|| July 08, 1980
|| Dooley's East Lansing, MI, USA
nolstalgic resonance, Mon., Aug 24, 2009
Written by hanbledzoin
While living in E. Lansing (first year college) I found a flyer for the LOG
posted just as the semester ended on a lamp post. Standing mouth agape - I could hardly believe it - Mr. Fripp coming to .... Michigan State.....? Wha? Was this a cruel hoax? Could it be true?
MSU was a cultural backwater, and for sanity I would return to Detroit, or
roadtrip to Ann Arbor for shows. No one I met my freshman year
knew of Fripp, and only marginally of King Crimson (!).
I actually visited Dooley’s several weeks prior to the date of the show to speak with the manager to make certain that it wasn’t some grosteque mistake (I suspected that the band would realize that a error had been made by the arranger or manager of the tour, and would elect to change the venue to play in AA instead).
"Yeah, it’s some kind of dance band," explained Dooley’s manager.
"OK, three tickets," me.
Bringing several friends from Detroit, we arrived veeeery early, took a front
row table, suffered through an opening act (but then, how on earth do you open for the LOG?). And, then my pal Jeff nudges me. Fripp is dancing to the opener (a very intense hop/shake frenzy)!. I am (a bit) astonished to witness this, and I also at once feel that this is very kind gesture, since the band playing is ill equipped to engage an audience that is clearly anticipating the next act. But as Mr. Fripp explains, we are meant to dance tonight.
As LOG begins their set, I am amazed at how tight the group is. Fripp’s timing is impeccable, and the other members are clearly locked in. Barry Andrews is taking all measures to coax, massage and assualt his keyboard. Sarah Lee is providing the spine of the bassline. I am in a state of total bliss as this music seems to be working both my right and left brains at once. I stop
drinking, as I am rapt with attention.
Regretfully, I didn’t dance. The dancefloor is pathetically small. But afterward, with the hooks still playing in my brain, I am already certain I will follow the LOG to their next performance. After the show, as we three were sharing our experiences a very agitated patron comes by our table. "This show was terrible - what crap- this wasn’t Crimson at all! Fripp’s was playing out of tune!! What was this shit, anyway?!"*
I could only say that, whatever it was, it was one of the rarest and most unexpected performances that I had witnessed. The bliss hadn’t stopped, and
I tried to share it, but for him, it was a total waste. I could hardly believe that we had been in the same audience.
Several days later, I was finally able to dance to the LOG - this time at Harpo’s in Detroit. It was a much bigger crowd, but they were totally into it, and
the band was as tight as ever. Barry Andrews was out there, dancing with us in the bar/dancefloor at the second level during intermission. My girlfriend
(who I pleaded to come, since she had ... other ....things to do that evening....) was ELECTRIFIED. The audience gave it up for the LOG that night....
So, now 29 years later, I cannot believe my luck in hearing it all again.
I’ve thought often about that show, and here it is.
My heartfelt, brainfelt, thanks.
*this, I believe, was the malcontent that kept demanding the band play
21st Century Schizoid Man throughout the show as referred to by Mr. Fripp
at the end of the "Ooh! Mr. Fripp" track.
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