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Ian McDonald's birthday
:: Posted by Frank78 on June 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to Ian! I hope he’s doing fine. I think no one can deny Ian’s key contribution to KC’s first two albums in many aspects: beautiful and fine compositions (I talk to the wind, The court of the crimson king, possibly Cadence and cascade, Cat food, The devil’s triangle...), virtuosic playing (many memorable sax & flute passages and solos), song arrangements (probably of almost all songs of the 1st album). And let’s not forget he contributed his magnificent sax playing to One more red nightmare and Starless again in 1974
Also, the LP McDonald & Giles (in some way, a lost KC album) is absolutely wonderful. In fact, it’s one of my all-time favourite albums. And I’m sure it’s many people’s too.
I had the privilege of meeting Ian McDonald, talk to him and stretch his hand in Madrid, 2003, when whe played there with the 21st Century Schizoid Band. He seemed to me a very humble and warm person.
As far as I know, Ian and Robert Fripp appreciate one another very much. Also, Ian played together with Jakko and Mel when they all were members of the 21st CSB. So, I just hope that, at some point, the current KC lineup calls Ian McDonald up to join them on stage for some dates. That would be SO ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!

Happy Bday to Ian.
:: Posted by starmore on June 25, 2014

I got in some trouble with the Venal Leader with an inarticulate post that stated Ian should have been involved with the re-remastering of ITCOTCK and  that Fripp “owed” him for basically being the primary architect of the success of that album and thus the foundation of the name “King Crimson “. That is pushing it a bit (sometimes it seems the only way to get noticed online is to be “provocative”; when people agree they are not as motivated to respond). The main point is just that Ian’s contribution to both Court  (and some of  the Poseidon material) was simply HUGE

 Industry-wise Lake was the breakout star/lead singer, but the rest really featured Ian in a huge way. Schizoid Man did also feature the first glimpse of  the future trademark Fripp laser soloist  and guitar gymnastics and was the most group written tune, but the overdubbed horn section and twisting  (almost Belew-y, certainly Dolph-y) avant solo are 100% Ian.

“I talk to the Wind “was mostly about McDonald and Giles, a Beatles-esque  flute and drum showcase with good lyrics.

Greg Lake claimed “Epitaph” was basically his song (he also said the guitar part of Court was his), and to be fair Lake’s future work does sound a lot like “Epitaph “(and the guitar bit on the end verse of “Court”) . But not the arrangement, which is a wonderful musical orchestration by Ian on ‘tron and clarinet and towards the end is again a multi-tracked McDonald &Giles showcase. This type of ending became a template for future Crimson.   The same thing with the title track, Ian again outdoes himself with the vocal arrangement, the basic song itself ,tasteful Mellotronics, and the flute solo; then the ending is again basically McDonald and Giles.

“Moonchild” and the improv bring Fripp forward in a tentative way (If you you know MST3K,  the film Monster a Go-Go features a very familiar sounding dream-like Jazz  noodling guitar as we see a “monster” walking down a hallway, and Joel says “He’s sneaking past Robert Fripp’s room!” ), yet again Ian comes in with a vibe solo that just makes it work and bridges the guitar/drum interplay. It was well said that Ian contributed “sheer musicality”. He was like the Gil Evans of the band and really deserves a lot of the credit.


It is really sad that “Birdman” was not a Crimso song, and kind of ironic that Ian’s guitar playing on that tune is so Fripp-y (with a touch of Badge-Clapton /Harrison thrown in)

Oh why was there never a follow up to Mcdonald and Giles !!!

It should be re-mastered too!  In short, Ian rules! 

McD & G was remastered in 2002 with liner notes by yours truly


Ian McDonald
:: Posted by Frippouille on June 25, 2014

Happy birthday to Ian McDonald! And thanks to him for the sublime and timeless music of the grrreat grrreat record «McDonald & Giles».

With or without Belew
:: Posted by DannyX on June 25, 2014

After Adrian joined the band, I don’t think they played any material from previous incarnations except instrumentals (and possibly a heavily distorted "Schizoid Man"). It seems only fair that they do they same now...any pre-Adrian material, but only instrumentals from his tenure with the band.

Absent Lovers
:: Posted by jblock on June 25, 2014

I believe the track Albemuth refers to as "(nameless)" is Absent Lovers, available on the March 10, 1982 download. While there are lots of downloads from the end of 1981, I agree that more downloads from early 1982 would be welcomed. I suggest a bundle of the short US tour from late February through early March 1982.

Three Cheers
:: Posted by davidly on June 25, 2014

First, to Ian McDonald on his birthday. It is nice that this forum offers a place for such recognition, and recognition of his irreplaKceable contributions to Crimson.

SeKcond, John Slywka’s USA touch to Road to Red is brilliant. Pun intended.

Third, but not last (maybe even first?), ZaneCox offers a great way to look at our nightly adventures and perhaps a nice strategy for those who have trouble getting their day started. Swing your perspeKctive.

Ian Mcdonald's Birthday
:: Posted by holmini on June 25, 2014

I take this opportunity for birthday wishes for Ian McDonald.

"In the court of the crimson king" still remains a straw of hope  in difficult times ...

I also loved the Versions you played with Steve Hackett and  Chester Thompson in more recent times.

Thank you so much for your contributions - A Happy Day for you, friends and family.

Bootlegging, Royalties, and the Undisciplined
:: Posted by albemuth on June 24, 2014

I agree with Undisciplined about the Mining Rocks bootleg.  That is one of two KC bootlegs that I bought, primarily because it contained tracks that were never released.  (The other one was from 1973 and contained Doctor Diamond.) 

Mining Rocks has a version of The Howler before it had lyrics or melody line.  I enjoyed KC as an instrumental band and, even then, was more interested in Adrian Belew as a guitarist than as a singer-songwriter (although he is very good at both).

The track called "(nameless)" on the bootleg was one of my favorites.  This was certainly one of the pieces that I heard KC play live, probably on this same tour (I saw them at Princeton University).  It was very effective live and the Mining Rocks recording is good enough to make it seem like a very interesting piece.  As I’ve said, I liked the repetition, the big sounds, and the sense of wide open spaces (which seems to happen a lot in KC).  I even tried my hand at transcribing "(nameless)" but am sure I did not do a very good job! 

I have not looked through all of the DGM releases but there does not seem to be a lot from this period (late 1981 and early 1982).  It would be nice to have a better recording of "(nameless)."  When I heard it live, it seemed like the perfectly logical next step after Discipline.  But maybe the band was afraid of repeating itself.  If so, then that is too bad!  Remember Piet Mondrian.  KC could have called the album Broadway Boogie Woogie. 

Alternate caption for the
:: Posted by kevred on June 23, 2014

"A Band and Luncheonette"

As a bonus, just one degree of separation from Fripp in either direction.

Soundscapes at the Society for Ethical Culture
:: Posted by emory0 on June 23, 2014

"We were instantly connected with all of the horror that had intervened on 9/11"

That was consciously my feeling at the time: This performance was about "getting over" 9/11, kind of a gentle reminder of something we New Yorkers sought to collectively bury, and then a sort of invitation to a longer-term healing process. It felt a lot like excruciating Chinese massage (tui na), digging down into your muscles and getting muscles locked deeply in spasm to open up once again.

I remember seeing at few women leave the performance in the middle, dragging reluctant boyfriends, but my feeling about them was that they meant no disrespect, but were closer to their feelings than most men and simply couldn’t (or didn’t want to) take part in the process that was being unfolded.

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