June 26, 2000
Written by Robert Fripp
The backstage area of the Olympia is controlled by the house crew to serve the house crew. King Crimson were an intrusion to their space.
The centre of the backstage area had a television blaring the latest Euro 2000 football match. Clearly, musicians practising were likely to get in the way of the security staff tv. Also placed onto this central area (or internal "courtyard") was a bar for the house staff, itself with a separate tv.
As an aside: it is very dangerous to establish a liggers' area within a place of work (as at Island Records on its move from Portobello to Hammersmith in 1972/3): it builds waste & redundancy into an energy generator. I saw the same with IBM in the Hudson Valley while working In Woodstock (Sylvian - Fripp & KC during the early 1990s). Unaware of the difficulties at IBM, I could see by their architecture that they would collapse sooner, later.
A recurrent question I've been asking myself on this tour - "What are we doing here?" - was answered at this show: to play in Paris, tonight. But why Paris? Actually, this was not a matter of this particular town, or country, or venue: this was a function of the audience. I had no sense of the kind of audient feeding which has characterised much of this tour. Not quite a "hunger" needing to be satisfied; more a pumping down of anything which moves. "I want anything I want, I want it now, and I have the right to both" is a descending development from this (cf agape>gourmandising>eating >gorging).
This audience was, for me, the best audience of the tour: supportive, considerate, sophisticated, responsive, engaged, active; but not "we come to worship so do anything you like". We had freedom, but not license (to quote Neill of Summerhill). Overall, this was of the kind of performance which I kinda take as a working norm: the people come to listen & watch. This is the beginning point from which something of value becomes possible. This was not a photo session. This was not a crowd assembled arbitrarily or accidentally in a town square. This was not a meeting of consumers with rights. It was an audience.
In response to their support & demand, we gave a good performance. Not perfect, but when you take a shot, sometimes you miss. Somehow, that doesn't always matter & tonight it didn't. Sometimes it's taking the shot which hits the mark, not the arrow. This is what an audience (in the proper sense of the word) makes possible: "Go on! Well, nice try anyway! Now try again!".
King Crimson TV & BootlegTV:
And, online in Europe at last, I received two e-letters from David Singleton letting me know that the KingCrimsonTV site is now running. BTV has not publicly announced it, as the site will go through a number of revisions. And although very much a test transmission, it seems appropriate to announce it to Crim enthusiasts & engage them in the development of the "station"; and who might otherwise miss the shows that are presently on offer.
The widespread posting of the current King Crimson 2000 tour has encouraged BTV to speed up the release of this, the first BootlegTV artists' site. Free streaming audio of the first four Crim pre-tour warmup shows are available at:
These shows were recorded at 12th and Porter, Nashville, on May 19, 20 and 21, and are available in their entirety. Trainwrecks and all.
Video clips of two TCOL songs - "The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum" and "Into the Frying Pan" are ready for streaming at three different bit rates, depending on the speed of Internet connection. As BTV proceeds with editing and encoding, more shows will be posted on the KingCrimsonTV site.
BTV are open & available to enthusiasts who would like to share in the process as we debug and refine KingCrimsonTV. Please use the Guestbook to let us know what you like and with suggestions on how to proceed, and/or write to:
Also a significant development, already informally announced, is this: each of the concerts on this current tour will be made available on CD, as soon as is possible after the London performance on 3rd. July. From David's letter:
There are two different systems being set in place - the long term solution, which should be in place for the Autumn tour of the US (which could be a fairly quick turnaround), and the "stop gap" solution, which is being put in place for the current European tour.
For the European tour, the turnaround time is at least 6 weeks, so CDs and videos will not be available before the middle of August (at the earliest). There is already great interest, so we plan to invite people to make pre-orders. They will not part with their money in advance, but will choose what they want to buy.
This gives us the opportunity to gauge interest for individual shows large demand for a particular show can lower the price for everyone. Clearly if a large number of people order the same show, our costs per unit are greatly reduced.
By July 3rd, the website will contain a web ordering page, where people can register and make their choices.>
Other, Arising & Ongoing:
Manager to the Stars Richard Chadwick visiting us in Paris, he brought with him an official application for a license allowing Howard Stern to use ITCOTCK for his battle of the bands (reported in the Guestbook & ET). My answer was yes, and with good wishes.
Not as exciting as any of these other new items, but it is a pleasure to begin my day practising guitar as an alternative to travelling or e-frenzy. I'm not sure if this is of any interest, but in Paris I have begun refingering single string ascending & descending lines, using an alternative approach to conventional fingering.
And from yesterday's e-flurry, to a troubled correspondent:
which the world presents to us is through a practice; that is, by acquiring a discipline. Surprised? What actually happens is, that the discipline "acquires" us. Then everything changes. Everything. What was impossible for us is still impossible for us, but not when the "discipline" is doing the work. The "discipline" can only do the work if we provide it with the vehicle. Then, this becomes a practical matter: how may we become a vehicle?
You have to find a way of forgiving your father. Even this is possible. If I can forgive Sam Alder, you can forgive your father. But help is needed. So, you must ask for help. Help is ALWAYS waiting to be invited in. Over to you!>
Hotel Acceptable, Madrid.
In the lobby at 09.00 and then a long day travelling from Paris.
Europe's flying was disrupted by a French air controllers' strike. We drove 3 hours to Brussels to join lots of other re-routed flyers. Our flight was itself late & re-routed to accommodate overloaded / affected flight lanes. Into the hotel here around 18.45. I traded my room down, from an executive suite with space so badly designed it felt unsettling & claustrophobic, to a more modest but concentrated room. It has aluminium windows. I hate aluminium. Now back from dinner with Trey, Pat & Laurie in an old district near the cathedral.
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