Elephant Talk #563 (as text)

6 January 1999

Date: Monday, 4 Jan 1999 10:45:51 
From: ganderso at notes dot cc dot bellcore dot com
Subject: 1: David Sylvian interview; 2: Najma

There is an interesting interview with David Sylvian in the january 1999 issue of "The Wire". Fripp's work with Sylvian are described as "Teethgrinding Excesses". Personally, I found Damage absolutely riveting, and containing Fripp's best work.

Oddly, however, Sylvian himself seems to sort of want to distance himself from the fripp collaborations. In fact, he states: "I wasn't happy with the work I did with Robert particularly, Robert was leading things a little more than I was; he instigated the project, but i felt I never felt i got to grips with it. It wasn't a particularly stable time in my life either, so I didn't feel focused on the work at all".

My ears must be insane, then, because in much of Damage and The First Day, Sylvian at least sounds totally focused, although the energy and lyrics kind of have an out-of-control and out of balance feel to them (which I find quite exciting). Kind of like a shortstop in baseball throwing to first base while still in mid air from catching the ball. What i would guess is that Sylvian was kind of deteriorating at the time, and has since found some new groundedness. The Fripp collaborations probably represent energies that are destabilizing to him, and hence still need some psychological distancing.

Hey, is anyone out there listening to the Indian pop singer Najma? (Actually, she sings in Urdu i believe.) At times some of her work has some Crimson-like similarities (though it sounds NOTHING like Crimson): she has boiled down some Indian classical elements into an innocuous pop form. Some of her singing, however, threaten to slay me with beauty! For example, that Dil Janane Ki tune (track 5) from "Pukar" won't leave my brain. The melody is complex and exquisite, the syllabic pronunciation incredible, and her phrasing sometimes hints of genius. Just wondering if anyone else has encountered her stuff.


Date: Monday, 4 Jan 99 9:10:05 MST
From: steven dot gehring at stoneweb dot com (Steven W Gehring)
Subject: Elephant Talk #562
| I recently purchased "Starless and Bible Black" and have
| been enjoying it for almost a week. In fact, it hasn't been
| out of the CD player until today. While glancing at the
| track titles on the CD itself I noticed that my copy is
| printed with all of the text from "In The Court Of The
| Crimson King", all the music from "Starless" is intact and
| in order according to the CD case track listing. The cover
| in the gatefold is as it should be as well. Obviously a
| misprint, I was just wondering if anyone else had noticed
| this in recently purchased KC CD's.

Recently, I was in a local CD store (Cheapo Discs, Denver) and noticed that they had several copies of "In the Court of the Crimson King" with a "Lizard" cover. The back cover, "spine", and adhesive label all read ITCOTCK, but the cover was definately from Lizard. I didn't buy the CD to see if the contents were correct.

"Read a neat book that had a true reference or two about RF & KC. It talks about Jimmy Page and states,(ROCK OF AGES THE ROLLING STONES HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL ;by E. WARD, G. STOKES, K. TUCKER; 1986)"Though less influential, probably because more eccentric, King Crimson's Robert Fripp was even more inventive guitarist than Page."

I too am familiar with this passage and was always surprised by it considering Rolling Stone's antagonism toward the prog. movement. Granted, they have been, in general, kinder to KC than other English art-rock bands (they generally level scathing reviews of anything by Yes, ELP, early Gabriel-led Genesis). Still, it is nice to see Mr. Fripp getting his due.

Happy New Year to all.

Date: Monday, 04 Jan 1999 17:26:32
From: i-robertson at ti dot com (Iain Robertson)
Subject: Spin Art on Club Releases 

Has anyone else noticed that the two Club release CDs appear to have different fragments of the same picture on their right hand spines. I thought they might tile together to reveal a picture, but they don't (at least not yet, and not in the order of release). Some sort of puzzle perhaps? Odd...

