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Thursday, May 15, 2008

King Crimson Lives! (Still!)

I was in a local music shop the other day to pick up some trombone grease for my son and the young man assisting me asked me if I play. I told the aspiring bassist of my "ancient history", including a few Guitar Craft courses in the late 80's. He had never heard of Guitar Craft, not surprising around here, but then I mentioned GC founder Robert Fripp and his band, King Crimson. He was unfamiliar. I suppose it's fair enough, with him being not yet out of high school, but seriously, WHAT ARE THEY TEACHING KIDS THESE DAYS!?!? No self-respecting rocker of any age should be unaware of King Crimson!

Simply stated, during several periods of its existence, KC was considered by many to be among the best bands in the world. You may be amazed to hear that the band, first formed in 1969, is STILL AROUND! The latest incarnation, Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, and Gavin Harrison (also of Porcupine Tree), will be doing a very limited tour in August (Chicago, Philadelphia, New York). In Chapel Hill, you can catch the Adrian Belew Power Trio at Cat's Cradle on Thursday, June 5th.

Now for your lesson kids, the one your music teacher failed to teach you. Here are the King Crimson albums you must listen to before you die. You will note that these are mainly the older albums, because while the band continues to make great music, KC has not been in the "best band in the world" category since 1982 in my opinion.

In The Court of the Crimson King (1969)
Lark's Tongues in Aspic (1973)
Starless and Bible Black (1974)
Red (1974)
USA (1975) (live)
Discipline (1981)
Thrak (1995)

You can find a nice discography here and visit Fripp's online label Discipline Global Mobile.

On a related note, Fripp collaborator and music icon Brian Eno celebrates his 60th birthday today!

(thanks to Sid Smith @ DGM for posting the Eno link)


brian t said...

There is some hope: last year I walked in to a music store here in Dublin, and there was a kid sitting on an amp with a guitar, trying to play the opening to "Fracture". He was already pretty good at it...

Anonymous said...

Two points:

-Since the full unedited Asbury Park, NJ show from June '74 is now available, it should really replace USA on that list. That release is what USA should have been in the first place anyway.

-Of course it's a matter of taste, but I say The Power to Believe ranks as just as essential as those others on that list.

Otherwise, I feel your pain. Paul Green's school makes their best effort, but you can't edumicate all them young'uns all the time...