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Thanks to Mel for showing me the way to Coltrane.
:: Posted by ydebru on October 02, 2014

The Crimson Cruiser hurtled down the highway at top speed, deftly weaving and whizzing between slowly moving vehicles which presented but temporary obstacles. Downshift, and put the pedal to the metal. Floor that mofo!

Was it a rendezvous or a reunion with destiny? Who knows? What mattered was the fact that this was, short of less than a fortnight, an anniversary of a life-changing event. That date was 15 October 1973, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. For some, it was an eternity ago. For me and my friends, it was only yesterday. Tonight, it would be a different place altogether.

And why was that date so special? Well, it was the very first encounter, face to face, with a group of individuals who somehow became that good influence that your mothers always wished you had. Iím speaking about King Crimson.

In a nutshell, this band, led by the son of an estate agent from Bournemouth, Dorset, helped show me the way out of the endless miasma of lifeless packaging, of the unrelenting consumer pseudocultural world of modern-day planet Earth. But, how did that happen?

Simply think outside of the box, and donít blindly accept whatever was being shoved down your throat. Be creative, and search elsewhere, in an effort to create a better life, one worth passing on to future generations.

The sleek red sports car screeched to a halt, and the driver leapt from it like a stabbed rat. "Let me in!"

It was the venerable Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The door opened, and this spectral creature dashed in. For what reason did all this happen?

It was to share the space, once again, with those who dared to make a difference. Iím speaking about Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Jakko Jakszyk, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin, Gavin Harrison, & Bill Rieflin, modern-day sonic alchemists. It was the force of such and similar individuals who showed the way out of a boxed-in and limited world.

It was through King Crimson, forty years ago, that I escaped the world of commercial rock music and discovered new and improved spheres of existence. Grooving to Eric Dolphy, Igor Stravinsky, and Derek Bailey became a possibility. Special thanks to Messrs. Fripp, Collins, and Muir.

But I pause and ask myself, wasnít I supposed to be writing about the last 2 nights at the Orpheum Theatre? The two King Crimson concerts? Alas, Iíve digressed a wee bit too much, for my own sake.

The venue was splendid, a place where young vaudvillians tap-danced through the Roaring Twenties, and in later years, Ornette Coleman bridged the harmolodic gap between post-bop and the future. Lovingly restored, the Orpheum Theatre was a perfect place.

The band was uncharacteristically not punctual, but I believe that this was deliberate. Admonishments were delivered by Fripp & company to the audience. Simply put, it was get those bloody smartphones out of your hands, and enjoy the show. Many spectators shivered subsequently, wishing to grab their iphone like a junkie grabs his bent spoon. But the wise ushers kept our hands off our toys of distraction, and soon it was íon with the showí.

The sound was great, and it looked like every seat gave the spectator a good view of the proceedings. Soon the percussionists were evoking the legacy of Jamie Muir, as they tapped away on their tiny bells, whistles, toys, and other tools of sonic scintillation. Larks Tongues In Aspic, Part One, roared into place, a full-blown spectacle which brought the crowd to their feet, the first of many ecstatic standing ovations.

Like an intricate Chinese puzzle, the musicians were part of a greater whole, and not all of us could grasp as to how it was put together. But, boy oh boy, was it fun trying to figure that out.

The concert continued with a blend of the old and new, with íPictures Of A Cityí, íThe Lettersí, and íSailorís Taleí making an unexpected appearance, in between pieces new to my ears, like íVROOOMí and many others which will now become more familiar to my worn and aged ears.

Quite a bit of material was performed, but unfortunately some works were omitted. I pine for the sounds of íLizardí onstage.

Although it might be easy to pore over every minute detail, there are but a finite number of seconds in the life of a being, and that time must be well spent.

The last 2 nights of King Crimson were such times indeed.

Thank you DGM, KC, and all at Orpheum
:: Posted by masanori on October 02, 2014

Thank you DGM, KC, and all at Orpheum for working hard on NO camera/filming/recoding policy. I had much much much much better environment on the 2nd LA show. Perhaps other people did, too.

As for the KC performance, I think I enjoyed on 1st Oct much more than on 30th Sept. On 1st Oct I might have been too shocked by less connection with the one in 2008, and also with all KC shows I had attended before. Probably in terms of interpretation onstage, I am talking about (instead of setlist). From my in-venue experience (not from recorded video/audio) I have an impression that between 1980s and 2008 there had been always much deeper/thicker connection with previous incarnation. Like still somewhere on the line which was expanded from previous incarnation. But what I saw on last two nights seemed not like that. Like being located at some distance from the line all of a sudden. This might have been the reason why I felt I enjoyed the 1st Oct show more.

So on 1st Oct, instead of the final 3, 4 tunes, in terms of the musical performance some tunes in the earlier part of the show sounded strongest musically. For example, one from the earliest catalogue, another from the repertoires which KC have played most in recent years.

Grooveshark & Who Owns the Future
:: Posted by emory0 on October 02, 2014

Gotta say Iím glad to see Grooveshark get bopped on the snout.

This reminds me of a repeated pattern that Jaron Lanier discusses in his book, Who Owns the Future?.

