FAQ - King Crimson Past
Where did the name King Crimson come from?
The band's original lyricist, Peter Sinfield, created it as a synonym for Beelzebub, which is derived from the Arabic phrase "B'il Sabab", meaning "the man with an aim." (Another, more common etymology of "Beelzebub" is that it is Hebrew for "Lord of the Flies.") In John Milton's 'Paradise Lost', Beelzebub was Satan's chief lieutenant among the fallen angles.
How did King Crimson get their start?
The dissolution of the trio Giles, Giles and Fripp led to the formation of King Crimson. Following the release of the album 'The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp', the three failed to secure any live dates. Peter Giles left, and the remaining Giles and Fripp sought replacements. Greg Lake, who knew Fripp knew from the Bournemouth area, replaced Peter Giles on bass and provided vocals. Multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald joined the band and Peter Sinfield provided song lyrics.
King Crimson was born.
Is it true that the group *Brain* was the precursor to Giles, Giles and Fripp?
Not entirely. The false belief that all three members of Giles, Giles and Fripp (the pre-King Crimson assemblage) had all started out together in a group called "Brain" (and even recorded a 45-RPM single on the Parlophone label) has been around for a while. Once such source is Vernon Joynson's 'The Tapestry Of Delights', a book on psychedelic and progressive rock. ETer Ted White made mention of this in the DGM guestbook, and Robert gave Ted a personal reply, in order to set the record straight.
Ted re-wrote his piece (used on the Collecting Channel), and it provides a good overview of this seminal, pre-King Crimson period:
"Fripp then met the Giles brothers. Michael was a drummer and Peter played bass. In August 1967 they reputedly formed a band called Brain, which released one single, "Nightmares in Red" b/w "Kick The Donkey" on Parlophone (R 5595) that year. "Nightmares in Red" has been described as "three minutes of sheer lunacy, nonsensical lyrics, discordant orchestration, snoring, total mayhem." This obscure single is of course now extremely rare and collectible, due to its historical importance to fans of King Crimson. However, when queried about this single, Robert Fripp told me,"The Giles Brothers were in Trendsetters Ltd. before Giles, Giles & Fripp. The single you're referring to belonged to the end period of Trendsetters and before I worked with them. So, I'm not sure if the single really is Trendsetters, or Brain for a group name during transition. But it's certainly not GG&F and I'm not on it.""This information will confound collectors, who thought otherwise."
What is Robert's history prior to GG&F?
Robert Fripp's pre-Giles, Giles and Fripp history is primarily centered around the League of Gentlemen, a mid-60's British combo not to be confused with the 80's dance band Fripp was also a member of. In his DGM diary, in response to a question from Sid Smith for the upcoming King Crimson book, RF talked about this:
"The LofG began when I was 17 and came into action as I was turning 18. This puts it around March/April 1964 for a beginning (and the clearest predictive dream I've ever had) through to 1965. "When I was 17 I was playing at the Chewton Glen Hotel with The Douglas Ward Trio, plus a few other local hotel / dance band gigs. This would have been 1963 into 1964. There was some crossover between the Chewton Glen and the LofG. "Shortly after I left the LofG I was offered the Majestic gig - Andy Summers had gone to London. This would have been around September 1965. "I was at college (with John Wetton) Autumn Term 1965 (October?) through to January 1967 when I took my A levels early. The grades were enough to get me accepted for University for Autumn 1967 but in the interim I decided to turn pro (May 16th. 1967). I left the Majestic to go to London with the Giles Brothers but returned to do the Christmas season for 1967. "So, you're right to draw attention to the discrepancies. This should clear it up. I also have my diaries for the period, plus draft contracts for The LofG plus setlists! Perhaps in the fullness of time you'll have a Crimson Companion, or second edition, or Scrapbook, or encyclopedia, or...".
I heard there is a "new" Giles, Giles and Fripp LP. What about it?
In the year 2001, a limited edition vinyl LP was released called 'Metaphormosis' (NOTE: not *Metamorphosis*). The release of this LP was apparently not authorized by Fripp, although it is not a bootleg. The release, on Tenth Planet Records, appears to be legitimate, and even has liner notes by Peter Giles. It also appears that this recording may be, in fact, demo recordings from Peter Giles' tape machine.