Iain Robertson i-robertson at ti dot com
MOS Design, Enterprise Business Unit, Northampton, UK
Phone: 3412; Fax: 3456; Prefix: +44 1604 66 (Speed: +8 447)

Date: Monday, 4 Jan 1999 14:18:55 
From: Bknt at aol dot com
Subject: Norbert Fragg: the Flossed Diaries

Dear Team,

While researching an ingestigative expose of Frank Zappa's trenchant Dental Hygiene Dilemma, I found myself in the quaintly named section of London known as Spittalfields, where I was directed with salivary vehemence by a somewhat dusty dustman to a peculiar accumulation of medicinally related music industry waste that failed to qualify for inclusion in the so-called sanitary landfill beneath Cleveland's Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

There, tangled among zircon encrusted tweezers, modified dog retainers, an Official Disco Boy Souvenir Nasal Hair Removal Kit and a truly hideous tangle of Montana-raised dental floss, I discovered, to my shock, horror and carefully constructed facade of disaffected ennui, another excised edition of the dyspeptic jottings (some would say spottings) of Norbert Fragg, that chart-bottoming, cappuccino-swilling, seminal but not Seminole guitarist and former member of the supremely influencial but never quite commercially feasible musical group, Sing Frampton, whose delightfully dissonant compositions--Spoonchild, Tailor's Sale, and Will Somebody Tell Me What Thella Hung Ginjeet Means (the same zesty ditty that has been covered by both Leon Redbone and Garth Brooks) continue to constipate Earnest Young Men everywhere.

While I would normally horde these writings for future disposal by Sotheby's, I decided to share portions that concern Fragg's pensive massacre of an innocent household pest, his guidelines for audients, and his instructions to musicians regarding his recording company, Insolent Foaming Bile, which he has founded for the purpose of "enabling money to enter my world."


  1. Having flung the contract binding me to the disputatious, fraudulent, rapacious, thieving, bung-brained and otherwise not very nice Fee Gee Records into my incommodious commode, last used by Cecil Beaton for purposes upon which the mind boggles, I filled my bath with arscenic-laced cappucino in the hope of poisoning a wretchedly noisey cricket, whose persistent acoustic leg rubbing in 4/4 has become so intrusively monotonous that I can no longer do my morning sitting without its insistently predictable time signature offending my polyrhthymic sensibilities. After much consultation and consideration on the subject, I, who have been a vegetarian since I was forced by an American record promoter to eat my hat in 1976, decided that living things may indulge in unconscionably ordinary time signatures outside my walls. But come inside, and fail to set your electronic percussion on stun, and you're dead meat.

  2. For music to enter the world properly, that is, without a passport and spared from paying the VAT, the eager audient must do exactly what I want the eager audient to do while I am performing or I will just have no fun at all and get all hissy and mean and refuse to do interviews in which I am asked questions that I have been asked previously. If the eager audient does exactly what I want I still may not have fun and I certainly will refuse to do interviews because it's just no fun at all to be intellectually obscure, mystically arcane and fecklessly enigmatic and have someone ask you why you broke up a band that was on the verge of great success on August 17, 1976 at 7:42 p.m. while dining on a braised banker's bowler at Sardi's.

  3. If you are a musician who wants to be rich and famous and desires a small, woefully underfinanced mail-order record company such as Insolent Foaming Bile to become a pathway to the rewards you feel you deserve, please send me your demo tapes because I am so good at identifying demo tapes made by people who want to be rich and famous that I don't even have to listen to them and therefore won't listen to them because they remind me that if I were rich and famous I wouldn't have to be mucking about the dreary business of having my own record company, clinging to the hope that someday, among the disgracefully derivative dreck that daily darkens my doorstep, the Baron Vonder Bon Von VolksRabbit (who, unlike the cricket, listens to all unsolicited submissions, responds promptly to all guestbook posts and can thump out a mean 7/5) will find and market the Next Big Thing, thus enabling me to become a disputatious, fraudulent, rapacious, thieving, bung-brained and otherwise not very nice recording industry mogul, retire to a Carribean paradise, wear tiny bathing trunks, breed killer rabbits and have scandalous relationships with females young enough to be my children.

Isn't THAT what music is FOR?

(At this point, the diaries deteriorate into the infrequently alliterative, unprincipled ravings of a contentedly depraved artist-turned-venture capitalist eager to make his first billion so he may circle the earth in a balloon whose content, size and metaphorical possibilities have no correspondence to his opinion of himself.)

