Another amazing piece of sonic detection work from Alex Mundy as he matches up the original Frippertronic reels to audience recordings. These three concerts are significant in that Fripp recalled them during a conversation with Joe Strummer (of The Clash) and journalist Vic Garbarini printed in Musician Magazine in June 1981.
Fripp: ...A funny thing happened in Philadelphia a few weeks ago during my Frippertronics tour. I was listening and I heard the next note I had to play. And I played it. Then I heard the next note, and I played that one. I'd been waiting 23 years for that to happen..
Strummer: That’s real music
Fripp:...and it was the first time it ever happened to me. And I started to cry while I was playing...
S: That's it. To know where one has to go...
F: ...and it's funny, but I had to trust it. I heard the next note, and I thought well, I'll try it. Then I heard the next one and thought well, this is shit, but I thought I should trust it. So I did. And it's a question of trusting the music to play itself.
These concerts were given as part of a benefit for WXPN FM, the radio station of the University of Pennsylvania. Kimberley Haas who was the musical director of WXPN FM had contacted Fripp after seeing the LOG perform in Philadelphia and interviewing him for her radio show the previous year. Kimberly takes up the story:
“At that time, WXPN was an alternative station that had shows covering a broad spectrum of music, with a staff of community volunteers and students headed by a small full-tie staff, of which I was part. He offered to play a benefit concert for the station and gave me his address and phone number. I kept it for a year or two, and finally gave him a call, probably in January of 1981. He told me he was going to be in the U.S. in February and would play 3 shows: 2 to benefit WXPN and the third to benefit either the Claymont Society for Continuous Education, or Claymont Court specifically–sorry, I can’t remember which. It could have been for J.G. Bennett’s International Academy for Continuous Education, but I feel fairly certain the payment I requested from the University was sent domestically, not to England.
Robert performed three shows over the two days: one in the evening of Friday, February 20th and then two on the following day, one in the afternoon and another in the evening. All were in the auditorium of Houston Hall, the student union building at the University of Pennsylvania."
Our thanks to Al Okada for his help in preparing this release.
All previews are MP3 192kbps
Audio Source: 1/4 Inch Tape And Bootleg Cassette
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