Paradise

“On behalf of the band I should like to apologise for the appearance of our drummer’s body which the perceptive among you may have noticed is emaciated and awfully feeble,” says Fripp in his introductory remarks to a crowd who, by the sounds of it, aren’t too sure what to make of this fact. The guitarist dryly goes on to clarify, “In fact, this has nothing to do with the extent of his per diems or wages. John is naturally deprived.” Johnny Toobad or Johnny Elichaoff, to give him his real name, is then heard counting the band into their second gig of the evening.

While Johhny’s lack of sartorial style may be in question what’s not in dispute is his ability to serve the music. Sparse, and some may say basic and relatively unsophisticated in its range, it nevertheless is perfect within the material. Fripp could well have recruited someone with greater technical skill but it surely would have ended up being too cluttered for the more direct approach underpinning his conception for the band. His work on pieces such as Thrang Thrang Gozibulx and the four to the floor shuffle he uses on Ooh Mr. Fripp, and the rock-steady beats employed on Minor Man or the crisp punctuation of Christian Children are simple but incredibly effective, enabling his bandmates to create the tension and release that’s such a vital part of the League's raison d'être.

AUDIO SOURCE: Official Bootleg Cassette

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