Tuesday 14 April 2020



Rising 06.45.

Morning Sitting. Morning reading: PDFs on the computer. Accompaniment…

To the top library and writing…

I Advance Masked – Day Twenty Four…

In the small high street supermarket, an elderly gentleman (most likely younger than me) demonstrated a minimal appreciation of social distancing; actually, a minus count. As far as my own brief advancings-streetwards provide data for reporting, the virus strikes elsewhere.

Safely home, and to the Cellar practicing…

18.34 To the top library and the Wasps’ Nest…

The Son Of Concert Photography
:: Posted by DevlinC on September 19, 2007

CD: I’m actually quite stunned at people’s desire to leap to Robert’s defence as if I was talking about him the first place.

RF: Another interpretation is that posters are responding directly to Mr. Devlin, his claims and attitude.

CD: "Basement dweller" indeed - I should have guessed that the reaction would be to simply name-call instead of actually reading my post at all. 

RF: I have read Mr. Devlin’s original post closely, and I do not confuse the poster with his posting. By their posts ye shall not know them, as it were. Why would anyone consider Mr. Devlin a Basement Dweller?

CD: DavidK - You have a very condescending manner that really isn’t conductive to debate. You throw in cheap assumptions in order to make my point seem less valid but I’ll ignore those and address your actual points.

The desires of the performer have been laid out, and you are knowingly and willingly violating them.  Unbeliveably rude.

In the situation I described, Sylvian’s personal desires have not been laid out in the slightest - the venues desires have. I’m sorry that I have enough self-worth to not take any orders given to me over a sound system as gospel when I don’t consider them to be logical or reasonable.

Fripp has made his dislike of photography of any kind very clear in a place where everyone who would go to his concerts would see it. It took a little while for word to get round but I’m sure if we compare audience photos from the 1995 tour to the 2003 tour then there would be a significant shift downwards, but of course only Robert would know that.

Using the word "owe" here says a lot about the author.

...conveniently ignoring the fact that immediately after that sentence I say that it doesn’t mean that the fans are owed anything in return, just that musicians owe their careers and their lives to their fans, in the same way that a shopkeeper owes his career to his customers. You cannot deny that simple fact.

How about if I called you a clueless loser and said that to me, that was a compliment?

Are you serious? Or are you so desperate to look like you "get" Fripp that you’ll try to suggest that what I did is the equivalent of me getting up on stage and slapping the musicians round the face whilst suggesting their mothers solicite themselves on street corners? My reasoning is valid even if you don’t agree with it, yours is just a pathetic attempt to veil an insult in debate.

"And that is totally fine.  FOR YOU.  Why do you assume everyone in the world has your same sense of values, or simply don’t care of they don’t?"

I can’t help but notice that no one cares that I don’t share this same concept of photography being the work of the devil but apparently it’s ok to insult me over it.

I call BS right there.  I totally disbelieve that you were paying absolutely no thought to taking a picture until that exact moment.

Er.. well, good for you. I wasn’t. Yes, obviously I brought a camera thinking I might use it but I wasn’t sitting anxiously waiting for the opportunity - the moment came, I took a camera out, used it, and put it away. 2 hour show, camera usage time = 30 seconds. I acknowledged in my original post that it was distracting me from what my purpose for being there was, which was to listen to and enjoy one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. It’s not that I don’t recognise that photography takes you out of the moment and puts your focus on this new activity you’re trying to do - but as a human being with ideas and opinions of my own, I made a decision for myself. Considering the amount of flash photography that was going off anyway, I feel I was being very considerate about it, but apparently not.

Obviously not caring whether you are sacrificing something of the performer’s or those around you.  But obviosuly, this is all about you.

Those around me were my companions, none of whom had a problem with me not interrupting their evening at all. All around us was empty space because of where we were located. If Sylvian really could feel me taking that 30 second video and walked off that stage feeling bad about it then I would be perplexed but truly sorry and would never take a camera to a Sylvian gig again, but I’d still think it would be a massive over-reaction. Actually, just going back to my original post for a second, my whole point was that it seems like concerts are all about the musicians and what they want and the audience is seen as little more than braying sheep with wallets - and judging from the replies so far, that seems to be fairly accurate. Answer me this - why am I not allowed to think about myself at a concert even for a moment?

Adbass - Good god, is that a partial agreement? You’re on thin ice there buddy, you’ll be called a basement dweller and thrown in the stocks to be pelted with tomatoes for daring to question such things.

I don’t mean to sound precious or fawning, but I really don’t understand what is complicated about this photography issue.

Nothing is complicated about it - I didn’t seek to complicate the issue. Here’s how it goes:

The venue, like all venues, annouces no photography - there is no mention of it being because that is the artists desire, it’s just a standard no photography annoucement. 

However, they make it in an almost farcical and quite patronising manner that only serves to provoke photography. I innocently and with great respect (yes people, it is possible to take a photograph because you respect someone and not because you seek to ruin the evening for everyone in the building) take some video and am told not to as if it’s the end of the world, despite 5 or 6 press photographers down the front pointing the extended lens right into Sylvian’s face and 3 video cameras sitting on the front -of-house desk. There was something about that inequality between performer and audience - that if it serves the perfomer then photography and video recording is a good thing but if it’s just a lowly audience member then they’re selfish - that I found to be a little bit elitist, and obviously with this being a big topic for King Crimson fans over the last decade I just thought I’d come here and post about it, not to try and sway anyones mind but just to try and explain it from my experience as clearly as possible. If alternative views are not welcome here then I apologise but you’d think of all places, this would be one that would be open to ideas whether they’re agreed with or not. I’m sad to see that that doesn’t seem to be the case.