His basic premise is that there are a lot of modern internet companies and startups that have a business model based on vampirically tapping into reserves of ívalueí created by others, and then extracting that value out to the investors in the vampiric company. One "obvious" example is Google itself, which is in effect selling the results of searches other humans have done out to advertisers.

In the US we also have this company called Uber, which allows private individuals to give rides to other private individuals for payment through their system. They claim they donít need to obey local laws and regulations governing taxi cabs, because itís one private individual transacting with another. In smaller towns this is already pushing cab companines to the brink of extinction. In silicon valley circles this is called "disruption" but what itís actually doing is wrecking the livelihood of cab companies and replacing it with a fleet of unregulated "make a couple of bucks" drivers who canít and donít intend to make a living from the service.

Grooveshark, of course, thought they were "disrupting" music distribution by in effect bypassing copyrights and in effect buidling a business model (probably advertising-based) around extracting the (little) value those songs may have provided their creators. With a capitalist mindset you could argue, "this is the natural equilibrium of the market", but true or not the result is the mediocre, lifeless music of the current generation.

LA 2nd show
:: Posted by deagan1 on October 02, 2014

awesome 2 hr set....really appreciate not getting "One More red Nightmare" tonight...wtf... of course I had no expectations...

Answer from Tour Box
:: Posted by jhessel on October 01, 2014

My question for Robert Fripp was, "Who rewrote the lyrics of 21stCentury Schizoid Man and will they be published?"  The answer is in the Tour Box. Answer #1 Peter Sinfield  Answer #2 Yes, they are printed in the Tour Box booklet.


Still enjoying my memories of the Thursday and Saturday NYC shows!!

Wishlist for Toronto
:: Posted by busterboy on October 01, 2014

Having been a livelong fan, seen many great shows at Massey Hall as well as many smaller clubs, Krimson has always included Toronto on all their tours, many times to awesome reviews! Iím saddened that this tour neglected a huge fan base, only to do multiple shows in american venues...Please Uncle Bobbie, if you can stir up the Beast once more, donít neglect your patriotic Krim Heads in Toronto. PS. youíd sold out Massey Hall!!

David Bowie Is
:: Posted by caseyjbye on October 01, 2014

Curious if any of the band or crew made it to the incredible David Bowie Is exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art while in Chicago (although I suppose someone lived through bits of it). It was the perfect way to spend three hours before the Krimson show this past Saturday. Anyone else in Chicago, I highly recommend it (lots of Belew and a bit of Fripp guitar on the audio portion of the exhibit).

Burning Question for Robert Fripp
:: Posted by microbunny on October 01, 2014

What ever happened to the complete fully mastered 24-track "third" Fripp & Eno album entitled "Healthy Colours" of which we got a taste on the "Essential Fripp & Eno" CD compilation?

I understand from a 1981 Frippertronics Q&A in Philadelphia that Brian has it somewhere...

A Lester Bangs interview with Eno conducted during a Fripp & Eno recording session from this time, describes creating loops for Jon Hassell to perform some solo trumpet on top.
Did this ever happen or could this still happen 35 years later?

This would fill an important musical link to Fripp & Eno and the historically beloved "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" & "Remain in Light" works with David Byrne and Talking Heads.

Any chance this might one day see the light of day?

Starless box
:: Posted by kevred on October 01, 2014

The Starless box looks very impressive. To all those who have an interest in this period of Crim, or who have enjoyed the Larks or Red live stuff, but not yet taken in this period of live work, I have a succinct message:


For my taste, this is the most fiery and interesting phase of this lineup of the band. This period, which (for me) culminates in the magnificent German shows in March & April of í74 -  is full of exciting experimentation. Songs like "Doctor Diamond" and "Great Deceiver", which would later fall out of the setlists, are tweaked and played with, sounding different every time. And the improvs are wonderfully interesting, some more quiet and prowling, others more bombastic, and itís interesting to hear bits and pieces along the way that would coalesce in the stellar "Asbury Park" improv from íUSAí. To my own ears, this is the perfect "sweet spot" of live Wetton-era Crimson, more focused than what came just before and looser, wilder, and more experimental than what would follow on the final U.S. tour.

And the sounds quality on those "Blue Tapes" shows is terrific. I have the KCCC discs from that series, and a few DGMLive shows as well, and itís really worth hearing for both musical content and sound quality.

For me, that leads to a bit of a quandary. As someone whoís avidly purchased a lot of this material in the past, Iím now looking at an expensive purchase for essentially just four shows that I donít already have (or have access to through DGMLive) - the four as-yet-unreleased Blue Tapes shows. (Of course, that leaves out all of the work involved in remastering, mixing, and the booklet itself that differentiates this set.) Having paid $100 (plus travel) to see the current band in Madison recently, the idea of $55 per show for these new recordings in a series I already love is not easy but still alluring. I hope that someone who buys the set right away will post a review of these never-before-released shows (Avignon, Besancon, Dieburg, Gottingen).

Starless box download ticket
:: Posted by WhiskeyVengeance on October 01, 2014

Just saw the tracklist for the Starless box - yowza! Exciting stuff. But what show will be available via the included download ticket?

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