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More KC 69 Now Online
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 13, 2012

You can now nab yourself two vintage bits of Crimso history via DGMLive. First up is the historic Hyde Park gig which helped bring the band to much wider world, and their next-day gig at the Marquee from their legendary run at the London club. Please note both of these gigs (with bonus tracks) are available as part of the King Crimson Collectors' Club series via the mail order shop.


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To Text Or Not To Text...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 13, 2015
My thanks to jhessell who sent in this article about how one actor handled a member of the audience texting during a performance.


Jakko Talks King & Kinks
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jul 12, 2015
A few weeks ago Jakko Jakszyk was a guest on Steve Davis's Interesting Alternative show on Phoenix FM radio. You can hear Jakko talking to Steve and co-host Kavus Torabi (of Gong, Guapo etc) and playing a selection of tracks from his musical past and present. Jakko also tells the story of how he came to be a member of The Kinks for ten days. Meanwhile tomorrow evening, Theo Travis will be joining Steve and Kavus to talk about his new album, Transgression. Tune in live at 10.00 p.m.


The Albums Not For Streaming
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jul 12, 2015
Here's a piece on ten albums that do not appear on the new Apple music streaming service. 


On This Date 31 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jul 11, 2015
The Discipline-era King Crimson played its final gig together at Le Spectrum in Montreal.



The concert, and the preceding night, appeared on the 2CD Absent Lovers, released in 1998.



Here's Robert Fripp's take on that period in the group's history.

"Absent Lovers" (recorded on the group's last two nights in Montreal, 1984) validates the group as a live unit, right up to the end. That particular end was a finish, a conclusion and a completion. No discussion followed the end of the tour, to address either working together or not working together.

We recorded the last shows on multi-track. Sensing that the end of the band might be nigh, this allowed for a possible live-album to commemorate the outfit (as with "USA"). Bill mixed the tapes for a Canadian radio broadcast, which became a bootleg (as with any radio broadcast) called "Absent Lovers". Any mix of any music is a presentation of a world-view: a sonic society of the imagination, how we see that world & our place in it. When I was given a copy of Bill's mix, it confirmed my sense of Bill's Crimson world-view, and gave deep offence. My own Crimson world-view of the same event can be found on the DGM "Absent Lovers" (with acknowledgement to David Singleton, my Ton Prob partner). Bill's is on the bootleg.

The 3 years' commitment discharged, world views divergent, we went different ways. For my part, I went to Claymont Court to allow the future to present itself, without any demand on what that future might be & require of me.

King Crimson In Paris
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jul 9, 2015
Although both nights in Utrecht have sold out there are still tickets available for King Crimson’s three-night residency in Paris.



You can grab tickets by clicking on the dates below.

20th Sept

21st Sept

22nd Sept

On This Date 41 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jul 8, 2015
On this date 41 years ago King Crimson entered Olympic Studios in London and began work on the final Crimson album of the 1970s,  Red.



There's some fab footage of Olympic Studios to be found in the Pathe News archive. You'll have to plough through some vintage footage of UK life as seen through the quirky lens of the Pathe producers first though. If you want to cut straight to the chase, you'll find it at 4.47.  There's also an ace article about the background on the studio here and an overview of the facility here.

On This Date 46 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 7, 2015
On this date in 1969, King Crimson entered Wessex Studios with Moody Blues producer, Tony Clarke at the controls.



The sessions were eventually abandoned on July 16th after the band decided they would end the relationship with Clarke and produce themselves.

Streaming To Self-Destruction
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 7, 2015
Anil Prasad of Innerviews offers his perspective on the prospects for musicians in the streaming age. Read it here. 


Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 6, 2015
Mister Stormy has been in the archive and has blown the cobwebs of a rehearsal session from 2004.



You can grab the track right here.

King Crimson Hyde Park 46 Years Ago Today
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jul 5, 2015
On this date 46 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)

You can watch it here.

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.


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