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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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Can You Just Sign These?
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Sep 6, 2012
Long term readers of Robert Fripp's diary will know his views on invasive autography. Here's Henry Rollins' take on the subject. 

Steven Wilson's Guiding Light Award
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Sep 6, 2012
The first Progressive Music Awards were held in London's Kew Gardens last night and amongst the winners was Steven Wilson who picked up the Guiding Light award. You can read more about the other winners here. Interestingly the awards were picked up by the mainstream media with BBC's Breakfast show running a news item and this on the BBC's news site.  

Discipline-era KCCCs Available As Downloads
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Sep 3, 2012
Here's a bunch of concerts that have previously only been available either via the KCCC or DVD.

July 30th 1982 (This concert was originally released as KCCC 26 in 2004)

August 2nd 1982 (This concert was originally released as KCCC37 in 2008)

August 26th 1982 (Tracks 1 - 6 were originally released on KCCC4 in 1999)

August 27th 1982 (This download now contains Thela Hun Ginjeet and Red which were not included on the Frejus DVD)

September 29th 1982 (This concert was originally released as KCCC32 in 2006). 

UMG - The Story So Far
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Sep 3, 2012
UMG has been selling King Crimson material for years without rights or permission. UMG has been told of this on many occasions and has promised to cease. UMG continues to register sales of the material, reporting sales, as recently as April 2012. UMG is in the midst of a takeover of EMI. This has been referred to the European Commission as it would give UMG (already the largest record company by far), near monopoly status in many EU countries. It is also being scrutinised by the FTC in the USA. 

In August, UMG offered to sell some of its catalogues and some EMI catalogues in an effort to placate the EC. Listed among those catalogues as circulated for sale was the same King Crimson material that UMG has been selling without permission. When this was discovered we approached UMG who told us it was due to “an error of inclusion on an early list that had been corrected and the EC was aware of this”. The EC rejected this, stating that it had only circulated material “provided specifically by UMG” and “not by error on an earlier version”. To the best of our knowledge the King Crimson material was only removed from the EC lists following a complaint from Panegyric.

We wrote again to UMG. The senior lawyer who told us of the early lists (responding on behalf of the UMG CEO), wrote to us again yesterday repeating UMG’s “early list/error” position and refusing to address the broader issues of UMG copyright infringement. Panegyric’s latest response to UMG on the EC submissions and related copyright infringements on behalf of King Crimson, DGM and the label is detailed below:

Dear Mr. Carmel,

Thanks for your reply.

The "substantive difference" between the EC position and your own is that you sought, both in your initial reply on behalf of UMG CEO Mr. Grainge and now, to distance yourself from responsibility for the inclusion of King Crimson material with this "two lists" sideshow to which you appear to be the sole subscriber.

The European Commission sees no uncertainty here. Again, let me quote from the EC reply:

I would also like to indicate that contrary to Universal's claim the Commission relied on the formal documentation provided specifically by Universal for the purpose of the market test with third parties and not by error on an earlier version.

"Formal documentation provided specifically by Universal" - It's worth repeating as your stated position on behalf of your CEO contradicts this.

"Specifically", in my understanding, is not a word that leaves room for misinterpretation.

Furthermore, my specific understanding is that the King Crimson material was only withdrawn from the fully circulated list after I saw the lists and complained to the EC. Perhaps this is incorrect? I'll copy the EC officers on this reply in case I am mistaken.

It’s important that we can all be clear about the sequence of events.

By your own admission, UMG placed King Crimson rights, which the company does not control, on a list submitted to the EC for divestment purposes as part of its assurances to the EC that UMG’s takeover of EMI represents no threat to competition in the industry.

Irrespective of how many lists were submitted, the fact that rights to King Crimson still appear, incorrectly, on internal UMG lists in July 2012 is at the heart of many of the problems that UMG continues to cause to the musicians, owners and licensees of this material.

UMG's inaccurate rights lists have circulated within the company since the takeover of Sanctuary in 2007.

The reasons why this is important are numerous, but I'll briefly detail just three of them here:

1) Such inaccurate lists must be, in part, the basis for UMG's continued digital sales of the material up to and including sales in 2011, often without payment. Again I remind you that UMG never had such rights. Such sales may continue. We have no way of knowing just as UMG appears to have no way of determining whether or not such sales continue and no apparent method of stopping them if they do. Physical sales also continued into 2011, including sales recorded in the UK.

2) This is indicative of a systemic and continued failure within UMG to control its own digital or physical sales of the material and a key reason why the EC should take a more robust view of any plans for further expansion. If UMG cannot, in 2012, distinguish between that which it does and does not control as a result of a takeover dating from 2007, what chance is there that a far larger takeover now proposed can be managed correctly?

