Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Thursday 27 February 2003

Mount Juliet.


Another grey day.

Rising late at 09.30. I was up late packing & de-vibrating from the performance.

And I enjoyed a glass of bubbling solution with Martha & Ade Belew, upstairs in Chateau Belewbeloid, back from Soundcheck. Martha's views of the band, and of the dress rehearsal, were useful as always. Supportive while frank, and quite unlike any other commentator on the band. My view of Fripp's performing role in this band: I do nothing better than anyone I know, including Ringo. And the personal transition in my life that is currently underway. Simply expressed, becoming more private & of a growing interiorisation (apologies for the clunky word). And a view of short, mid & long term possible Crimson futures.

Martha made the point, so commonplace it is overlooked, of the psychological damage inflicted by the music industry. The norm for employment is a weekly or monthly salary, with employees knowing how much they will get and when. For artists, record & publishing royalties get paid every six months. You don't know --

if you'll be paid, or: what proportion of due payment, or: when; nor: whether you'll have to go to litigation with MegaCorps to get as much as you can of what is legitimately owed.

This is standard practice & utterly commonplace. Probably, with Enron & other recent US corporate scandals, what is long-term standard for the music industry has now moved into the clear view of daily mainstream America.

Martha spotted the massive BMG under-accounting, presently being settled in England. Adrian's then-manager didn't believe her: the failure was so enormous, he didn't believe it possible for a MegaCorp to be that dysfunctional. He was wrong. BMG in London didn't believe it was possible either, until a threat of litigation encouraged them to examine the evidence more closely. Martha was right.

Then, bottle empty, a return to The Basement and a piece of cheesecake that had appeared on the Lunar Module, anonymously, at the show.

Some more terrible news - we have a good review in (American) Rolling Stone by David Fricke. It seems that Rolling Stone have actually allowed someone who knows the band & their music, over many years, to write the review. Perhaps the music-going public is unaware of the fact that many editors intentionally choose reviewers that are antipathetic to the subjects of the review, knowing the review will be hostile. The writer of a lengthy piece on Crimson, several years ago in England, told me that his new editor had instructed him to play up the divisions & antipathies within the band & its former members. There are, in any case, certain former members that need no encouragement to be sour, resentful, nor bitter. But why should an editor want this line to be pushed?

But for Crimson to be reviewed on its own terms, for what it is pro or con, is a very different experience. It is now easy for me to detect which reviewers have listened to & engaged with an album, and which have pulled their Crimson clichÈs out of the filing cabinet marked Received Opinions and a folder inside titled Witless In Extremis .

Now, to the shower & preparation for departure.


Yow! Today KC is Billboard Artist of the Day.


The Crimson Tourbus has set out from the parking lot of the Hampton Suites in Downtown Nashville. I have had a short but important discussion with Trey on possible Crim futures.


Red Dragon featured viewing on the Crimbus. Now, editing i-Tunes while the bus is pulling into an urban area. This must be North Carolina.