- Erudite Eyes
- Tremelo Study
- Make It Today
- Digging My Lawn
- I Talk to the Wind
- Make It Today (version 2)
- She's Loaded
- Why Don't You Just Drop In
When and where did King Crimson play their first gig?
The very first King Crimson gig was April 9, 1969 at the Speakeasy in London. Robert Fripp wrote in his journal:
"Massive success. The word starts to creep about in the business."
King Crimson's actual birthday was on January 13, 1969 in the Fulham Palace Cafe where Fripp, Lake, Giles and McDonald first rehearsed.
Will the original King Crimson ever perform together again?
This question was posed recently at the Epitaph Playbacks, and (perhaps surprisingly) there were a few positive responses from the assemblage of Fripp, Giles, Lake, McDonald and Sinfield. However, a more realistic answer to this often asked question is "not very likely".
With regard to Rock Music history, it's relevant to ponder why this question gets asked so often. ' In the Court of the Crimson King: An Observation by King Crimson' was recorded in only eight or ten days - depending upon whether you ask Robert Fripp or Greg Lake. In fact (according to a conversation related in ET#375 between Greg Lake and Robert Cervero), '21st Century Schizoid Man' was done in one take! Yet, the album had a very significant impact on the music of the time.
As far as a re-formation, reunion concert or "nostalgia tour" is concerned, it seems unlikely that Mr. Fripp would be willing to take part.
Why do people refer to King Crimson as "Crimso"?
According to Robert Fripp in the liner notes from 'A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson' (YPG), it is the result of a letter to the -International Times- from one Rory O'Flute, August 18, 1969:
"Who wants to read about Jim Morris an his doors on all dem Bossom Tomes an dat King Crimso when ye've herd bandslike 'Blast'." (sic)
What other musicians have King Crimson members been involved with?
Several members of King Crimson have been involved with musicians on other well-known projects. Here is an inexhaustive list:
- Greg Lake, previously with Shame and The Gods, formed Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
- Ian McDonald became a member of Foreigner.
- Michael Giles made an album with Ian McDonald after their departure from KC, but the duo never toured. He has also played with Kevin Ayers, Jackson Heights, Graham Bonnet,Yvonne Elliman, Bryan Ferry Roger Glover, Luther Grosvenor, Greg Lake, John G. Perry, Anthony Phillips, Duffy Power, Leo Sayer and others. (Thanks to Gennadi Orlov for contributing this information - FAQmaster.)
- Boz Burrell joined Bad Company.
- John Wetton had been in Family and Mogul Thrash, and later played with Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, UK, and Asia.
- Bill Bruford has been in Yes, UK and Earthworks.
- Adrian Belew, formerly with Gaga, has played with many people including David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson and Nine Inch Nails.
- Tony Levin has played with everyone, including Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, Paul Simon and Pink Floyd.
- Pat Mastelotto was in Mister Mister, played on XTC's album 'Oranges and Lemons', and toured with Sylvian/Fripp. He also played on Karen Blake's album 'Just One Heart'.
- Jamie Muir was in Boris, Pete Brown's Battered Ornaments, Assagai, Sunship, and the Music Improvisation Company.
- Richard Palmer-James, the lyricist who replaced Peter Sinfield in 1970's era King Crimson, was originally in the group Supertramp. He played lead guitar on the first Supertramp album (credited as "Richard Palmer"), co-wrote some songs and did some vocals. See Interview with Richard Palmer-James in Calamity for a revealing interview.
- Ian Walace was in The Warriors with Jon Anderson (later of Yes), the Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band, Viv Stanshall and The World before joining up with King Crimson to play drums on 'Islands'.
- Andy McCulloch, who played drums on 'Lizard', played with Manfred Mann before KC, and was later with Fields and Duncan Mackay.
- David Cross, played on the LP by Clearlight Symphony - 'Forever Blowing Bubbles'.
What are some birthdays of past and present KC players?
Harry Miller: April 25, 1941 Michael Giles: March 1, 1942 Marc Charig: February 22, 1944 Gordon Haskell: April 27, 1946 Robert Fripp: May 16, 1946 Tony Levin: June 6th, 1946 Ian McDonald: June 25th, 1946 Boz Burrell: August 1, 1946 (died September 21, 2007) Ian Wallace: September 29, 1946 (died February 22, 2007) Keith Tippett: August 25th, 1947 Mel Collins: September 5th, 1947 Bill Bruford: May 17th, 1948 Greg Lake: November 10, 1948 John Wetton: June 12, 1949 David Cross: April 23, 1949 Adrian Belew: December 23rd, 1949 Eddie Jobson: May 28, 1955 Lee Patrick Mastelotto: September 10th, 1955
Were Elton John and Brian Ferry ever potential members of KC?
