime boots (of KC and / or Fripp related)
which make the spine tingle, or viscerally activate any other parts of their
anatomy, send them to DGM World Central.
Hmmm. I'm sure this will prompt many responses.
I am in agreement with Robert in regard to the intrusive and dishonest
nature of cloak-and-dagger
business amongst members of the audience. However, I would like to pose the
following observations/questions to Robert in the hope he might address
I make these assumptions:
* Sometimes, the moment is worth documenting.
* The document of the moment can have worth (see Robert's offer above).
* Its worth might be that the moment was powerful enough when extant that even
frozen in amber it can still "tingle the spine" and otherwise stimulate the
listener in a meaningful, personal, valuable manner.
* Its worth might be that I can sell it from the inner pocket of a dusty
and evil-smelling overcoat for 20 quid which I can then spend on some
combination of liquor, drugs and prostitution.
* There will always be those who document the moment, for a broad spectrum of
reasons along the posterity<-->profit axis.
* It is possible, given modern technologies, to document the moment largely
unattended and undistracted from the moment itself, if one is allowed to do so.
If these assumptions can be accepted, then my questions are:
-- Must one accept what is inevitable, even if it is in opposition to one's
-- If one must accept the inevitable, can/should one attempt to minimize the
disadvantages it presents and maximize the opportunities it offers?
In the case of illegitimate recordings of Crim: the problem is many-headed.
Profiteering bootleggers deny the artist his due; enthusiastic amateurs fumble
about in darkness, betray the moment they are privy to, and frequently bother
their neighbors; the audience for live recordings of Crimson is smallish in Big
Record Executive terms but ominvorous, so both the enthusiast and the profiteer
have inexpensive channels of distribution readily available to them; the
illegitimate product is frequently of inferior technical quality largely due to
the clandestine recording techniques involved, and so on.
So the question of inevitability: some enthusiasts and profiteers will
inevitably seek to record. If we accept this as inevitable (which perhaps we
don't!), can we minimize the disadvantages (the profiteer's ability to profit
and the nuisance of the clandestine taper) and maximize the opportunities
(further inexpensive distribution of Crimsonic music amongst the faithful)?
I believe it is possible. One way is to do what Robert and company are already
doing, and what Grateful Dead archivist Dick Latvala (perhaps the GD's David
Singleton analogue) has been doing for several years now: releasing
best-possible archival recordings on a regular basis.
I've no interest in spearheading another tiresome and utterly worthless debate
on the musical worth of the Grateful Dead, but they saw the inevitability of
recording early on and decided to allow people to record. Eventually so many
audio enthusiasts began to do so that recording was limited to a special section
behind the sound board, to minimize inconvenience to the non-taping
concertgoers. The results: the documentation of virtually every concert
performed by the band, sometimes of dodgy quality, sometimes pristine; some
moments of value, others execrable; the minimizing of bootleg sales, a primary
motivator in the archival release program as well, which focuses on hard-to-find
recordings generally available only on costly bootlegs; the virtual eradication
of bothersome clandestine taping and the implicit overall improvement of sound
quality in the amateur efforts. Worth noting is the upswing in bootleg sales
following Jerry Garcia's demise (and the elimination of further amateur
recording of his music).
Anecdotal evidence suggests that such a program, based on a sense of trust
and community (very much in evidence in the Crimson audience. I believe),
ultimately profits the band; consider Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews, and
Betrayal is always a possibility: but betrayal is where we are now.
I remember from Robert's oft-misquoted Musician article his response to such an
approach, which was, I think, that it was "not for [him]." I greatly enjoyed
reading his recent comments on the matter, but I would be very interested in
reading his objections to establishing a taping scheme in greater depth, if he
has time and inclination to reflect on them.
As a final question, Robert mentioned a DGM mailing list newsletter. Will an
electronic version be posted for the enjoyment of us PossProd consumers?
As always, thanks to Toby, Robert and everyone who keeps this digest so
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 15:42:11 -0500
From: ssmith at knittingfactory dot com (Steve Smith)
Hello ET -
I'm responding to Robert's post regarding bootlegs. I admit to having
bought a number of these just because my appetite for new Crimson material
far outstrips what's available on the legitimate market, and certainly
outstrips what any commercial recording company would be willing to issue
even if Fripp were a willing participant. And yes, Robert, I'm quite well
aware of your published views on bootlegs, and I do feel an acute sense of
discomfort in buying them given those views. But having not been around
during the earlier incarnations of the band, the option of hot dates with
any of those earlier bands is not possible; hence my purchase of what seems
to amount to cheap pornography in your view. But certainly you wouldn't
want to deny those of us who are chronologically challenged the pleasure of
knowing what a hot date with an older Crimson might have been like, even
once removed? "The Great Deceiver" box was a great start. However, I do
think there's even more of a solution available, and your plans for the
"Epitaph" set point the way.
At one point I was part of the Web, the Marillion fan club, and one of the
most popular things they did was their fan-club-only Racket Records label,
which presented live material, warts and all, in nice packaging and with
proper annotation. These were typically limited to 1500 copies to keep
Marillion's then-label EMI happy that there was no real competition for the
Marillion commercial catalog, and the discs were eagerly gobbled up by fans
no matter what they sounded like.
My point is that there is a core of fans willing to buy far more than
you've previously made available; therefore in theory you could quite
easily issue a great deal of the material you've archived over the years in
small and limited editions with out incurring any expenses above and beyond
art, production, and presumably in your case paying the musicians. Granted
this might be a naive notion but it seems to be a feasible one. Fans such
as myself would happily pay for this material; obviously we've paid someone
else for it at various times in the past. And in Marillion's case they
even sold the stuff for well more than typical retail; seems like they
charged $25 a disc.
Frank Zappa's "Beat the Boots" series was another approach, one which did
very little other than replacing the actual bootlegs with less expensive
legally available copies. But this strikes me as less than desirable...
I'd rather know who actually played on a date than to see Jamie Muir's name
listed yet again erroneously.
If I might finish with a request, I've always longed for a release of the
complete Concertgebouw show of November 23, 1973, and I mean complete,
including the stuff that eventually ended up on "Starless and Bible Black"
but restored to original context. This seems to have been a transcendent
show, judging both from the "Starless" tracks and the many, many boots that
resulted from the BBC / King Biscuit broadcasts. To have that show intact
would be marvelous while simultaneously rendering a number of the currently
available boots useless.