3) UMG's lawyers, Mr. Smith and Mr. Fisher, gave us repeated assurances that such sales could not continue. Sales continued. Mr. Smith in 2007, Mr. Smith (again) in 2008, Mr. Fisher in 2009 and later – each was adamant that sales would not continue. Sales continued. We complained. UMG chose not to address the issues but instead to appoint an expensive external lawyer, a Mr. Howard who, in the words of Mr. Fisher in 2010 "may take a far more aggressive stance". Mr. Fisher's solution did not correct the inaccurate documents claiming rights, did not prevent UMG's digital rights departments offering or accepting payment from further sales and did nothing to stop subsequent physical sales taking place. Mr. Fisher's appointment of Mr. Howard merely established a further block between the two companies with an implied bully boy ethos via the threatened "far more aggressive stance". Sales continued. These actions raise serious questions about UMG's ability to deal with its acknowledged copyright infringements. These actions raise serious questions as to the manner in which UMG deals with smaller competitors in the marketplace.

UMG CEO Mr. Grainge is copied on this correspondence. Perhaps he could let me know if it’s acceptable for his legal representatives to hire outside lawyers who "may take a far more aggressive stance" to deal with legitimate complaints of copyright infringement, said infringements acknowledged as having occurred and accepted as continuing, in preference to dealing with the issues raised and preventing further infringements?

Is this official UMG corporate policy for dealing with such matters?

If not, what does Mr. Grainge, as CEO, intend to do to about it?

You state "we (UMG) do not think it would be constructive once again to go over old ground."

UMG reported sales of this material to DGM as recently as April this year. How recent do copyright infringements have to be in order for UMG lawyers to address them and not dismiss them as “old ground”?

Your statement is also somewhat at odds with that given by UMG representatives to The Financial Times (August 3rd 2012) in response to an interview given by Robert Fripp, although some of the wording is curiously familiar:

"This is very old ground. We have been working with Robert Fripp for some time to try to clear up some issues that he has raised with us and we believe that we are very close to completing that process."

Robert Fripp is unaware, as are our legal representatives, as am I, of any initiatives by UMG to resolve these issues.

Your letter makes it clear that UMG regards such issues as “old ground”

Is “old ground” some form of euphemism for copyright infringements that UMG refuses to address or resolve?

These are the "areas where you remain irreconcilable" referred to in your letter regarding Sanctuary/UMG and us.

UMG, the world's largest record company, sold (and may still be selling) King Crimson material without permission from the band, the copyright owners or the legal licensees of the material.

This is just one of several such examples of issues of copyright infringement by UMG labels of King Crimson/Robert Fripp copyrights, your “old ground”.

UMG offers no apology, solution, payment (beyond that made in 2009 for some of the sales) or, despite promises to the contrary from a variety of lawyers, ability to stop further sales.

Not content with mere copyright infringement and individual track sales, UMG recently included the very master rights to this material is its lists of proposed divestments to the EC.

As a senior lawyer, writing on behalf of the CEO Mr. Lucian Grainge, you don't wish to address any of this “old ground”, save to assure me that UMG is sorry for "the initial mistake" regarding the EC list inclusion, such expression of regret entirely dependent on acceptance of your "two lists" scenario which is, in turn, directly contradicted by the EC to whom the information was submitted.

Such avoidance of the issues that led to this on behalf of a senior lawyer representing the CEO of UMG, Mr. Grainge, is distinctly at odds with the publicly stated position of the UMG Press spokesperson who assured The Financial Times that the company “has been working with Robert for some time”.

Your statements, made on behalf of the CEO are contradicted by the EC, by UMG’s own PR representatives and by sales statements issued by UMG’s royalties department.

Who is to be believed in such a situation?

I am drawn again to UMG lawyer Mr. Smith's statement to me in December 2008 that “.. a company the size of UMG could not be expected to read or apply the details of  every contract of every catalogue it acquires."

It is a plausible, if hardly laudable, explanation for some of these incidents.

Had my company been selling UMG material without permission, full payment, or complete cessation when alerted to the true rights position, over a period of 5 years, repeatedly but inconclusively assuring UMG that such copyright infringing sales would stop, only for me to continue with the sales and then offer to sell the master rights to said material to a third party in order to justify another acquisition, I suggest that you, Mr. Grainge and the various other lawyers involved would be far less sanguine about the situation, far less prone to clichés about not wishing to go over “old ground”.

I have made a formal complaint to the EC detailing concerns about the issues raised above.

I am copying this response to the EC case handling officers as an addition to material previously submitted.

Kind regards,

Declan Colgan
Panegyric Recordings.


Fete Plays A Role In Robert's Life
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Aug 31, 2012
Robert will be opening the Wick village fete on Saturday 1st September at 1.30p.m.

The old goat himself encourages folks to attend in order to support the village and its 12th. century church, but adds "better to leave behind items of fetishisation fondled lovingly in private chambers..."

Axel Bruns says "surely this photo calls for a caption competition". He’s right. Send them to the guestbook - ONE per person (so make it count). The best caption, chosen by an international panel of experts, will win a fabbo prize.

Fine For File Sharing
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Aug 28, 2012
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) are said to be pleased after file sharer ordered to pay $675,000 fine. 

Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Aug 28, 2012
Here's a little treat (four for the price of, er, none) taken from Robert's appearance on Radio One in 1996. 

In The Court Of The Flaming Lips
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Aug 22, 2012
My thanks to The Dork Report, Jon, and several others for sharing the news that The Flaming Lips are busy recording a cover album of ITCOTCK. More details here.

12th & Porter 2001 Bundle
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Aug 20, 2012
The four warm-up gigs in Nashville where Crimson started road testing new material for what would ultimately be The Power To Believe are now available as a bundle for just $38 (FLAC) and $29 (MP3). Amazing value! Check out the run of the shows starting here.

Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pre-Order
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Aug 19, 2012
Pre-order pages for the 40th Anniversary Edition versions of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic are now up. If you’re in the USA and thereabouts you can grab your preferred version from the mail order shop. If you’re in the UK/Europe you can order the version that tickles your fancy from Burning Shed’.

Since the announcement of the 15-disc collector’s boxset there’s been some speculation as to the provenance of the contents. So, here’s your handy cut-out-and-keep guide to the box.

The quintet line-up of King Crimson – Bill Bruford, David Cross, Robert Fripp, Jamie Muir and John Wetton – was, like so many band line-ups of the era, short-lived.

Melody Maker revealed the membership in July 1972. The first full group rehearsal was on September 4th 1972, the final performance was on February 10th 1973 at London’s Marquee Club. Between those dates the band played a trio of club dates and a filmed live in the studio recording in Germany in October, a universally acclaimed UK tour during November/December and recorded one of the most celebrated studio albums of the era in January and early February.

This boxed set contains every known live performance
and studio recording by that band.

CD 1 & 2: October 13th 1972 Live at the Zoom Club, Frankfurt (audio restored bootleg)
Previously only available as KCCC20

CD 3: October 17th 1972 Live in the studio, Bremen (mono)
Previously only available as KCCC3

CD 4 & 5: November 10th 1972 Live at the Technical College, Hull (audio restored bootleg)
Previously only available as a download from DGMLive

CD 6: November 13th 1972 Live at the Civic Hall, Guildford (audio restored soundboard)
Previously only available as KCCC24

CD 7: November 25th 1972 Live at New Theatre, Oxford (audio restored bootleg)
Previously only available as a download from DGMLive

CD 8: December 1st 1972 Live at Green’s Playhouse, Glasgow, (audio restored bootleg)
Previously unreleased

CD 9: December 15th 1972 Live at the Guildhall, Portsmouth (audio restored bootleg)
Previously unreleased

CD 10: January 1973: “Keep That One, Nick” – The Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Recording Session Reels: Taking the form of an audio documentary & placing the listener in Command studios in early 1973 as the quintet maps out the material destined for the album produced by David Singleton. Featuring first takes of every piece recorded for the album interspersed with studio talk between band members & engineer

CD 11: January/February 1973: The original album mix 30th Anniversary Edition, The US Promo EP (transferred from vinyl) and the US radio advert

CD 12: January/February 1973: Alt Mixes and takes: Steven Wilson’s alternate Larks’ Tongues In Aspic plus Easy Money edited by David Singleton and Alex Mundy from Keep That One, Nick Session Reel Essentials

CD 13: January/February 1973: Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, new stereo mix, mixed by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp

Disc 14: DVD-A: Complete album in 5.1 MLP Lossless & DTS Surround Sound album mix.

38 minutes film performance of the band never previously been released or screened, Original album 30th anniversary mix, 2012 alternate takes & mixes in 24/48 hi-res stereo, 2012 stereo mix in 24/48 & 24/96 hi-res stereo

Disc 15: Blu-Ray: Content as per DVD-A with all stereo tracks in 24/96 hi-res plus hi-res stereo of “Keep That One Nick”, hi-res mono tracks “Live in the studio”, 24/96 transfer of original vinyl pressing, film footage of band performing “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I” as originally broadcast on Beat Club TV programme


36 page booklet with photos, timeline/diary, transcript of extensive Robert Fripp interview conducted by David Singleton (July 2012), new essay by King Crimson historian Sid Smith and more.

Print of original album sleeve, individual band member postcards, reproduction of UK tour handbill, reproduction of Rainbow Theatre, London concert ticket stub.

Downloadable Content: see back of reproduction of Rainbow Theatre London concert ticket to obtain the concert from that venue as an exclusive download – listener beware – audio for this show is of such poor quality as to be beyond meaningful restoration and is included solely for historic purposes.

* * * * *
Don’t forget if all of the above is too much, there will be be usual CD/DVD-A format as per the other 40th Anniversary Editions.  This will include the new stereo mix, the 5.1 surround mix and exclusive video content as well as audio extras. Additionally for those folks who don’t want any video or surround sound content there will be a 2-CD disc special edition to cater for you LTIA needs. These discs are also up for pre-order from mail order in the US and Burning Shed in the UK and Europe.

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