|GC Down Mexico Way
|:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Feb 15, 2012
Robert Fripp will be directing an introduction to the Guitar Circle in Mexico in 2013. You can check out the details over on the Guitar Circle website.
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Practice May Not Make Perfect
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 7, 2014
My thanks to BornCynic who posits this nugget of information: "I believe that Mr Fripp has stated that he had no natural ability when picking up the guitar - but did he have the right genes?"
On This Date 45 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jul 5, 2014
On this date 45 years ago, King Crimson supported The Rolling Stones at the now legendary free concert in Hyde Park. The concert was a crucial milestone for Crimson who at that point had played just 23 gigs.
When Crimson took to the stage they restricted themselves to a truncated set consisting of 21st Century Schizoid Man, In The Court Of The Crimson King, Get Thy Bearings, Epitaph, Mantra, Travel Weary Capricorn and Mars. Dik Fraser recalls that during the opening number a large framed photograph of Brian Jones fell, almost catching Greg Lake. The bass player shrugged off the mishap, but several people backstage thought it was some kind of augury or supernatural manifestation.
It was a good day for Crimson, however. The newest member of the road crew, Richard Vickers (better known as Vick), recalled in his memoir of that period: "The high point of that gig was the whole audience rising to their feet as one and cheering Ian McDonald solo during ‘Schizoid’ — I remember the hairs on the back of my spine rising in unison as the roar from this huge crowd went up."
In the crowd stood Jamie Muir. Having only recently moved down from Edinburgh, the future Crimson percussionist was then playing with free improvisers such as John Stevens and Derek Bailey. He was impressed by the force Crimson created. "What was incredible was that they just exploded on to the scene fully matured. Most bands come along and then develop but Crimson just came on and exploded with this very adult, intelligent, cutting-edge music. It was just this whole package that went wallop!"
Fourteen-year-old Trevor Lever, attending his first concert, found Crimson perplexing. "At one point I thought an orchestra was playing but through my binoculars saw only four blokes on the stage. 'Where’s the orchestra?' I asked a mate. 'Dunno,' was the informed reply. 'Who is this playing?' I said to no-one in particular. 'King something,' I was told. I made a mental note to check this band out at a later stage." It was the start of a love affair with Crimson which Lever — who has seen shows by every incarnation of the band — continues to this day.
Crimson finished as usual with “Mars” (complete with an air raid siren being cranked up from underneath the stage by Enthoven and Fraser). Enthoven, celebrating his 25th birthday that day, regards this as the defining moment of the launch of King Crimson. McDonald agrees that it was the point at which Crimson arrived, but adds: "It would sound blasé to say that this was just another gig for us, though in a sense it was; we were having a great time discovering and enjoying our music, but we were also experienced enough individually not to be too greatly affected by any particular venue."
Sinfield was less than impressed with the set that day, feeling that the band was below par. Lake disagrees: "It was the first open-air gig that Crimson played and to that extent it wasn't as sonically controlled as the ones indoors. Pete didn't have his lights to play with but it was an extraordinary show." In his diary, Fripp noted: "Standing ovation. Mammoth success, of importance which will take time to appreciate. We'll look back to see this day in years to come and fully realise its significance."
Lake observes: "I think that even if that Hyde Park thing hadn't have happened, I don't think it would have affected the popularity of King Crimson. The band had spread like wildfire." Certainly the next night when Crimson played their regular slot at The Marquee, the club was packed. Sinfield regards that gig as infinitely superior to Hyde Park. "The Marquee the next night. NOW that was a humdinger! Oh yes indeedy!" McDonald in his diary notes that the band certainly picked up a few new admirers. "Went to the Marquee. Did gig. Came back with nine chicks (!)"
Crimson continued to surf a wave of critical approval. Richard Gott in The Guardian's review of Hyde Park asserted: "Most of the music, with the exception of a sensational group called King Crimson, was indifferent." And B.P. Fallon in that week's Melody Maker raved: "King Crimson are going to be giants. Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps. Give it a year and we'll know. No dammit. Six months will do. Really..."
A more considered verdict was delivered by Richard Gilbert in The Listener. "King Crimson played again at the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park and their confidence in careering from the gritty to the lyrical won them a massive and deserved ovation... if their records can match their live performances they will survive all the bandwagon leaping."
For years it was assumed that there was no footage of Crimson other than a brief glimpse of an off-stage Fripp peering at Mick Jagger through the potted plants on the Stones In The Park DVD. Minutes later, Fripp and other KC members were unceremoniously thrown out of the back stage area.
However a five-minute snippet was eventually surfaced and was included on the 2009 40th Anniversary Edition of In The Court Of The Crimson King
(available from Inner Knot
and Burning Shed
The audience recording of the concert was officially released on CD as KCCC12 in 2002
and is also available as a download from this site.
Were you there at this concert? We'd love to hear from you if so. Get in touch via the guestbook and share you memories of this important concert in the KC calendar.
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jul 3, 2014
After the Venturing Unto Joy Part 1 clip went live earlier this week, Gavin Harrison took a listen and said to himself "Hang on, that’s Pat Mastelotto on drums as well!" A phone call from Jakko to DGMLive Towers then pointed out the error in the shownotes and listing details, which have now been amended. Our apologies to Pat for airbrushing him out of this particular Hot Tickle KC moment.
The First Download?
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jul 2, 2014
My thanks to The Dork Report for sending in this particular head-scratcher. Can anyone help? "A new article by Vice has identified the first official digital download as "Head First" by Aerosmith, June 27, 1994.
I’m digging deep into my college-age memories here, but does anybody else remember "Cage" being available as an official download on the nascent world wide web? This would have been circa late 1994, around the time the VROOOM EP landed. I also remember David Bowie releasing "Telling Lies" as a digital single a year or two later.
Is my memory deceiving me, or does King Crimson deserve some recognition as pioneers in the (legit) digital download biz"
a few hours after posting the above news item this came in from via Salex33 the guestbook:
I checked the ET newletter archive. There is one mention of a Cage Digital
download made by Chris Van Allen on Friday 11 August 1995.
It seems it
was avaliable at this address:
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 1, 2014
There's been a lot of interest on Facebook about the brass band on Segways playing 21st Century Schizoid Man. Now here's trumpet player Mederic Collignon with his take on LTIA Pt2. Thanks to EnoMan for the link.
Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 30, 2014
Want to hear a bit of the latest line-up of King Crimson? Well, thanks to Mister Stormy, now you can!
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