In closing, I'm glad to have you here, Robert. I've always found your
writings a delight to read, and your postings have proven to be no
exception. I look forward to your further thoughts on this issue.
ssmith at knittingfactory dot com
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 15:48:05 -0600 (CST)
From: David Cline <cline at mhd1 dot moorhead dot msus dot edu>
Subject: Soundscapes on a Budget
Being a musician (semi-pro) and an professor (education) I spend
most of my time with little extra disposable income, but I have a desire
to experiment with tape loops / delays / etc.
While I cannot afford two Revox units or two TC Electronics
delays, I have one good quality digital delay. I have tried working
with two cassette decks with the delay in line between them in the manner
outlined in Eno's Discreet Music album.
In theory I think this should work, but I have yet to have any
success. I am getting loud hums which I suspect are from impedence
mismatches, but I am not sure.
Can anyone give me information about this set up or point me in
the right direction to solve my problems?
I have been a longtime King Crimson fan, but I have always been
thrilled more by the solo/duo Robert Fripp output. The Soundscapes
concept touches something in me that I must explore - but on a budget.
Any help is appreciated at cline at mhd1 dot moorhead dot msus dot edu
or at daknave at rrnet dot dot com
Thank you in advance.
Dr. David Cline
Moorhead State University
Moorhead, Minnesota 56560
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 16:46:15 -0500
From: "Gordon Emory Anderson" <ganderso at notes dot cc dot bellcore dot com>
Subject: Responsibility? No way.....
>This is my position: I hold commentators responsible for their
>comments where they touch upon matters of my direct interest, involvement
>and experience. Where the comments are nasty, unkind and deliberately
>rude, nominally based on fact or reasoned conclusion, I may respond
>directly and ask the commentator to address their seeming logic.
NOOOOOOO! We say that we want your ear via this forum, but let's face it: the
truth of the matter is that we love to backseat comment on the lives of
celebrities. Perhaps the tales in polytheistic times of the capriciousness of
the gods has been internalized, and re-projected back out onto our new pantheon
(remember those "We are the world" videos?). It is said that the perception of
a celebrity takes place in a totally different part of the brain than
perception of that actual person in regular social circumstances.
So Mr Fripp: please return to the lurking shadows of our imagination, where we
are free to say what we feel. Where we can, in retrospect, mainpulate your
image to whatever we like. Of course, please continue to generate amusing
stories so that we can comment and guffaw. We are a people that demand constant
entertainment! I'll play these pipes, now dance! Why are you not smiling? Now
smile! Lift those arms! Dance faster, dammit!
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 17:14:50 -0500 (EST)
From: Adam Levin <alevin at ari dot ari dot net>
Subject: In the Court of the Crimson SWING!
In the past, there's been several discussions about various artists'
covers of King Crimson songs. Tonight when I was hanging out at my friend
Chris' shop he pulled out a rather worn old LP that someone had traded in
called "Doc Sevrenson's Closet" which featured Doc an his big band doing
tunes by The Beach Boys, a Beatles medley and a 7+ minute rendition of "In
the Court of the Crimson King." Sections of the arrangement vary
style-wise from slow mournful sax interludes that sound like they were
culled from the soundtrack to a classic Raymond Chandler private eye flick
to some pretty funky wah-wah'ed rhythm guitar bits. I think I might have
even heard a bit of the "James Bond" theme in there at one point. If you
ever spot this little gem, you must pick it up. It's swinging daddy-o.
"...if one strives at hearing for the sake of constant virtue,
out of seeking liberation from cyclic existence, gradually one
becomes a Hearer."
From: Dave_Depper at bendnet dot com (Dave Depper)
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 15:11:38 -0800
Subject: Question for Robert
This is not related to the discussions that you have been
participating in lately, but as someone who is interested in the
direction of music, I have been dying (not literally, Fripp the Pedant)
to ask you this:
What is your point of view on electronic music as being the future of
music (I hope that made sense)? Lately it seems as if all of the
creative energy ever contained in rock has been completely used up
(save for a few worthy bands... I won't name names).
I have noticed that electronic music (techno/ambient) has the ability
to far surpass other genres in its ability to put the artist's thoughts
into musical form, and the possibilities are far greater with the
You've worked with the Orb and the Future Sound of London, and you do
your own electronic-style music with soundscapes. Any comments? I
would be grateful.
Dave Depper, KC audient.
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 97 19:25:29 EDT
From: "Pooh Head Bucket?" <sorianot at alpha dot montclair dot edu>
Subject: Robert Fripp makes my bloody head spin.
(Weekly World News headline: "Robert Fripp was NICE to me!") A
few years ago, I attended a Soundscapes show at the World Trade Center
in NYC. The music was wonderful, like velvet sheets of sound, and
caused me to have one of these "connections" we've all been blubbering
about (read:near emotional breakdown. Yes, from music.) After the
show proper, an autograph session at an adjoining bookstore took
place. RF cordially signed my (then) shiny new copy of "LoCG - A Show
of Hands" and put up with me gushing about how amazing it was to meet
(get ready) Then I went home.
Appropriate time and place, blah blah blah, I WANTED Robert Fripp
to like me. I'm sure this colored my experience. Perhaps he turned to
Trey Gunn the second I walked away and hastily procured a wagging
middle finger at me; I'll never know. I wouldn't have wanted/don't
want to know. (two fingers for a Brit?) This is a huge consideration,
and had it not been articulated by our Mr. Fripp I wouldn't have
pondered it (too busy scraping up money to purchase Epitaph). Anyone
with an even partially developed sense of time and place would know
not to bother a person while supping, taking in a show, the context is
not important. >This< aspect of our recent dialog puzzles me.
A suggestion: volunteers to collate a data bank of information
on various topics. Then, if anyone is in doubt about the repercussions of
confronting a judge resulting from one's inability to tell the age of young
people and a love of confectionary, just scroll through to "Lyrics: Easy
Money / Variant I(b)ii". The collected Gig Reviews form an impressive body
of direct criticism / commentary on KC (and its enthusiasts) in action.