Bill Kent

Date: Monday, 04 Jan 1999 18:23:37
From: tedwhite at compusnet dot com (Ted White)
Subject: Who's That?

In ET 562 David Bohnsack asks, "is Robert doing any of the speaking, the banter between tracks?" referring to Club Selection 2. He adds, "but it doesn't sound too much like him. Probably Boz..."

As any experienced ETer could tell you, Dave (and as no doubt many will) that is the Frippster's distinctive voice -- not Boz's.

My copy of Selection 2 only arrived today, having been mailed on December 31st. I'm enjoying it -- especially the upfront presense of the Mellotrons, and Mel's ferocious sax playing. But what I note with particular approval is that EARTHBOUND "is now a cult classic and in so much demand we are planning a re-release through Virgin," according to Fripp's liner notes. That would finally restore to the active catalogue all but USA, and a USA II reissue has also been mooted.

TW (Dr.P)

Date: Monday, 04 Jan 1999 13:45:07
From: robertc at uclink dot berkeley dot edu (Rob Cervero)
Subject: Cirkus's pianet, ballparks, guitar mags

In a review of "Live in Jacksonville, 1972" in #562, the reviewer opines:

> I love the mellotron on Cirkus.

It's actually a Hohner pianet. And it's (supposedly) up for sale this coming April.

I too enjoyed the Jacksonville recording. The sound quality (and generally playing) beats Earthbound (due, in no small part, to the wonderment of Sadie technology and Mssrs. Singleton & Fripps fine work). And to think this show was played in a Jacksonville ball park. Anyone out there attend this show? Was the hour-long gig played after nine innings of ball? Just wondering.

Must reads: February '99 issue of Guitar magazine (King Crimson: English Royalty Knows No Boundaries) and March '99 issue of Guitar Shop (on A. Belew ... check out the axes hanging on Adrian's wall...amazing!)

...I might as well get it in while I'm occupying E.T.'s cyberwaves... Happy 30th KC!

... L.L.t.K.

Date: Monday, 04 Jan 1999 23:23:47
From: artshop at artist-shop dot com (Gary Davis)
Subject: Updates on DGM and Wetton

Happy New Year everyone!

The latest Artist Shop newsletter is out. You'll find it in it's entirety at <http://www.artist-shop.com/news.htm>. There's plenty of news there for Crimson fans.

First is the full scoop on the forthcoming King Crimson DVD, Deja VROOOM on our DGM page <http://www.artist-shop.com/discipln>. As you know it was originally hoped to be released in November, but it is now on the official release schedule for the end of January, which is coming up quick. Here's all the info on the publicity sheets:

In keeping with King Crimson's tradition of using new technologies, Robert Fripp and DGM present the King Crimson DVD release, Deja VROOOM. Designed in conjunction with KAO Infosystems, the DVD will be the world's first User-tailored musical experience on DVD. The DVD will feature re-edited concert footage from Tokyo, Japan performances of the 90's line-up of King Crimson. Most of the material is previously unreleased! There are some incredible features on this DVD including:

Utilizes DVD multiple camera angle features. Viewer is furnished with 7 different video angles, one for each band member as well as the main edited angle.

Disc will provide multiple audio features including 8 audio streams, standard Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack plus high resolution 5.1 channel DTS Digital Surround sountrack.

Previously unreleased footage

Biased playback and auto angle shuffling

Revolutionary interactive musical game - the player may choose their own version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" by choosing a rhythm section, vocal track, and soloist from any of the various incarnations of King Crimson. The game takes live performances from 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1995 and time-compresses and transfers them so that, for example, the player can hear Adrian Belew (live in 1995) and Mel Collins (live in 1971) playing over Robert Fripp, John Wetton and Bill Bruford (live in 1973).

Tony's Road Movies - a series of clips of the band on the road photographed by Tony Levin.

Unique ROM features including website links and a collection of text documents written by Robert Fripp.

Initial pressing will include a bonus DGM CD sampler!