From the liner notes from 'A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson' (YPG):
"Elton had been booked to sing all the songs on 'Poseidon' for £250 as a session singer and as I wasn't familiar with his work, Mark Fenwick of E. G. gave me a copy of Elton's first album. But his style didn't seem right for Crimson and the album was poor, so I canceled the sessions. "Among those singers we auditioned were John Gaydon, one of our managers (the G of EG) who had sung with the Band of Angels, and Bryan Ferry. Both were among the best although not suitable." -RF (circa Dec. '70)
Is it true Robert Fripp was once offered the lead-guitarist position in Yes?
During the sessions for 'In The Wake of Poseidon', when Greg Lake had made the decision to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer and permanent replacements were needed for McDonald and Giles, the future of King Crimson was in grave doubt. Peter Banks had just departed Yes, and Robert was offered the position. (The job eventually was filled by Steve Howe). Robert also turned down an offer at this time to join Aynsley Dunbar's Blue Whale.
Was Ian McDonald (of the first KC lineup) previously in Fairport Convention?
No. The Ian in Fairport Convention was MACDonald, as opposed to McDonald. He eventually changed his name to Ian Matthews and went on to form the band Matthews Southern Comfort.
Has anybody noticed that The Definitive Edition remasterings sound different from the original releases?
Yes. The original transfers to CD were, to quote Robert Fripp, "appalling." In the early 1990s Fripp, Tony Arnold and David Singleton set about remastering the EG catalogue, or at least the part of it that RF was involved in. In addition to the improved sound quality, minor and major changes have been noted, including:
- A voice (presumably Bill Bruford's) at the end of 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part II' asking if they can do another take. (see question #19 below.)
- A guitar lead played by Fripp has been removed from 'Matte Kudasai'.
- Some of Bill Bruford's drumming has been removed from 'Sleepless'.
- The coda to 'Islands' has been left off.
- Many changes to the RF solo album 'Exposure'.
- The bass part to 'Sleepless' has been modified slightly - some reverb is missing.
In the scrapbook that accompanies 'The Great Deceiver', Fripp says,
"I view the King Crimson repertoire as ongoing and available: not a sacrosanct body of work but available, organic, and malleable."
This would explain the various overdubs and edits to appear on re-releases.
Is there an alternate (studio) version of 'I Talk to the Wind'?
During the transition from Giles, Giles and Fripp to KC, Judy Dyble (vocalist, Fairport Convention) contributed to an embryonic version of 'I Talk to the Wind', which also featured Ian McDonald. This version was included on the compilation, 'A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson'.
Dyble left after one month, and the quartet, Giles, Giles, Fripp and McDonald, performed a twenty-five minute set on the 'Color Me Pop' BBC-TV program. Eventually, Greg Lake joined and took over vocalist/bassist duties when Peter Giles left the group.
Were there two different covers to the vinyl LP version of 'Islands'?
Yes. The original American (Atlantic Records) release was a gatefold sleeve with a predominantly white background, dotted by small patches of color representing "islands". The cover art credit was given to Peter Sinfield. The British and European versions of the album cover were non-gatefold, and featured a photograph of the Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius. U.K. Island Records releases of the 'Islands' LP featured a sleeve insert that was a soft paper gatefold that served as the basis for the American (Atlantic Records) album cover.
Most latter-day CD's of the album use this Trifid Nebula photograph on the front cover, but feature the internal gatefold sleeve from the Atlantic Records version in the CD inlay, complete with song lyrics and a picture-collage of the band.
Why is the coda to 'Islands' (with Fripp rehearsing the orchestra) missing in the Definitive Edition release?
In the 'Frame by Frame' scrapbook, Robert Fripp explains,
"The invisible track 13 (on disc one), the coda from 'Islands', was omitted from The Definitive Edition remastering of 1989 through an engineer's error."
The coda has been added to newer printings of the CD.
On some studio versions of 'Lark's Tongues in Aspic', Pt. 2, the phrase "Can I do one more immediately?" can be heard as the track fades out. Who is it?