Well, why bother collecting information when the chief
conspirator is online and reading AND obviously loves being bombarded
with questions about lyrics?! Hell, let's just ask Adrian. "It's his
band now, anyway."
Finally, I'd like to add that as difficult as it may seem to
create an "active listening" environment at a performance, an "active
typing" situation out here in Cyberspace won't happen anytime soon. We
(at least I) am extremely appreciative that Mr. Fripp cares (yup.
cares) enough about us to take part in this. His insights can only
push me towards a better understanding of the music I hold so dearly.
Unfortunately, Mr Fripp, most of us are full of shit. Feel free to
Tom Soriano * sorianot at alpha dot montclair dot edu
"It's a typical day on the road to Utopia"
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 19:55:59 +0500
From: Thomas Bail <maddog at vt dot edu>
Subject: Re:What is the full story?
This may be old news. If so, could someone point me in the right direction
to get the full story.
Ran across an excerpt on a WWW page dealing with Robert Fripp. The excerpt
was taken from the tour programme for "The Road to Graceland" tour with
Sylvian, written in '93. From reading it, it gives a brief overview of
RF's work and his association with David Sylvian. I found several writings
that left me wondering.
At one point it discusses the albums released be the RF/AB/BB/TL line-up.
It mentions ET and ToaPP but fails to mention Beat. Why?
My curiosity is most bent on finding the story to this one. The article
mentions the fact that RF"...has re-formed King Crimson. This new
incarnation features Fripp, Belew, Levin, Jerry Marotta, and Trey Gunn..."
What happened to Mr. Marotta and how did BB&PM get into the picture? Not
that it was a bad thing, just curious.
The address for the article is:
Any help is appreciated,
Graduate Student, Ordinaire
From: relph at mando dot engr dot sgi dot com (John Relph)
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 16:40:09 -0800
Subject: Re: Frippery
Robert: many thanks for your recent postings. You make me laugh.
First, in your claim that you are in fact the greatest guitarist
in the world (guffaws, but friendly), and second, that you watch
Steven Segal movies with your sister. Excellent! Love those
action flicks. Keep up the postings, brighten my day.
From: relph at mando dot engr dot sgi dot com (John Relph)
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 16:41:51 -0800
Subject: Re: data bank
Robert Fripp wrote:
> A suggestion: volunteers to collate a data bank of information on
>various topics. Then, if anyone is in doubt about the repercussions of
>confronting a judge resulting from one's inability to tell the age of young
>people and a love of confectionary, just scroll through to "Lyrics: Easy
>Money / Variant I(b)ii".
Isn't this what the Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
document purports to address? Methinks more work is needed on the
FAQ, but I'm not the man to do it. The discography is enough.
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 01:01:52 GMT
From: Nick <nick at zoo dot co dot uk>
Subject: Which album next
cp wanted to know which album to buy next after ITCOTCK.
There can be only one answer:
Larks' Tongues in Aspic.
...er.. or Starless and Bible Black;
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 18:03:57 -0800
From: Rob MacCoun <maccoun at violet dot berkeley dot edu>
Subject: Tull to Fripp, and some gratitude
Unless Toby has decided to snip this Tull thread, let me offer a tasty
linkage: Any Tull to Fairport link, to Richard Thompson, to Fred Frith (also
gets you to Captain Beefheart and everyone Henry Kaiser's ever collaborated
with on 5 continents), to Eno ("Music for Films") to Fripp.
The recent discussion of artist and audience has been one of the most
interesting developments I've yet encountered in a decade of internet life.
Mr. Fripp's participation falls well outside any implied contract of
recording artist obligations I'd have conceived of; it feels more like a
gift than a commercial transaction. So thank you to Robert, Toby, and many
Date: 6 Feb 1997 21:49:09 U
From: "Matthew" <matthew at wra dot k12 dot oh dot us>
Subject: That grandiose ET Crimso co
I don't remember who posted that idea of having all the ETers who are so
inclined record a Crimson cover album. Whoever it was, it's a _really_ good
The most recent post regarding this project (from "Mr Neurotica") was kind of
askew, at least in terms of what I think most other people were thinking about
it. He proposed we record *one song* using MIDI and have a bunch of people do
MIDI overdubs until it had made its way around to all the people who wanted to
This is a terrible idea for several reasons:
1) MIDI?!? Why in God's name would ANYONE want to make any piece of music
based primarily on MIDI? The digiInterface still has a long way to go...
2) A lot of people can't use MIDI. A lot of people who would probably be very
beneficial to the album.
3) A lot of instruments cannot be MIDI-ized very easily. A Mellotron, for
4) The whole "one-song" concept is not a good idea, either. This would either
end up as a very heavily-mixed recording, or an extremely over-orchestrated
one, or both. Worse yet, we would run into many problems with what song to
So, here's what we should do.
ET readers, start picking your songs. I am willing to assemble and produce
this, if the guy who thought of this doesn't want to. As far as I see it, this
will be an _album_ of Crimson covers with each group covering a different
song. It can be as similar or dissimilar from the original recording as you
Thoughts/comments/opinions/flames should be mailed to:
clockwork_orange at hotmail dot com
matthew at wra dot k12 dot oh dot us
matthew at wra dot k12 dot oh dot us (note the "1")
If anybody has a problem with me doing this, or you are the person whose idea
this was, get ahold of me, or just say so in the list.
matthieu (matthew at wra dot k12 dot oh dot us)
"The only difference between a sknitz and a brakkn is,
well... Quite a lot, really."
From: "Mark Fenkner" <ennea at net-gate dot com>
Subject: The value of music???
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 21:47:35 -0500
"Love songs are the biggest cause of mental illness" (or something like
For the past two years I have often wondered what was the true value in
music, and if there was value in music, if I could benefit from it. In our
society, this seems like a question rarely pondered. Everyone takes it for
granted that music is something that brings us pleasure, stimulates our
emotions, often saves us from boredom, acts as the soundtrack for our life,
and is almost always good for us. The only common exception to this rule
are the statements made by the people and organizations that favor the
censorship of music because they feel that certain types of music can have
an ill effect on young people. It is obvious to me that music advocating
violence, hatred, drugs, and aggression certainly has an detrimental effect
on its listeners, but what about other types of music? Frank Zappa said
that the greatest cause of mental illness was love songs. I would tend
to agree with this statement in many ways, and when more closely examined,
I would believe that almost all music shares similar effects.