Plus exciting hidden features

I would suspect, but cannot verify, that the bonus DGM sampler is probably Sometimes God Smiles. But it would be neat if it were something else entirely ;-) Speaking of Sometimes God Smiles, this is a sampler I really love. Listening to it reminds me of an old radio program in my neck of the woods (northeast Ohio) called Fresh Air. Fresh Air was a 100% progressive music program and Crimson was frequently played on it. Here's a tidbit about the sampler that may interest some of you. There is one track called Sabre Dance that is credited to a group called Radical Dance. In my promo copy booklet there is no explanation of who is in this group. However, some earlier promotion I received on the sampler back in September credited this track to Robert Fripp and Pat Mastelloto.

Voiceprint <http://www.artist-shop.com/voiceprt> has recently released three CD's by John Wetton! Two of these fall into the 'official bootleg' category - John Wetton/Live in New York & John Wetton/Live in Tokyo. The New York performance is more of an unplugged solo concert with guests, including former Crimson multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald. The Tokyo performance is a full band concert that is definitely electric and definitely rocks out. For both these collections Wetton takes selections from his entire career and performs songs from his Crimson, UK, Asia and solo catalog.

But the most intriguing of these three releases has got to be John Wetton & Richard Palmer-James/Monkey Business. I've always considered Richard Palmer-James the real mystery man of King Crimson. He was their lyricist for Lark's Tongue, Starless and Red and contributed some truly amazing lyrics. I never understood why Fripp who gives such endless comments on Sinfield never even mentions Palmer-James (at least not that I've ever seen). Monkey Business includes unreleased recordings, demos and alternative versions from the period 1972 to 1997 (but the bulk of it is from the 70's). Many were compositions planned for the follow up to King Crimson's Red album before the band broke up which makes this a must for any fan of that period of Crimson! Bill Bruford also appears on a couple of= tracks.


                          Gary Davis
The Artist Shop                              The Other Road
http://www.artist-shop.com          artshop at artist-shop dot com
phone: 330-929-2056                           fax:330-945-4923
       Check out the latest Artist Shop newsletter at

Date: Tuesday, 5 Jan 1999 03:50:00 
From: dvella at wopr dot skidmore dot EDU (david vella)
Subject: Happy 1999, CC#2

Greetings, fellow Crimheads,

Here's wishing everybody a happy 1999, penultimate year of the millenium and prelude to a schizoid century!

Thanks to Dan K. for the reassuring, soothing post both in ET#562 at at the DGM guestbook regarding the tardy arrival of CC#2. It arrived at last on Jan. 4. I will refrain from reviewing it, giving each club member their own chance to "give a considered judgement of this outfit", to quote 'The Guitarist'.

Besides, David L. Bohnsack gave a reasonable review in ET#562, where he also asked the following question:

is Robert doing any of the speaking, the banter between tracks? It sounds like his style to say "We are going to attempt to lurch into a form of life...", but it doesn't sound to (sic) much like him. Probably Boz...

The answer is provided by Robert himself, from the Dec. 7 entry of his digital diary at the DGM website (emphasis added): "The Late Shift is underway. David has increased the sonic quality of Club No.2 from "bootleg with lots of distortion" to 5 out of 10. Now very musical, good bootleg quality.

The opening of the show is two mellotrons attempting to simulate proximate tuning, followed by an introductory announcement FROM THE GUITARIST. There remains some distortion, but it accompanies rather than dominates the playing. Overall, the sonics are much better than we had hoped."

One last comment on CC#2: In his website diary, Robert LAMENTS about one page of the booklet being printed in the wrong font. Close inspection reveals it is worse than that - the page with the wrong font is actually a repeat of earlier paragraphs, and the page which is supposed to be there is simply missing, providing a hole in the narrative, a discontinuity, a FRACTURE. Thankfully, there is no such discontinuity on the music itself, which rocks out to the extreme! (Ooops! I didn't want to review or critique this CD.) But Hey!, no complaints here. Are we not just one big HAPPY FAMILY? Still, what might have caused such a glitch? Putting the diary through THE MINCER? A lapse of DISCIPLINE? Or was it only PROVIDENCE? And why not fix it? Is Fripp, the LIZARD, just looking for EASY MONEY? Well, PEACE- AN END to these idle speculations! No need to go into EXILEs over this. As RF says, should it be corrected for future pressings, The first press with the mistake will be even more collectable. Ah, these INDOOR GAMES!

