In Denver On Borrowed Time June 16, 1974
Written by Steven Sthole
The Denver show
was a typical mismatch from local promoter Barry Fey. Golden Earring opened the
show, followed by King Crimson. The show’s headliners were none other than an
up and coming little ‘ol band from Texas…ZZ
Top. Only 12 shows later, Crimso would play its legendary 70s Swan Song in New
York’s Central Park, so the
Crimson Beast was on borrowed time.
The crowd was somewhat typical for Denver
at the time. Mostly local longhairs more accustomed to typical blues-based rock
fare. The smell of marijuana permeated the air, mixing with the aroma of the
cattle stockyards just down the street.
It was obvious to me, as Crimso took the stage following
Golden Earring’s set, that this was definitely not a Crimson crowd. This was
not the same crowd that cheered on the previous incarnation of the band (with
Mel, Boz and Ian) at Denver’s
Summit Studio’s almost two years previous. There was a latent current of
hostility emanating from this crowd. They wanted easy entertainment, they
didn’t want to hear anything new and challenging, and they wanted to kick back
and get stoned. In other words, not an optimum setting for King Crimson to play
What my friends and I would find out later, from a friend of
ours who worked for Feyline Concert Promotions, was that King Crimson was told
specifically by Barry Fey: “You have 45 minutes to play your set: no more”. I’m
speculating now, but I’m sure Robert Fripp might have been saying to himself at
the time, “We’ll see about that”.
A set quite similar to the one KC played in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania in 1974 (as documented on CD3
of The Great Deceiver Box Set) unfolded. ‘The Great Deceiver’, ‘Exiles’ and
‘The Night Watch’ were memorable to me and my friends, but the Denver
crowd was not “into it” at all. After an improvisation, the arena filled with
the sounds of synthesized wind, and the band segued into ‘The Talking Drum’. It
was clear to my small group of fellow Crimson aficionados that KC was going to
play the same sequence as it appears on the album ‘Lark’s Tongues In Aspic’,
meaning that ‘The Talking Drum’ would break immediately into ‘Lark’s Tongues In
Aspic, Part II’ – a very dramatic musical piece indeed. As ‘Drum’ began to
increase in tempo and volume, a definite sense of both urgency and tension
filled the Coliseum. At last, KC had the crowd interested! Then, as ‘Drum’ was
about to reach its aural climax, there was suddenly…..
Barry Fey had cut power to the PA System. ON PURPOSE.
I can recall vividly to this day what transpired next. Bill
Bruford rose from the stool behind his drum kit, uttered what might have been
an obscenity, and threw down his drum sticks. John Wetton seemed to continue to
want to carry on, and was plucking the strings to his bass, with a somewhat
amused look on his face. David Cross stopped playing his violin immediately, as
if the wind had been knocked out of him. And Mr. Fripp? Robert Fripp, without saying a word,
unplugged his black Gibson, and walked off the stage without looking at anyone.
The crowd reaction was a mixture of catcalls and booing.
It’s hard to tell if the animosity was directed at the bad timing of the event
that had just transpired, or the band’s performance. My friends and I were
quite vocal as to what we thought was a technical (and unintentional) glitch,
and we were promptly told to “shut up” by our unsympathetic neighbours in
the seats around us.
The KC show was over, and to this day, I cannot help but
think that this was one of many nails in the coffin for the 1970’s incarnation
of King Crimson.
Your search found 1969 items (Viewing 141 to 150 of 1969)
|Afternoon or evening set? Tue., May 8, 2012|
Posted by: fhc339835
This is an excellent soundscape recording, one of the best so far in total, and the best of this certain period around the millenium. The liner notes indicate that on this day two sets have been performed by Robert, the current Read more
|Working Titles Tue., May 8, 2012|
Posted by: hammamatsu
I saw the Guildford, Dunstable, Cromer and Poole shows from March ’82 and I’m sure the untitled number was referred to as ’Rocker’ and the instrumental version of Neurotica was Read more
|A must have ! Sat., May 5, 2012|
Posted by: beebfader1
This is a superb recording of a band at the top of their game, trying out `Islands’ material and more. `Sailor’s Tale’ has an incredible guitar solo from Fripp, and there is a pretty wonderful half hour improv covering Read more
|Excellent - Superb++++ Sat., May 5, 2012|
Posted by: fripprob
What a great show!!! Sound Quality is excellent, though Boz`s vocals are recorded a bit high in places. Great guitar solo in Schizoid Man that just flows into Mel`s great sax Read more
|this is not closing time? Thu., May 3, 2012|
Posted by: bruno84
this concert is unstained pleasure; this easily could be a CD that can matche others.
all versions are awsome. PLEASE MAKE A CD;
|Excellent ***** Mon., Apr 30, 2012|
Posted by: MikeLockyer
What a pleasure this recording is - high quality throughout and very jazzy.
Currently my favourite live recording
Many thanks and hoping for more
|Best yet from this incarnation Mon., Apr 30, 2012|
Posted by: DocBobster
This is splendid stuff -- just what I always hope for in a live set. Everyone was extremely creative this night; every tune is filled with nice surprises and little Read more
|Superb +++++ Wed., Apr 25, 2012|
Posted by: fripprob
I Agree --- Absolutely Superb all around!! Another great show & recording from this oft critizied incarnation of K C !! These jazzy readings are infectious and apt to spread--so watch Read more
|superb Tue., Apr 24, 2012|
Posted by: Wilbert
Superb recordings, beautiful and clear sound, except for the leaking VCS3 during vocals parts (The letter). The first half improvisation is pure jazz. The greatness of this incarnation hereby prooved once again, one of the best version Read more
|Life time changing experience... Sat., Apr 21, 2012|
Posted by: michaelmadden
A great day and a watershed for me finally beginning to understand how much influence the audience has upon the performer, in sense of behaviour and respect for the artist. with the church adorned in John Miller pictures and the beauty of St Peters Church, Read more
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