I arrived at these thoughts through noticing tendencies in myself. I
noticed that when I listened to music, if the music were of an emotional
nature my body would 'manufacture' sympathetic emotions to the music. If I
was already feeling a certain emotion, I would play songs that heightened
the emotion that I was experiencing. Often these emotions were sad or
melancholy and the state that I would put myself in was certainly not very
beneficial to myself. Sometimes I would go even further than just
sympathizing with the music; I would create stories in my mind to go along
with the words. I would shape the meaning of the song's lyrics to match
current fantasies or situations in my life, imagining all sorts of crazy
things. The other tendency that I often found in myself occurred when I
listened to music of a more technical nature. I often found myself talking
or thinking about the technical aspects of the music or the performer
whenever I was listening to this type of music. I would chatter to my
friends about how Bill Brufford was such a witty drummer for playing in 7/8
over top of a 4/4 rhythm, etc. Or when the guitar solo came, I would be
thinking about how fast Robert's fingers were rather than hear the music.
Needless to say, this always stole the spirit from the music.
All of these problems became amplified when I became a 'musician' (this
sorta reminds me of the statement "opinions are like assholes...everyone's
got one"). Not only was I singing those sad song after my girlfriend broke
up with me, but I was also imagining that I was playing for a crowd of
people that adored me and thought me tragic. And I became even more out of
touch with 'technical' music as I now listened even more to the means
rather than the end.
All this is not to say that I never felt the moment when all else
disappears but you and the music. I often felt this (though sadly often on
drugs) and this is what deepened my vice of music. In the end, I even
began to question the value of this.
Now, I only occasionally buy CDs for the sake of collecting (Fripp's
mostly), and I almost never listen to the hundreds that I own. It has been
a slow development but as I consider the value of music more and more, it
seems that listening to music is quite pointless and probably detrimental.
To all of the people on this list that still are avid music enthusiasts,
what is the value of music to you? Does it serve any constructive
function in our lives? Or, similar to what Mr. Fripp said in the Guitar
Craft column of Guitar Player magazine, is it only the toilet used by our
emotions? Currently, it seems no better to me than masturbation. And how
could a logical man like Mr. Fripp take part in this?
Sorry, I had to laugh.
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 21:58:44 -0500 (EST)
From: Carl Didur <ab503 at freenet dot hamilton dot on dot ca>
Subject: McDonald and Giles
I have the 1971(?) release "McDonald and Giles", by Ian Mcdonald,
Mike Giles and Peter Giles. I don't have the original pakaging for this
recording and would appreciate it if someone could tell me who sings lead
vocals. I really enjoy this recording, especially side two- "Birdman", I
Its lighter, less orchestrated sound, comes across amazingly
well, reminding me heavily of I Talk to the Wind. It's one of my all time
favourite albums and I can't find it
anywhere! If anyone out there can tell me I bit more about it I'd be
Post to the list or e-mail me at ab503 at freenet dot hamilton dot on dot ca
Thanks, Carl Didur
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 00:17:35 -0500 (EST)
From: A tree is best measured when it is cut down <rwallace at warren-wilson dot edu>
Subject: getting vertigo from pictures of buildings
This newsletter is so strange. The whole concept of talking about
music is strange. It's easy to discuss technical issues (i.e. what kind
of effects do you think Rock Guitarist X uses when he does that
gorgeous solo in "Crow's Face In Butter" etc...) It's like discussing the
grammar in a poem. All forms of art (whatever that is), in my opinion,
point to a Great Something that cannot be expressed or conveyed without
either A) the direct first-hand experience of said Great Something, or B)
an alternative, more visceral means of communicating (art). The best
conversations i have had regarding music revolve around directly
experiencing the piece with someone and feeling that everyone is there,
in the present. Feeling the omnipotent IT. No discussion. Just presence.
I'm not suggesting anything here. I just thought that the obvious
needed to be stated.
end of transmission,
"I'm not a drowning man...
I'm not a burning building...
I'm a TUMBLER." -- David Byrne
From: Matt Walsh <MATTW at smginc dot com>
Subject: Re: Horrbile Thought?
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 97 11:01:00 PST
>The Talking Drum could very easily be re-mixed into an 'ambient dance'
>Elephant Talk could undergo similar treatment. In fact (a sad fact) the
>bass line alone could form the basis of a chart-topping 'dance' track,
>a few sequenced midi overdubs and a couple of samples from the original
>incessantly repeated over the top.
This isn't a foreign concept in the least. The "dance" band Opus III have
already covered Crimson's "I Talk To The Wind" (while I do not like this
kind of dance music, I will give them credit for having at least some
Though not dance, the band Primus is heavily influenced by Discipline-era
Crimson. The song "Jerry Was A Racecar Driver" is obviously influenced
and sounds very similar to "Elephant Talk". It was the song that gained
Primus' "stardom" in the alternative scene.
So, yes, I definitely agree that there is some degree of "chart-topping"
characteristics to KC's music, but as always, the mainstream doesn't
recognize it until it's long gone. Just another sign that KC is
consistently far ahead of it's time.
mattw at smginc dot com
Currently annoying co-workers with: Machines Of Loving Grace - "Gilt"
From: be82842%binghamton dot edu at cs dot man dot ac dot uk
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 12:37:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: response to Fripp's letter
When I first started reading Fripp's postings in ET, I thought it was the
coolest thing to here from Fripp himselfl. But as he posted more and more,
my feelings changed to those of uncomfortability. In the last issue, Fripp
dominated the forum, causing me to think, "wow, this is bizarre". After
thinking this, however, I realized that Fripp also must feel that his
infiltration of ET is slightly on the bizarre side, and it got me thinking
about exactly why Fripp is posting to the extent that he is. Is it because
he has too much free time? Is it because he feels the need, as he says, to
steer the content of ET to a more intelligent level? I don't think this is
Fripp's main issue (and rightly so) seems to be with the
disrespect people show him and the undue burden the put on him by
essentially forcing him to be friendly and open, even if the situation
calls for him to be otherwise. One of the main reasons that this burden is
placed on Fripp is because he is a celebrity, a famous person, a "rock
star", and as such, he is seperate and distinct -- even above -- us
ordinary fans. This seperation, and the familiarity which comes along with
celebrity, is what causes people to feel that they have the right to
approach Fripp -- after all, what greater thing to do then to meet your
hero, or for that matter any celebrity? Few things compare to the rush
that comes with having brushes with fame.
