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 1968 items (Viewing 191 to 200 of 1968)
|I Was There! Tue., Feb 7, 2012|
Posted by: sfstinson
Too bad the recording of the April 28, 1974 concert is incomplete. I was in attendance that night, along with my band mates. The concert was opened by Aerosmith, which we all found to be a rather strange Read more
|Wonderful! Tue., Feb 7, 2012|
Posted by: DanielK
So loose and easy. Reminds me of the Fab Four playing a rooftop gig, just without vocals. Dig it!
|Thankyou! Mon., Feb 6, 2012|
Posted by: pete3names
Excellent. So it’s basically a 12-bar blues in 7/8 - I never noticed before!
|Fruit Of The Fripperboard Sun., Feb 5, 2012|
Posted by: happypig
This is the essence of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Work, for me, at least. The interlocking stuff, the complex-timed constructions, the Soundscapes, I wait (and sometimes suffer) through all of that to get the smidgen of Read more
|odd, that Sat., Feb 4, 2012|
Posted by: dubhthaigh
There are 2 Crim shows I’ve attended that stood out as signal changers. Signalling what, not sure I can articulate, but even the long suffering wife dragged criminally against her will to decades of KC adventures observed after this one: Read more
|if you can't buy 'em all... Thu., Feb 2, 2012|
Posted by: jacethecrowl
I couldn’t spend a bundle on the bundle, so I went with this one based on the setlist (unimpeachable in my book, and the only one with "Oyster Read more
|Welcom to prom night! Mon., Jan 30, 2012|
Posted by: mnewstrom
The title was Adrian’s salute to the venue, very a propos for the seated audience who were in fine fettle that evening. For me, fresh from a distressed period of my life, this was a very necessary Read more
|AH...THAT SOUND! Wed., Jan 25, 2012|
Posted by: SSImuse
If there is such a thing as a perfect electric guitar sound, it has to be that of Fripp’s sustained overdrive. Love it....just plain love it.
| London, London, United Kingdom May 20, 1981|
Posted by: iansturgess
Presumably it was Record that the engineer hit!
Ha - absolutely Ian! Sid
|Hidden Track Mon., Jan 16, 2012|
Posted by: anonymous
This is my mistake, so sorry about that.
I will remake the track listing and add a track no. to Walking On Air Dub.
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