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:: Posted by gregjames on January 15, 2013
Thank you Robert for your Jan. 4 diary posting, esp. the final paragraph which moved me to tears:
... Home. In the past three years I have lost a number of people that I felt for dearly. But, adopting Uncle Billís no complaining, only reporting - with the joy that life brings, loss accompanies that life leaving. In the larger picture, nothing of value is lost. No-one leaves: more like, in the next room; and sometimes we can call to each other...
As is so often the case, you are able to convey so much with so few words. The recent death of my "no complaining, only reporting" father (who grew up during WWII near Tavistock) has enabled me to experience the meaning of your writing during this narrow window of time all the more profoundly. Thank you for sharing your wisdom/insight and please accept my heartfelt condolences to you in this, your time of loss.
:: Posted by alliespop on January 15, 2013
So sorry to hear of the loss of a dear uncle to Robert and Patricia. Salt of the earth is what he seemed to be. My prayers and condolences for all.
:: Posted by alliespop on January 15, 2013
"By being present". Yes! Absolutely.
I have to say the last few months have been a psychological nightmare for me. Fear, utter depression, anxiety, awfulness. I call this being stuck in my own brain - in a dreamworld, maybe an unpresent, state. It wouldnít go away. Interestingly, life was devoid of music during this time as I prayed to get off the gerbel wheel of crap! But playing my guitar during the lulls helped immensely and pulled me out into the sunlight on a permanent basis.
Looking back on my past Iíve always attributed these times to not getting out of the shell and seeing what is around me. (Could this be the basement? I suppose I am drawing myself into the basement). An action which helped bring me out was to open my eyes to the reality that is life in front of me was service to my fellow human (which would include my kids and wife who took a back seat to my misery, unfortunately).
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others", Ghandi is quoted as saying. This gets the old mind off of self. I always recall a song that pulls me back to reality in "Iíve Seen all Good People" with "...donít surround yourself with yourself...". Music, again, to heal and bring back reality as a present life.
I donít know what causes people to dwell in the basement and draw people in other than they may need company down there as misery often needs. I, at times, am too busy drawing myself into this wretched place and then crawling back out.
Keep plunking away and let the music speak to you always. Happy New Year to all!
Punk's (Not The Vicar's) Integrity
:: Posted by Slipstream on January 15, 2013
The stupid attitude against Prog by the late 70s onwards was mostly of the rock pressí doing, with the public buying it afterwards, rather than by the punkers themselves and their direct admirers; sure John Lydon wore a "I Hate Pink Floyd" t-shirt but he also loved (and still does) VdGG and Peter Hammill as well as later admitting to liking some Genesis and Jethro Tull; John Peel later on favoured punk and punk-related acts but, as far as Iím concerned, didnít abandon prog acts like Pink Floyd and Soft Machine.
This idea that punk holds no artistic value I think is as untrue as saying that all proggers are "art-school wankers": both based on misconceptions and resistance to actually listen to alien music. So, the Sex Pistols were basically an ensemble put together to sell records under the claim that they were there to destroy rock music forever, or rather, they were used that way by Malcolm McLaren, but it is a long stretch to say that for EVERY punk act.
I fail to see something other than pure talent and artistic integrity coming out of bands like The Clash, for example, and even when punk became a commercial trend, there were still great hardcore bands such as Black Flag and Minor Threat thriving as well as "post-punk" groups like The Fall (one of my favourite bands of all time), Joy Division and even John Lydonís excellent Public Image Ltd.
What about early-indie bands like R.E.M. and Pavement, clearly inspired by punk? Can the songs they made be discarded as nothing at all? "Wolves, Lower" and "Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse)"?
The bombastic, "stereotypic" Prog fell by itís own admission, bands like ELP and (to some extent) Yes became too pompous for their own sake and had nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. Yet, prog acts that never bore such character to their music like Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Van der Graaf (Generator) not only evolved and actually progressed during the same time (1975-1981) but also released some of their best records ever. "Animals", my most beloved album by the Floydsters, is from 1977!
The idea that Prog "the ultimate art form" was drowned and killed by punk "the commercial tactic" is as wrong as saying that Rome fell in 476 A. D. when the Byzantine Empire lasted until 1453 A. D., and it creates the dangerous (and elitist) view that nothing to come out of punk is worth anything other than plain sneer - I donít buy it and I donít think anybody with a real interest in music should too.
To finish it, punk and itís values cannot be blamed for the "state of music" of today; that is a doing of industrial interests to feed the mass culture, the result of when music becomes a product.
