Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Friday 07 March 2003

Mobile HQ, Crimson Tourbus, currently at W.42 & 8th. Avenue, NYCNY.


Mobile HQ, Crimson Tourbus, currently at W.42 & 8th. Avenue, NYCNY.

Farewell Hotel Designer! I grew fond of you and enjoyed sitting in your lobby. Fashionable twenty, thirty & forty-somethings enjoyed your lobby lounge & bar in the evening, too. Yesterday I had almost forgotten the noise of your air conditioning vents, such is the rapidity with which we become accustomed to ongoing sensory input. Until this morning, that is. Surprisingly, they returned to experientially-loud once more.

As we left the front door of the Royalton to board the Crimbus, a bellman asked how was the show last night? I replied, "I didn't hear any of it".

Elgar is now pacifying my day while the slow progress of this large vehicle demonstrates, to one long convinced, that free-access vehicular traffic in contemporary capital-city centers is untenable. A couple of Crimson visits ago, I stood in Times Square at eight in the evening, observing the gridlock. Unmoving & honking cabs attempted to deliver theatregoers to somewhere-very-close-to-them from inside a mass of unmoving, honking traffic.

As I rose at 08.35, following a period of wakefulness, I found myself wondering why no money has yet arrived from the huge sums of unaccounted royalties acknowledged due by Virgin & BMG. I shall now make a call.


DGM HQ tells me that the issue with BMG lies in a few small words that cover the area of settlement.

I know from experience in dealing with BMG that "the problem with vocabulary is that words don't mean what you want them to" (this is a direct quote). My experience is somewhat the opposite. Words can mean exactly what they say, particularly where the words are chosen precisely to convey an intended meaning. Words are not a language as direct as gesture. Nor are words as rich a language as symbology. But, in the functional world of concrete action, Anglo Saxon works for me. Maybe it just doesn't work within a range of 100 yards north of Putney Bridge.

David also tells me that good reports of ProjeKct Three's recent return to active service have been arriving at DGM, accompanying enquiries as to a possible availability on CD of its performance. This is exactly the kind of event that Bootleg TV, and the prospective new DGM site, was/is intended to address - instant download and/or official bootleg straight out the door.

Crimson is a band that can still hit the street, at short notice, and deliver the goods in a non-conventional way. That is, properly, in a conventional way - the players walk onstage, pick up their instruments & play. The logistics of professional touring, and the degree of professionalism required for a large (although relatively small) band on the road, act to smooth out the inconsistencies & irregularities that make life interesting. How wonderful, then, that when Crimson's professional functioning is disturbed in a genuine manner, the Team responds. On this occasion, with The Roar of P3.

I have now signed a pile of CD inserts on the front-lounge table of the Crimbus. This is the life of the professional musician.


We are pulling into downtown Philly.


We are loading onto the Crimbus for an overnight drive to Boston.

Tonight's performance at the Tower had wonderful clunkers & a supportive audience, bar the jerk with a camera. His surreptitiousness suggested he knew, but didn't care anyway. The Tower is a dreadful venue and one that features on most visits to Philadelphia. I am close to accepting that whoever plans our tours, and sends us into these wretched places, has no intention of finding an alternative approach to live performance. So, rather than trying to find venues to accommodate the music, I am now tailoring music to survive in the spaces we are sent to - the strokes are broader. Fortunately, this band is well able to fill in the details if circumstances permit.