Fripp, IMO, is, by posting in ET, trying to bridge the gap between his
fans and the celebrity which he posseses, and in the process, make
himself more human. By accomplishing this, he hopes to alleviate some of
the intrusions that he faces because of his celebrity.
This seperation between peon and star, however, is one of the most
intruiging aspects of the relationship between performer and audience.
The distance between them creates excitement, wonder, imagination, awe,
respect and the placing of the artist on a pedestal which I know I
personally enjoy. In a way, Fripp, by alleviating this gap, is destroying
an integral part of the audience/performer relationship -- namely the
mystery that surrounds them. I ran into Fripp backstage at Town Hall in
NYC in June of '95 after having snuck in through open doors. He was busy
arguing with someone (in the interest of privacy, I won't divulge what it
was about) and he was looking VERY agitated. I chose, however, to interupt
him with an "excuse me, Mr. Fripp". I got back an equally rude "exuse ME".
But this is exactly what I deserved, and, frankly, I was happy to receive
it. Not only did Fripp respond to what was clearly a rude, intrusive
comment on my part, but he kept up the distance bewteen artist and
audient, and kept the myth of the "rock star" alive in my mind. And what
do we have, if not for myths and perceptions which feed the imagination?
Anyway, if Fripp chooses to respond, he can e-mail me privately, because I
know I would not want my conversations read by an ananymous public.
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 12:44:21 -0500 (EST)
From: Biffyshrew at aol dot com
Subject: Crimson Covers
"I Only Paint What I See..." <daveread at tiac dot net> wrote:
>(Imagine my dismay if KC were to release an album of cover tunes...
>I would be dumbfounded. A veritable deer in the headlights.)
Now I think this is a fine idea. It wouldn't have to be considered a "real"
King Crimson album, but since the Crims have been so generous in recent years
with "supplemental" releases (live albums and videos, archival releases, EPs,
etc.), this could be another release in that vein. To start the ball
rolling, I'd like to hear Crimson's arrangements of:
"Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" by Parliament
"I Am The Walrus"--or virtually anything else--by the Beatles
"Frownland" by Captain Beefheart
I foresee many other ETers chiming in with their own suggestions for Crimson
Covers...at least until Toby gets sick of it and outlaws the topic.
Biffy the Elephant Shrew @}-`--}----
...visit me at http://users.aol.com/biffyshrew/biffy.html
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 13:03:41 -0500
From: elizabeth west <binkwest at concentric dot net>
Subject: Re: non-consensual acts
Violation. Interruption, especially in terms of music and the
experience of opening yourself to the moment. Anything that we are
capible or recording via electronic means or tape or even memory are
just shells of the real experience. It's like cutting off your hand and
still being able to feel it there, only it's gone. Otherwise, we would
be satisfied with all of the materiel that Fripp has already released,
and not beg him to release old KC video footage or Official bootlegs,
and just let him be Fripp.
I have only been reading ET regularly for the past 3 months. I have read
many assumptions about Mr. Fripp that I would never make about anyone,
much less a person that I greatly admired, pointing to greed and
selfishness, based upon the fact that he hasn't released your favorite
live performance as an official bootleg and tells you not to buy
bootlegs because it is something that he strongly disagrees with, or
because he won't talk to you or sign his autograph on your arm so you
can have it tatooed. I have been a musician my whole life, even before I
even picked up an instrument. It took me a long time to figure out what
instrument was right for me-18 years. I experimented in different art
forms, painting, writing, etc. but there was always something holding me
back, something that didn't feel right. Now that I found my channel, so
to speak, I am limited by carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by something
totally unrelated to playing guitar. I have recorded very little of my
music because it ooses a great deal by even being recorded. I have only
played 4 gigs in my entire "career" one of which was for a college radio
station- a live performance late in the afternoon during the summer when
no one was even there. Me and my husband were playing music with a poet
friend of ours. It was amazing! We found that spot where time stops.
The radio station recorded the show and it was horrible. I was out of
tune by the second piece. I can't even listen to it at all. I tried
once and thought "My God! What did we do?!? This is horrible!' I
still have this tape and think that I will have it for a long time.
Now that my physical limitation dictates how long and how hard I
practice I am in no shape to record any of my music. My husband kindly
offered to learn all of my parts and record them for me. I can't let
him do this. This is the person in the universe who is closest to me
and knows me the best but it is not me. This would be a violation, even
though his intentions are of the highest thinking. I have no objection
to him just playing my material.
When we see KC in concert Robert is playing guitar/devices, Adrian is
playing guitar and singing, Trey is playing Warr guitar, Tony is playing
Stick or bass, Bill and Pat are playing precussion. When we record a
bootleg of KC the machine that the performance was recorded on and the
machine that you are listening to the performance on are doing all of
these things, not KC. When we buy an KC album it is a performance
played exactly for the purpose of recording it. It is a love letter, a
phone call, a thank you note, the light we recieve from the stars which
are light years away. It is a moment recorded by KC saying "Here we
are, at this time, which is when we are recording this for you to hear."
and seeing them live is definitely a hot date. If you are going to
record all of your hot dates all you end up with is a good pornography
collection(Rude books!....With rude pictures....).
As far as Fripp's aim...I always took that to be that Fripp was striving
to be Fripp, to do all of the things that Fripp needed to do to be
Fripp, against anything else that might get in his way.
