Mobile, HQ, Crimbus.
Through the Canadian border. We stopped around 06.40 & everyone was off the two buses, crew & band. Canadian immigration law has recently changed, apparently, and is fairly immense & contradictory. The rules are different if the venue has permanent or temporary liquor licenses, for example, and the provinces interprete the laws differently; so the young woman immigration inspector suggested.
The sight of Crims + Road Team at 07.00 is fairly disturbing to anyone of a sensitive and/or delicate disposition. I am one of these and have not quite recovered. But we are now into the final part of the journey to Quebec, presently about 140 miles away through the snowscape. Snow everywhere.
Hotel Professionally Acceptable, Quebec.
We arrived at the hotel around 10.45, dribbling gently.
The hotel suggested it is a 5-minute walk from the gate of the old city. In this weather, with slippy streets & a cruelly biting wind, I'm not trusting the information. And the hotel operator tells me that AOL is not available from this hotel. Experienced English travelers will immediately recognise this misinformation as a Gallic plot to prevent the further dissemination of the English language. Tour Manager MJK has just gone on line with AOL, to prove the lie. Bite on that, garlic-chewing snail suckers!
Work for today: addressing a large download of e-mail containing important and pressing issues; and changing strings.
My hotel room is now set up to function a la Fripp & give me a reasonable chance at maintaining sanity. This is a town that can be very lonely for me. Out the back of this hotel is a view of Old Quebec, with the Chateau Frontenac prominent. The Peter Gabriel tour c. April 1977 stayed there. It was in a lonely room at the Chateau, if not a garret then a room that felt like one, that I looked out & watched ice floes slowly drifting down the river. The burning issue of that day was whether to reform King Crimson 1974 with Billy B & Johnny W.
I was recently out of Sherborne House (July 1976), even more recently moved to NYC (February 1977). The wounds from 1973-4 where not quite bleeding, nor were the scars quite healed. The future was open, wherever it might lead. Might it lead to Crimson? If there were to be so, the concern for me was to find a front-line partner strong enough for us to hold our own against the back line of John & Bill. That back line was monstrous, loud, busy, and uncaring for the needs of the front line. John was keen for me to choose Eddie Jobson as my partner. I wanted time to consider. There was also pressure from EG Management, for various arising EG personal and business reasons.
Looking out of a garret window at the Chateau Frontenac, I knew this was not a venture for me & telephoned David Enthoven at EG in London to give him my decision. The band became UK with Eddie Jobson & Alan Holdsworth joining John & Bill. If anyone were interested in discovering my contribution to King Crimson at the time (by which I mean myself, looking back and reflecting on the period) then the distance between King Crimson 1973-4 and UK is a quick guide to what I brought to bear in Crimson. This does not imply that Crimson is good - UK is bad, and is clearly an exaggeration. It is also a clear picture, in broad strokes, of the nature of my contribution.
En-saunerised. The only way to get clean. Now, to a shave.