RF: Well.

A few words on The Basement

There are some schools who instruct a student to send a letter / post such as Mr. Devlin’s, as an exercise:

to adopt the form of the Basement as an exercise in role playing, and to put ourselves in the place of others;
to undermine the hold of the personality on our essential nature through humiliation; that is, through exposure to public ridicule. This is a very high exercise, not for beginners, and not for many of the experienced either.

So, if Mr. Devlin is a Master, my congratulations and thanks to him. His postings are a triumph. If his letters are simply what they purport to be, an authentic trumpeting from The Basement, let us also be grateful for the insight into how dangerous this place can be. I’m sure that Mr. Devlin is not a bad man, and would not pull the wings off small flying creatures - although he has the right: they go out in public and have wings.

The poster…

Assumes he is paying compliments to performers by spoiling their performance, because he would himself like to be complimented in such a way and this would certainly not spoil his performance;
claims obligations of the performer towards himself while undermining the performer in honouring them;
claims “matching” rights on his own behalf without acknowledging obligations.

In the Basement, nothing changes and nothing can change. All is history: re-living the importance of Ride, while failing to engage with the Ride on offer in the moment; having that historical-moment spoilt by the attention of security staff doing their job of policing someone unmoved by an appeal to abide by house rules. Mr. Devlin spoils a performance while arguing that he has the right to do so, and not only does he have the right, the performer has a corresponding obligation to acknowledge that right, and the spoiling act is actually a compliment to the performer anyway – and the act is spoiling nothing!

An attribute of life in the Basement is that we attribute to others our own motivations and drives. Why would someone / anyone get on stage, or live a public life, if this were a life-style that didn’t match the performer’s natural inclination and personal bent? Why? In the Basement, we can only say – because they want to be photographed! Because they want the attention of someone like me – because I want attention from someone like me as well! Lots of Little Me-s run around The Basement, bumping into each other, demanding attention, going nowhere and making a lot of noise while doing so. The notion of vocation is a little too quietly-spoken to get a word in.

We are not bad people because we are clueless, but better to know we are clueless; otherwise, we are dangerous. If we act as-if we have-a-clue, while our heads are placed where sunshine never falls, we bump into other people and accuse them of violating our rights to go wherever we want – because what we do has no effect on anyone else!

In the Basement:

we only see ourselves;
we see the world as an extension of our world;
we see the motivations of others as our own motivations;
the world is like me, only with more of it;
my first instinct is to claim My Rights and it does not occur that prior to having a right, we have an obligation;
my worldview is totally subjective; as such, I am not available to debate, discussion, reasoned argument – because I am unable to put myself in the place of others; I only see them as aberrant forms of myself when they don’t concur with my own position.

One sure way we recognise the hold of The Basement over us is a sense of entitlement, of having rights. We are owed something, by the artists and by the performance – the artists are doing what they do because I have given them money! Their success is because of ME!

Whenever we feel life owes us something, we know immediately: this is The Basement calling.

The attitudes we hold are recognised by others, and this recognition is instinctive to the human animal. We may not believe this to be so, we may not know this is so, we may not want this to be so; but what we are is sensed by others. This is part of the natural defense mechanism inbuilt to the human animal, and operative if not overridden by the intellect or feelings. We put ourselves in front of others, and we are revealed; as also are our attempts at concealment.

This is an example of attitude: http://zimbranet.vdservers.com/~talkingheads/discus/messages/7/4623.html?1103209648

Union Chapel to close
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 05:07 pm:   
Cameron Devlin
Senior Member
Username: Devlinc
Post Number: 142 Registered: 06-2002

First of all, if the idiots who attend the place on a weekly basis don't want to make a few concessions to keep their place of worship (like allowing the consumption of alcohol) then screw them and screw their building. They're clearly too bloody minded to put aside their ridiculous beliefs for a few seconds to see that without us going there and spending money, the place is going to eventually crumble to dust. Hopefully with all of them inside it.

If our attitude sucks, mysteriously, life will conspire to thwart what we wish for ourselves.

Q: How can the world not recognise me as the wonderful person I know myself to be?
A: Because my attitude sucks, and this is obvious to others.

Q: But how can anyone know I’m a jerk?
A: Because they breathe the air around me.

Who we are, where we live, attracts to us the lives that we have. Living in The Basement attracts effluent.

But, hope remains: sometimes light falls from above, mysteriously. Perhaps a piece of music reaches down to us and speaks to us in unmistakeable terms; better then, that I have my Personal Noise Unit turned down and I am listening. Life-changing events of the personal kind - personal and professional disaster, a death in the family – may also impact us and demand that we deal with them, on the ground floor. We are all in the same boat. We all have the same choice to make.


Toyah and Fripp - The Lady or the Tiger?
Date Submitted: 01-Jul-07 
By: Cameron Devlin

9 years makes quite the difference. When I first reviewed this album back in 1998 I was fairly scathing, unfairly so I think.

19.02      Off to play with Slinky Toes Willcox.