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 12:55:59 +0000
From: smatthew at gmu dot edu (Scott @ IHS)
Subject: Intellectual Property: To Boot or Not to Boot
R.F. invited discussion regarding bootlegging and non-consensual acts
in the last edition of E.T. Bootleg recording, treated as a specific act,
seems to me rather straightforward: while you own the recorder and
the medium onto which you are recording the performance, you have
generally given up your right to use such equipment with the purchase
of a ticket, as most ticketing agencies in the US, Canada, and the UK
have specific language prohibiting audio or video recordings. In an
instance when this waiver of rights has not been conveyed, either through
specific language, or through a commonly accepted implicit agreement,
I personally think anyone should be allowed to make a recording. It
is perhaps poor etiquette to go around taping conversations, but it is a
tough case to make that your right to use your own real property is
limited by another's right to avoid having a product of intellect and
expression captured and reproduced. I don't pretend to know the "absolute
truth" with respect to this, as there is a decided split even among those
who are in 100% agreement regarding rights in real property. Personally,
though, I don't see the problem. If someone records a King Crimson
concert and claims that they had the consent of the band, that they ARE
the band (!!!) and wrote the songs being played themselves, or that they
are agents acting on behalf of the band, then they are engaging in a
fraudulent transaction. Perhaps with DAT recordings there is more of a
concern that bootlegs can equal official recordings in quality, and therefore
pose a threat to the artist, but I still contend that the product officially
sanctioned by the artist will not only carry a higher value among fans, it
can almost certainly be made of higher quality than knockoffs, and new
material will be available for release only by the artist. Bootlegs must be
named differently, otherwise their creators are guilty of fraud by imperson-
ation, therefore contract law provides the private check that state power
currently grants in the form of copyright.
Again, I must add that any waiver of rights to engage in recording of any
kind should be respected under the law, and that if violators attempt to
profit off of their ill-gotten recordings, they should be held liable under
standard tort law, and their proceeds and any penalties should be transferred
to the artist whose rights in contract where violated. Additionally, I must
add that generally, the market for bootleg recordings consists of two groups:
die-hard fans, who have purchased all official recordings, but whose lust
cannot be satiated by the few albums available in stores, are the first main
group; the second consists of residents of nations which are poor,
economically unstable, or subject to severe import laws and outrageous
tariffs - people whose ability to purchase legitimate recordings has either
been eliminated by the state, or whose economic situation prevents purchase
of luxury items altogether. The desires of the first groups could be met by
releasing more official recordings, but it is unlikely that the target group
would be large enough for the artist to turn a profit, therefore the only
two viable solutions are to prevent the sale of such items, or to allow it by
those who feel they can do it profitably. The desires of the second group
cannot be met, and the choice remains to either actively prevent them from
obtaining illegal recordings, or to allow the black-market distribution of
the recordings in order to further the reknown of the artist and the works
being distributed. Those who acquire illegal recordings without first
having exhausted most, if not all, of the available official recordings, yet
have sufficient purchasing power and freedom of action to do so, are most
a miniscule minority.
Of course this all goes out the window if you believe that intellectual
"property rights" should be protected in the same manner as real property,
but it's my contribution, and perhaps a starting point.
*Scott L. Matthews # # # ### *
*Program Coordinator # # # # *
*Institute for Humane Studies # ##### # *
* at George Mason University # # # # *
*4084 University Dr., Suite 101 # # # ### *
*Fairfax, VA 22030 ----------------*
*Ph: (703) 934-6920 smatthew at gmu dot edu*
*Fax:(703) 352-7535 *
*IHS home page: http://osf1.gmu.edu/~ihs/ *
From: ToddM at LaserMaster dot Com
Organization: LaserMaster Corporation
Date: 7 Feb 1997 11:55:41CST6CDT
Fripp asks some rather interesting questions, and I will answer them
shortly in a separate e-mail.
Something occurred to me today:
Fripp has indicated in interviews that when he started he was tone deaf
and fairly wretched.
At one point in the past, he has indicated that there was a certain
point where he knew he was going to be a professional musician,
if I'm not mistaken he even has it down to the date.
This point of seeing must have been a revelation:
I can see the spirit of music sitting down, saying "Oh, I have some
ideas to impart to you and I know you can pick up on them but you'd
better practice if you want to try and execute them."
King Crimson has been described as "A Man With an Aim."
So, how does one go from a wretched, tone-deaf guitarist to someone
of Fripp's stature on the instrument? It's boring to say "practice" but
the motivation of seeing the possibilities must have been so strong that
he was motivated to get good, and get good quickly. Guitar lessons from
someone who could play (didn't the same tutor teach Andy Summers as
well?) didn't hurt either.
"A Man With An Aim" indeed.
I guess we cannot underestimate the power of music one iota. I know the
feeling of hearing something that is true and it has a strong, undeniable
power that grips me to this day. I distinctly remember when I was three
or four years old being force fed Segovia by my parents console phonograph
and listening to this sort of thing over and over. I soon had my own musical
tastes but it took much longer to see that I could indeed do this.
My own point of seeing was actually based on pig-headed stubbornness:
I felt that if one person can play an instrument that way [referring to
someone like Allan Holdsworth, I believe], I can too with the right
amount of practice and carefully driven, motivated study. This occurred
in 1983, right around the time I'd actually been playing guitar for four or
five years and started taking it much more seriously.
The third revelation was that while I knew I could undertake music as a
profession, it was altogether too special for me to subject it to the pitfalls
of mass public scrutiny. For some reason, worldwide acceptance of the
odd type of music I'm compelled to write doesn't seem very likely.
Also, Fripp's recounting of public meetings seen from two angles shows
very well the pitfalls of show business life. While I'd love to make music
my number one priority, it doesn't pay the bills. Rather, my day job does
allow me to afford the equipment I need to make the music I must.
I believe that some people have more than one revelation:
o the initial revelation of the power of what music can do.
o the second revelation that it is something that you are able to do.
o the third revelation is the calling that it be the sum of your professional
Why is one compelled to write or play music?
Why is one compelled to write or play certain types of music?
Does a certain type of music facilitate their aim better than others?
What is the differentation of the music lover who does not play and the
musician who both plays and listens to music?
PressMate Product Specialist
LaserMaster Big Color Technical Support
Corporate Web Site: http://www.lasermaster.com/
LaserMaster BBS: (612) TEK-LINE
OTIS Faxback Service: (612) 943-3737
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 13:52:46 +0000
From: Russell Whitworth <russell at anchorag dot demon dot co dot uk>
Subject: Joining the dots
[Repost - did this one get lost in cyberspace?]
