|| Monday, 25th January 1999
09.24 #727 Sofitel.
Amy & Casey took me to Catalina's yesterday evening for the second set of Bill Bruford's Earthworks. Bill's playing is getting better. The second-generation musicians in Earthworks, from England & Scotland, are superb. As an enthusiast in the audience, and sometime Working Gigster, I recognise and acknowledge that their playing capacities are far beyond my own. As, may I say, are Bill's. And this is clearly the right project for Bill at the moment.
Late Response to the Late DGM Guestbook:
1. David Vermette: Chianti's (near Harper's Ferry) and The Iron Rail (Charles Town) were separate venues. Both were available to students of Guitar Craft courses from time to time. The Iron Rail is where a drunken blonde came in to heckle students playing in the back room (I invited her in to sit down and heckle some more).
2. The less dopey we are, the greater dope we believe ourselves to be. The less dopey we believe ourselves to be, the greater the dopiness which informs our every action, thought & feeling.
We are all dopey. In a relative & dynamic world, we are all relatively dopey; and dopier at some times more than others. But we all have a certain degree / intensity of dopiness which constitutes our personal centre of gravity. We move from this centre, and become more and less dopey, but tend to return there. This is our norm of dopiness, our dopey normalcy.
There is a particular kind of dopiness associated with living in the basement, and another kind of dopiness which belongs to the garden floor. The transition between cellar & ground floor dopinesses is critical.
There is a fundamental difference between these two kinds of dopiness which is easily recognisable: dopes on the garden floor know they are dopey. Cellar dwellers are so dopey they believe themselves to be smart. This makes them potentially dangerous, because they dream they are awake.
A characteristic of cellar dopes is they believe that other dopes have the same motivations & drives as they do. This is sometime referred to as "projection": we attribute to others what is true of us; and we ascribe to others what we know most truly in ourselves. In that we are all dopes, this is true to a degree; but the degree and intensity of truth varies between the floors. Higher floors recognise and distinguish between the universal dopiness common to us all, and the dopinesses which are personal & idiosyncratic.
So, the main characteristic by which cellar dwellers may be recognised by other dopes is this: the cellar dweller is so dopey they don't know they're dopey.
On the rungs of the ladder from the basement, to where the air is fresh and the sun shines, are the degrees of knowing of our personal dopiness. The first four rungs on this ladder from the basement are:
1. We are dopey.
2. We recognise that we are dopey.
3. We acknowledge that we are dopey.
4. We address the effects and repercussions of our dopiness.
There are varying qualities of life in the cellar. Some cellars are even quite warm, well lit, perhaps tidy. This is the cellar where we might say, "yes, I'm dopey of course, but that's the way I am. And I'm comfortable. Why do I need sunshine? My new halogen bulb is very nice". So, this happy cellar dweller climbs as far as the third rung before returning to their carpeted concrete. Other cellars are so unpleasant, or unhealthy, that ascending the ladder is a matter of life and death; that is, a real concern.
When we reach a certain rung up from the basement we discover a Friend we never knew, reaching down to help pull us up. But, that is another story.
3. Joe "I Smack The Trumpet" Manning sent a posting in the final days of the DGM Guestbook, when I continued to hold hope of unmoderated dialoguing with our listening community.
Mr. Manning refers to the removal of nude photos of my Wife from her Website. Diary visitors may recognise in Joe a regular contributor to "The Followers Of Onan": two issues daily and three on Sunday.
Joe comments: "the lady Willcox is his (i.e. Fripp's) property". Joe's comments are of interest to anyone who wishes to learn about life in the basement.
If a head is so placed that it is beyond the reach of sunshine, helpfully beaming a torch is unlikely to illuminate more than the neck. That is, the illumination offered is not of immediate use to the owner of the head. But the beam is visible to those observing this strange behaviour, and they may learn from what is revealed.
i) I have not visited my Wife's Website for many months, and am unable to make any comment on the contents of it, photographic or otherwise.
ii) Joe is better informed than I am re: the visual materials on display. He also appears to have a greater interest in them.
iii) I am unable to discern the sources for Joe's comment that Toyah is my property. My Wife is very much her own person and her independence of character and spirit is part of my ongoing & deepening respect for her. I support Toyah in her decisions & choices, and wish for her all that she wishes for herself.
iv) My Wife has the power of blessing and cursing. Joe is fortunate that Toyah has not read his letter.
v) It would seem, taking Joe's posting as sufficient to itself, that Joe "What Light On My Neck?" Manning is dopey, even exceptionally & impressively dopey. Consider the superficial evidence from his public posting:
a) A declared interest in titilating material;
b) A declared unknowing of the relationship between man & woman;
c) Demonstrating no background of the subject upon which he presents an authoritative opinion.
This, on the face of it, is just too dopey to be true. Why reveal ourselves in public as an uninformed masturbator? So, I am not prepared to believe that Joe is as stupid as he pretends to be. My interpretation of Joe's posting is this:
Joe is a Hero Soul, (at least partially) enlightened, willing and able to attract & neutralise negativity, opprobium and the contumely which a (seemingly) dopey comment like his generates; thus prompting a debate / dialogue on inter-gender relationships for the next millennium.
Bless you, Joe. But even a Malamati master need distinguish between 5/4 and five against one.
Lori Hehr called to confirm interview arrangements, and express her happiness with married life. She visited World Central on her honeymoon, but your Diarist was engaged in that part of his life marked Touring Gigster. I didn't ask Lori if she is a chattel of her husband.
Hooray! At long last Colin Bluntstone! His recent CBS compilation "Some Years" (from Colin's three solo albums) has seven tracks from "One Year" (1971). He is probably best known as the singer with The Zombies. I have been waiting to hear again "Say You Don't Mind" for years (Paul Buckmaster the arranger?). And "Misty Roses"!
Sometimes pop speaks to the place where we are all the same person; where a simplicity of form allows only sufficient time to say what has to be said, and say it directly. There is no room to miss the point, or lose focus. "Say You Don't Mind" has now played repeatedly, and quite changed my state.
John Payne of L.A. Weekly came to interview me at 14.00. He began by apologising for the description of Crimson as "prog rock pond-scum set to bum you out" (announcing our three nights at the Beverly Wilshire in 1995). But how could anyone be offended by such a dopey moniker? We adopted it as our own, and raised it on flags.
John is concerned with the current state of the mainstream record industry. This is a debate worth having in the media, but inevitably the interlocking nature of business in the US will provide its own problems when the debate becomes public. Like, mainstream companies don't tend to advertise in papers which criticise their fundamentally exploitive nature.
And exciting news from Crafty Patrick Shuleit, who works for Washburn guitars. He has persuaded a firm to manufacture the design of picks we use in Guitar Craft. Perhaps tomorrow afternoon I'll get to fondle the test batch, in the privacy of my hotel room.
Search Robert Fripp's diary archive.