But then, I agree with Brian Eno and Henry Rollins that thereís good music being done today as much as in the past, if not more so, but the problem is, you have to dig deeper since the pile is higher, however, when you do it, you can find a lot of wonders. Want an example? May I suggest you listen to a French band I discovered only recently, the name is Jean Louis, their eponymous album was recorded in 2008 and I think their current one, Morse, is as good as the previous - I wholeheartedly recommend both!
:: Posted by emory0 on January 15, 2013
Q: When one is surrounded by what youíve termed basement commentary, how does one avoid being sucked into it?
A: By being present.
Now thatís the crux of the matter.
The really tragic thing here is that one protection from an overwhelmingly toxic situation is basically just to shut down and go into the basement. That is, in fact, how I suspect basement behavior is learned and becomes ingrained: Itís a survival strategy. And indeed, assailers may be assailing one precisely because they detect someone attempting to escape from the cycle of autonomic behavior. Retreating into the basement may not stop the abuse, but it allows the abuser to perhaps relax a bit because the abuse-ee is now predictable.
Several times in recent years Iíve found myself in a fairly intolerable situation and decided to go in "awake" and present. The difficulty is that being awake doesnít necessarily equip one to change the situation in an obvious way. That may indeed be beyond oneís capabilities. And also, being awake means being awake to oneís own pain, which sucks.
On the other hand, NOT being awake/present pretty much guarantees that the whole situation will recur and never get resolved. And perhaps true basement dwellers have never experienced resolution so that they donít truly believe itís available, hence continued basement dwelling is arguably a logical strategy for self-protection.
PROG X PUNK
:: Posted by GonzalezPaulo on January 15, 2013
"The progressive rock of the 70ís was a victim of its own excesses....."
Now thatís been alway the narrative.... But that view is relative. The "victim of its own excesses" came from the punk & new wave press and bands. And it has been perpetrated since. Punk bands and press loved to repeat over and over about the "cliches" of progressive rock. But does the majority of the previous generation think like that? (I think Fripp does. On the other hand Greg Lake doesnít).
But what those "excesses" would be? Excess of good melodies (soft or hard)? Excess of musical sophistication? Excess of some simpler songs? Excess of good players? Excess of too-long songs? Excess of some short ones too?
To me, speaking as a POP and PROG fan, those are not excesses: those varied qualities should be present, normally, in music.
"Did the prog movement cycled?"
Did HEAVY-METAL cycled? It is here to this day.
Did PUNK cycled? It branched into new-wave, post-punk, grunge and indie-rock. It changed its name, but the essence is there. Even if you admit that "the movement" is dead, the punk ethos keeps producing its effects to this day.
Did DISCO died? It morphed in the early 80ís into HI-NRG DISCO, EURO-DISCO and then, HOUSE-MUSIC, ELECTRO-DISCO, NU-DISCO.... but whenever you hear that "thump thump thump" in a HOUSE song, it will always be disco.
Did PROG cycled? It ended by the end of the 70ís, but was reborn in the early 80ís in the form of NEO-PROG. it survived away from the mainstream into the 90ís, the 2000ís and it is still around.
And Punk? Didnít it have its own excesses / cliches?
:: Posted by garbonzo on January 15, 2013
Noticed photo of .006 string on the RF on-line diary. What is the application and/or advantage of using a string gauge of such gossamer dimension? I play often in the NST using the .007 gauge (O4+) strings and have little difficulty in getting them up to and maintaining the A4 pitch. Am curious to know how Mr. Fripp employs this gauge of string...perhaps on his electric guitars?
are you sure about that?
:: Posted by Undisciplined on January 14, 2013
See? It wasnít anything new on a musical level, but the music press made one out of it.... And it received a high degree of CREDIBILITY: enough to finish the carrear of many established 70ís bands... enough to finish progressive rock in the 70ís, which became nothing but a joke in the press. Those bands which didnít end, morphed into POP in order to survive.
Thatís always been the narrative, but doesnít completely stand up to scrutiny. The progressive rock of the 70ís was a victim of its own excesses and the movement had already cycled. So, if punk killed it off, those bands wouldíve occupied the charts and filled arenas. Instead, punk was soon out of business, and some changed with the times. Meanwhile, several members of those 70ís progressive bands managed to keep themselves busy and continue their careers through the 80ís and beyond.
:: Posted by arrcee on January 14, 2013
I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Robert & the entire Fripp family on the loss of his Uncle Bill. Quite an extraordinary gentleman.
i would love to see a acoustic King Crimson tour
:: Posted by derek123 on January 14, 2013
Dear My Fripp,
All my best
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