Back in about 1980, Nicky Horne on London's Capital Radio had a weekly
feature called (I think) "Six of the Best". The idea was for listeners
to send in a playlist of six tracks, each one linked to the next in an
interesting but obscure way. The sixth track had to link back to the
I spent many happy hours thinking up King Crimson loops, but never sent
one in. I wonder if anyone ever did?
These thought were drifting through my mind (prompted, of course, by
recent ET postings) as I was on a six hour drive home. The tape playing
was John McLaughlin's "Shakti". So of course, I tried to link it back
Easy. Violinist on Shakti is Shankar. Shankar's (first?) solo album
"Touch Me There" was produced by Frank Zappa, who also guests on the
opening track (Bad Girls of London). One-time guitar/vocalist with
Frank Zappa was Adrian Belew. Last time I checked AB is with King
Crimson (you knew that, right?).
I was feeling all smug at "joining the dots" so swiftly. Then the tape
ended, and I pressed the CD button. First disc to come on (at random)
was Tony Levin's World Diary. First track... featuring Shankar! Smart-
arse CD player managed a far shorter link than my own efforts!
(And before anyone reminds me of who the drummer is on Exposure... yes,
I know there are other ways of linking McLaughlin to KC).
And another thought....
Does anyone else have this niggling feeling that Adrian and Robert are
engaged in some sort of competition via ET? Perhaps trying to see who
can cause the largest amount of pretentious twaddle to be posted? And
are are Bill, Tony, Trey and Pat going to join the game? Perhaps not.
(N.B. I'm not knocking it... I'm thoroughly enjoying the Adrian and
Robert show. I'd just like to be a fly on the wall when they next get
together. "Hey, did you see the response I got on ET?")
p.s. I just have to say "fudge". There, I said it.
Subject: The Problems with Bootlegs
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 97 13:24:16 -0000
From: "T.W. Hartnett" <hartnett dot t at apple dot com>
After reading Robert Fripp's recent posting regarding bootlegs, I came up
with the following musings:
As I understand it, RF is opposed to bootlegs (at least partially
opposed) because they often spoil the nature of the performance,
puncturing the energy field which can created in a performance situation.
I am not taking issue with this. My experience is that this is true.
However, I think (and RF may agree with this), that some performances
have such an energy, that they can still fly with some ice on the wings.
It may be that the performance, at that moment for those present, would
have been even more powerful had it not been taped.
However, then we have the Great Deceiver box. These are some of my
favorite KC recordings. The version of "Starless" on the green disk (I
think it's the green one) is one of my favorite moments of recorded
music. I still get goosebumps listening to it. Had DGM not released it,
I would have only been able to obtain it through a bootleg. It occurs to
me--if this was sitting in the vaults all this time, there's probably
more stuff out there of similiar quality. I want all the great recorded
moments that are available.
To pause for a moment, I suspect that RF has a large stock of KC live
recordings, made by the KC crew for his personal reference. I think it's
safe to say that RF has the single largest collection of KC live
recordings in the world.
Sometime last year, DGM delcared a "bootleg amnesty", calling for anyone
in possession of a good live recording of the first KC lineup to send the
recording to DGM. I suppose that some of the material which will appear
on "Epitaph" is from bootleg sources. Earlier this week, RF called again
for exciting KC bootlegs to be submitted to DGM. I'm guessing that this
is an attempt to gather more material for subsequent official live
releases. Wonderful! I'm up for all of it, despite poor recording
quality. I'm even happy with plain packaging--the dates, set list,
running times, band members, that's all I really need. Anything more is
gravy, and if DGM wants to keep costs down by using simpler packaging,
that's fine with me.
However, the call for bootlegs and release of "Epitaph" suggest a few
questions, from my viewpoint. If bootlegging is to be avoided, so that
the live moment is not harmed, then bootlegs should be discouraged. If,
after a few years, there's a call for bootlegs, and everyone had observed
RF's request, there would be no recordings to be had. Imagine if the
source tapes for "Great Deceiver" were bootleg tapes--KC enthusiasts
would be out of luck. Perhaps "Epitaph" would be a much shorter release,
perhaps of poorer quality. Having seen two calls for bootlegs, I expect
to see further calls ten years down the road. This feeds the "I'm
documenting the band out of my love for the music, besides I know
Robert'll want the tapes down the road and then everyone's happy!" school
Imagine this: a bootleg tape of Beethoven playing some of his own music
is found. Beethoven's heirs gain possession of the tape and declare that
they will not make it available for public consumption. There'd be all
sorts of editorials about how "the music belonged to everyone", scholars
would be up in arms about being denied access to the tape, and so on.
Now, I don't think it matters whether you think KC and Beethoven are
equivalent in terms of musical worth, or greatness, or whatever you want
to call it, the question is can music be "owned"? In the truest sense, I
don't think that _music_ can be owned by anyone, but _recordings_ are a
different matter. If you grant Beethoven the right to control his
_recordings_, you have to grant KC the same right, and vice versa.
So, DGM puts out bootlegs that they've selected, cleaned up as best they
can, packaged nicely. Are we encouraging bootlegs by purchasing the
official releases? The existance of the version of "Starless" on the
aforementioned GD disk makes me very hungry for more stuff, and I'm
willing to wade through a lot of material of differing quality to find
it. DGM will never be able to meet the demand for live KC, and I'm not
suggesting they should, but since they won't, there will be an unfilled
For the record, I believe I own two RF-related bootlegs at this point.
One, a horrible sounding cassette from the first Peter Gabriel tour.
I've listened to about twenty minutes of it, and it recording quality is
unbearable. The other I obtained a few days ago, and it's a CD of the
Lizard-era lineup, from a radio broadcast in Denver. The quality is
below that of Earthbound (a problematic release in itself--is it a
bootleg put out by the record company against RF's wishes?). Both were
given to me by a friend who works in a used-record store. The Denver CD
is most noticable for a track which consists of RF introducing Ian
Wallace onstage, who then does a Monty Python-esque explanation of his
hobby of tearing the legs off insects. For years I'd avoided all KC and
RF boots in light of Robert's opinions, and I'm uncertain what I'll do
with these two. If I give them to someone else, it only encourages them
to buy more bootlegs (either "This is GREAT!! I've got to get more of
these!", or "This is CRAP!! There must be better out there!"). Yet, I'm
reluctant to destroy them. What if years from now DGM asks for bootlegs
of these shows? So they sit on my shelf.