Well, THE WAITING MAN can now start looking forward to CC#3. What an amazing TRIO these CD's will make. There will be many a SLEEPLESS and STARLESS nights between now and February. And Robert, in case you read this, my advice from one FALLEN ANGEL to another is to NOT ignore these subliminal suggestions for future CC releases.

On the more serious side, I heard a rumor that McDonald & Giles are working on a second CD. Does anyone know if there is any truth to this?

David Vella
dvella at skidmore dot edu
web-page: http://www.skidmore.edu/~dvella/dcvbio1.htm

        'The  defining function of an artist is to cherish consciousness'
                                        -Max Eastman

Date: Tuesday, 05 Jan 1999 12:04:11
From: artshop at artist-shop dot com (Gary Davis)
Subject: Starless and Bible Black.

At 10:25 AM 1/4/99 GMT, Chris wrote:

>I recently purchased "Starless and Bible Black" and have
>been enjoying it for almost a week. In fact, it hasn't been
>out of the CD player until today. While glancing at the
>track titles on the CD itself I noticed that my copy is
>printed with all of the text from "In The Court Of The
>Crimson King", all the music from "Starless" is intact and
>in order according to the CD case track listing. The cover
>in the gatefold is as it should be as well. Obviously a
>misprint, I was just wondering if anyone else had noticed
>this in recently purchased KC CD's.

I can corroborate that this is NOT an isolated event. A customer had ordered Starless from me and returned it saying that the packaging was correct, but the wrong CD was inside. When I got it back, it was the "Court" labeling as described by Chris. As it takes little to put me in a mood to hear Crimson, I immediately dropped it in my CD player expecting to hear Schizoid Man. But to my surprise, it was the Starless album!

I tried to replace this CD a number of times, but each time exactly the same thing happened - the correct CD but with a misprinted label. I explained what was happening to the customer and he told me to go ahead and ship him the misprint. I still have one of the misprinted CD's on hand if anyone collects that sort of thing.


Date: Wednesday, 06 Jan 1999 05:30:09
From: mntnjam at hotmail dot com (kevin beaulieu)
Subject: Epitaph CD

I recently received "Epitaph" as a Christmas gift. I noticed during "A Man, A City" on Volume II, there occurs at the 1:55 mark of the song one full second of silence. This passage is obviously not part of the song, but sounds like a glitch in the recording. Does anyone else have this on their CD (I know the source tapes had their problems) or is this a defective CD? I am getting conflicting answers from different sources. Thank you.

Kevin Beaulieu
mntnjam at hotmail dot com

Date: Wednesday, 6 Jan 1999 14:53:05 
From: pdauchy at imassa dot fr (Pierre Dauchy)
Subject: KC on France Musique, Jan 22


ETalkers living in France might like to know that french national station France Musique (mostly dedicated to classical music) plans to broadcast _Cadence & Cascade_ as well as _I talk to the wind_ in the Jan 22nd issue of the daily contemporary music program 'Musique pluriel' (22:30 - 23:00). Or at least the program producer told me so.


Date: Wednesday, 06 Jan 1999 08:30:30
From: micheljch at hotmail dot com (Michel Champagne)
Subject: Rear spine of Collector's Club releases & then some

Don't know if anybody else has yet figured this one out but, after looking at the rear spine of CC2 (Live in Jacksonville, 1972), it appears to be part of a color photo of the "Epitaph" signing event, and the rear spine of CC1 now appears to be of the same pedigree.

Of course, after listening to this disc, I couldn't care less what this picture ends up being, as "Live in Jacksonville, 1972" is a terribly interesting document of what this version of Crimso was capable of on stage, and is a perfect companion to "Earthbound," if you're lucky ehough to have a copy of your own. Mel Collins is in fine form throughout and Ian Wallace and Boz function more than adequately, stomping through "Pictures of a City" and "Circus," two eye-openers for me personally.

Of course, when I get the next release (Larks' Quintet at the Zoom Club), I'll be raving and drooling about _that_ CD instead!

Personally, I think my $96 was a good investment.

Now, for some more ProjeKct releases . . .

Mike Stok