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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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On This Date...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 11, 2016
The '80s quartet incarnation of King Crimson played their final show together on this date 32 years ago in Montreal's Le Spectrum. The show, regarded as one of the finest they did by some observers, was released as Absent Lovers in 1998.



On This date 47 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 5, 2016
On this date 47 years ago, King Crimson wowed the 650,000 strong crowd in London's Hyde Park. Supporting The Rolling Stones, the gig played in pivotal role in establishing Crimso at an early point in their career.



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.



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.



Frame By Frame
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 4, 2016
We don't usually link to cover versions of King Crimson's material but Petra Haden's a cappella rendition isn't exactly run of the mill. Check it out here.


On This Date...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 1, 2016
On this date 42 years ago Bill Bruford, David Cross, John Wetton and Robert Fripp stepped onto the stage in New York's Central Park to play their final concert.






Well Fancy That...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jun 30, 2016
Theft and deceit in the music industry? Surely not! It seems the person with the responsibility for overseeing Russia's music industry collecting society has been arrested following allegations of fraud. Read the details here.  


RFSQ Video Goes Live
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 29, 2016
A 15 minute excerpt from the Robert Fripp String Quintet's 1992 appearance in Japan is now available for your listening and viewing pleasure on the DGMLive Youtube channel. Featuring Trey Gunn and the California Guitar Trio, the video provides a ringside seat as the team serve up the Fripp / Gunn improv, Firescape, The Moving Force and Bert Lams' beautiful piece, Asturias. Watch it here.


Look Over Yondr
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 27, 2016
For anyone who has had their concert ruined by their neighbours constantly texting and snapping on their phones, Yondr may have come up with a solution to make gigs a phone-free zone. Read all about it here and here. 


Happy Birthday Ian McDonald
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jun 25, 2016
King Crimson founding member, Ian McDonald celebrates his birthday today.

 

The man whose writing and multi-instrumental talents played an such essential and pivotal role in establishing King Crimson on the world stage in 1969, is 70 years old today. So raise a glass of your favourite tipple in Ian's honour and shout out your favourite McDonald moment!

WillyFred Flies Away
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 22, 2016
An update from Robert via his Facebook page.

WillyFred, Prince Of Rabbits, flew from this world c. 11.02 on this morning, Wednesday 22nd. July, 2016, immediately, gently, peacefully.
T carried Wilf down to his prepared space in the garden by the rose arbour, and laid him to rest. A beautiful creature, and a joyful presence, in our lives for eight years and nine months.
WillyFred c. 10.15...





Fragile As A Song
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Jun 22, 2016
Tony Levin, who is currently out on tour with Peter Gabriel and Sting, has published a book of poetry.  Fragile As A Song is only available directly from Tony and you can find out more about this latest publication here


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