I'm reminded of friends of mine who became vegans. They won't eat animal
products or use things which were developed with the aid of animal
products. The subject of leather shoes/belts always comes up. The vegan
in question may be wearing leather shoes, and the justification I've been
given several times is that either a) they were a gift or b) they were
purchased before the conversion to veganism, either way it's said, the
leather had already been made, and to not use the product would mean that
the animal had died completely in vain. Without bringing in a thread on
the politics of radical vegetarianism, I believe there is a relevant
connection to the subject of bootlegs, in that we have a "tainted object"
which has been produced in a morally-objectionable manner, but which does
have its uses. How to resolve this dilemma?
Is it the recording of a concert which spoils the event, or is it more in
the physical distraction the recording method ("Hey man, quit waving that
microphone in the way, I'm trying to watch the show")?
If the KC crew records a show for KC's archives, does it spoil the event
for the participants?
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 14:55:41 -0500 (EST)
From: "Thomas W. Kozal" <twk at echonyc dot com>
I'm surprised nobody has said this yet, but I think it is time:
Mr. Fripp: SHUT UP AND PLAY YOUR GUITAR!!!!!
By commenting, you almost reduce yourself to the same level of the people
you have a problem with. Plus you use too many multi-syllable words. I
fed one of your posts into my grammer checker, and it had a fit. Us
'mericans just can't deal with all them BIG words, plus confusing
paragraphs where every other word is "moment"
Thank you, and don't worry, I'll buy everything you put out (although I
think you put out a too few many ep's from the most recent - shades of
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 12:39:39 -0800 (PST)
From: The Man Himself <altruist at shoko dot CALARTS dot EDU>
Subject: King Crimson music performed live in LA on February 27
The following message was sent to the standard ET address for publication
several days ago, but I have not yet seen it in any of the subsequent
issues. May I ask that it be run ASAP? (And that this introductory
paragraph be removed from the publication?) Thanks.
I wanted to post a notice that I'll be performing several King Crimson
pieces in an upcoming recital here at Cal Arts, in Santa Clarita, CA (just
north of LA). The concert will take place on Thursday, February 27, at
The material will be part of a band project taking a cue from the current
KC's instrumentation. The personnel will be a "double duo" consisting of
myself and Miroslav Tadic on guitar and loops (or Frippertronics, if you
prefer), and Bryon Holley and David Shaffer on drumsets. The set list
will include "THRAK," "Red," and "21st Century Schizoid Man," as well as
Frank Zappa's "Five-Five-FIVE," some original compositions, and possibly a
solo electric guitar set in the first half.
The concert is free and open to the public. Please e-mail me for more
information or directions to the school.
altruist at music dot calarts dot edu
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 1997 08:33:38 -0500
From: "Buel E. Chandler" <bocephus at sprintmail dot com>
Subject: Re: [Trey Gunn and Quake
bbacher at harding dot com wrote (in ET342):
> Subject: Trey Gunn and Quake
> Pardon me if this is too off-topic....
Off-topic of RRR (roles, responsibilitqes and relationships) maybe, but any
thread that connects my favorite music with my current game of the day is
> I had been listening to Trey Gunn's latest, "The Third Star" (TTS), through
> my computer's CDRom drive (audiophiles will cringe) one day a few weeks
> ago. I finished what I was working on, stopped and closed the CD player
> program, and started playing Quake. For those of you not in the know,
> Quake is a gorey bloodfest, shoot-everything-that-moves computer game.
I brought up the use of THRaKaTTaK as Quake soundtrack some time ago.
Though I try other, usually Fripp related pieces, I always come back to
this one work as the ultimate soundtrack for Quake.
As for audiophilistines, I have an Altec Lansing multimedia dolby surround
setup (with powered subwoofer) that truly immerses one. What do you need
when the output is two feet away anyway?
As for the bllodfest aspect, I see RF enjoys Segal's work, so the thought
of more music geared for said bloodfest is not unrealizable.
> Maybe I'm the only ET'er who plays Quake, but somehow I doubt it. Those
> who do, please try this and let me know what you think!
Not only do I play, but I am in a Quake clan, Clan TRHAQ, which uses
THRaKaTTaK as our background music as we take on clans over the internet
in 16-person battle royales. Good introduction to younger people who
will like NIN but think of KC as that "were't they around in the 60's"
Now for something completely different, I believe a drummer for Jethro
Tull played on 10 Seconds (another good Quake soundtrack BTW), which
includes some stellar Frippian contributions.
One last rant: Robert, how about an autobiography and some learned tomes on
Date: Sat, 08 Feb 1997 14:27:19 -0500
From: Kevin Mather <kevmath at mail dot smart1 dot net>
Subject: Live in Japan & Great Deceiver
Can anyone tell me where i can purchase a copy of the Live in Japan video?
My attempts to locate it here in Connecticut where i live have been
I just picked up The Great Deceiver box set which I am thouroghly pleased
with. The recording quality really is impressive for the time peroid.
Just compare the quality with that of other progressive bands of the time.
Yes 1973 live set (Yessongs) sounds like the microphones used to record it
were in the building across the street. Am I the only one who wishes there
were some cuts from Lizard or Islands on
Great Deceiver? Can you imagine what Cirkus or The Letters would sound
like from the Wetton version of KC? The bass line on Cat Food from
Deceiver is pretty serious sounding. Hats off to Fripp for having
Earthbound benched permanently benched and for having the Great Deceiver
material released. The light of good works really do shine.
Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 23:00:31 -0800
From: Tata <rajaftan at entelchile dot net>
Subject: RF letter
I really feel shame on the fact that a musician like RF have to write a
post cause he felt bad in same way. If that post would be with information
of personal or Crimson projects it would be great, but it not. I don't
really care if this or that guy is nice or not, I'm interested on
information of music.
P.D. If RF took the time himself to read and reply to ET, it means that he
is conscious on his approach to people ( audience ).