Tuesday 12 February 2008

Chez Sistery Person Sunset San


Chez Sistery Person, Sunset, San Francisco.

Rising at 06.00 & into action to mark & record the notions for tomorrow morning’s talk at the CIIS which have been flying-by during the night.

To the Crepevine for a reading breakfast. New reading, at the recommendation of my Californian book-pusher…


… Sync Or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age (2006) by David Borgo. Returning to Sistery’s on a beautiful day…


… and the inbox is waiting.

11.50  An approach has been made by a company that makes music documentaries for BBCtv, inviting me to be interviewed for a programme that has chosen not to use the word progressive. Even in the mainstream, then, the pejorative associations make the word unusable. From my reply…

david has forwarded your e-mail to me, and i am aware of the other Britannias.

immodestly, i would place myself close to the centre of the action, in various ways, for a good part of your timeline. regrettably, i have found it impossible to conduct any serious (but not solemn) discussion with any english interviewer on the topic. italian, french, spanish, german, american, argentinian, japanese - yes. english - not a hope. this based on experience of interviewing on four continents over a period of 38 years.

i agree, the work of King Crimson is central to the story, but “bands such as KC” isn't quite accurate: Crimson was unique. genesis, yes & ELP were very different in their ways of doing things; and also much more popular. in the popular view, which moved into default thinking, Crimson was itself the source of all that was unfortunate in that generation of music going off-course. to comment in detail on how & why that happened involves naming names; necessary to understanding the history, regrettable for anyone undertaking the exercise. this also involves a knowledge of the music industry of  the time, and particular players involved. this part of the history is quite necessary, and unpleasant. the role of drugs & alcohol is another necessary part of the story, and easily dismissed in a sentence with a shrug & a smile. but the repercussions of substance abuse at that time continue to resonate today.

if you are interested in speaking to a Crimson-informed person, i recommend sid smith... who is the author of the KC biography. a good man, better informed than almost anyone on the subject; with a wide overview of the period.

you will find other members of KC who will be prepared to speak to you, and sid will be able to put you in touch with them.

This is an exaggeration, of course. There are perhaps 2 or 3 English journalists who might approach the subject seriously, although not solemnly. Two would probably not bother, and the other one is not involved in the documentary.

Shortly, an N Judah ‘bus-train ride to Market.

16.19  Back from Rasputin’s & the Apple Store, one block away.

To compute & e-flurry.

20.23  Dribble. To bed.