In the absence of authoritative evidence, this question remains open to debate. David Crossen in ET #228 makes a powerful argument for Bill Bruford based on accents and temperament. As for the phrase's actual appearance on various editions of 'LTiA', it appears and disappears in much the same manner as the "orchestral tune-up hidden track" on 'Islands'. It appears on some Definitive Edition CDs and not on others.
What was 'Earthbound' and why did everybody hate it?
First of all, a lot of people, including the FAQmaster, actually liked it!
'Earthbound' was a (vinyl) LP live album never released in the United States (imported vinyl copies have been known to turn up in North American record shops). Atlantic Records, the American distributor for King Crimson albums, refused to release the album due to both sound quality and "content" issues. It was originally released as a part of Island Records budget series, catalogue# HELP 6.
The album was culled from direct-to-cassette live recordings of the Mel Collins, Ian Wallace and Boz Burrell version of King Crimson. These three (along with RF, of course) recorded the studio album 'Islands'. The live mettle of this performing unit can also be heard on the Collector's Club release #2, ' Live in Jacksonville'.
Although the 'Earthbound' album is the fifth official KC release, many listeners disavow its place among the "classic catalog". Certainly, Robert Fripp acknowledges its place there, but he has been reluctant to allow 'Earthbound' to be released on Compact Disc.
As for the music itself: certainly, no other King Crimson album has evoked so much hostility, even from KC enthusiasts. The sound quality is a lot to blame, although others argue that the performances are of dubious merit.
For venue dates and locations, we read this on the original 'Earthbound' liner notes (in parens are the venues, added from the FbF booklet):
"SCHIZOID MAN and GROON were recorded at Wilmington, Delaware (at the Armoury) on 11 February 1972; PEORIA at Peoria (at the Barn) on March 10, 1972; THE SAILOR'S TALE at Jacksonville (Baseball Park), Florida 26 February 1972; EARTHBOUND at Orlando, Florida (at Kemp Coliseum) 27 February 1972."
Where was 'USA' recorded?
According to sound engineer David Singleton, 'USA' was recorded at Asbury Park, New Jersey except for '21st Century Schizoid Man', which was recorded at Providence, Rhode Island. This directly contradicts the following entry in the Frame By Frame/Young Person's Guide booklets:
"June 30 (1974): 'Providence' and most of 'USA' recorded at the Palace Theater, Providence, R.I."
Adding to the controversy is the fact that many ET readers (including the FAQmaster) have posted to ET concerns that, even considering overdubs, the first CD from 'The Great Deceiver' box set (the Providence concert) simply does not sound like the original 'USA'. Perhaps a re-issue of the original 'USA' (see question below) will resolve this issue. Meanwhile, it seems likely that Mr. Singleton is correct, given that the first song on side two of the (vinyl) LP of USA was an improvisation called 'Asbury Park'.
What are the King Crimson Collector's Editions?
King Crimson Collectors Edition No. 1 is ' The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat', a 6 song CD-EP containing 'The King Crimson Barber Shop', 'Matte Kudasai', edited versions of '21st Century Schizoid Man', 'In the Court of the Crimson King', 'Elephant Talk', and 'Heartbeat'. It also contains a medley, 1 minute and 20 seconds of excerpts from KC songs, spanning their entire career (through 1984), edited together into a single piece. It was originally created as a promotional device for the 'Frame by Frame' box set. In the liner notes, Robert states,
"Collectors being what they are, the large promotional issue to radio stations would eventually end up in private hands. I have no objection to this. For those collectors who would rather not wait, and for anyone who would rather dip briefly into classic Crimson, we make publicly available this record intended for radio."
King Crimson Collectors Edition No. 2 is the July 1996 'Schizoid Man' CD-EP. This contains 5 versions of '21st Schizoid Man'. One is the original version from the first album ('In the Court of the Crimson King') and one is a shortened version of this same track. The others are live versions from the original band, the 'Islands' band (this track is from the deleted LP 'Earthbound') and the Cross, Wetton, Bruford version of KC. Except for the 'Earthbound' track, the live tracks are from forthcoming Discipline releases.
Have any tracks been altered in the 'Frame By Frame' collection?
In addition to the different version of 'Cadence and Cascade' (See question below), there are several abridged versions of classic (pre-1990's) Crimson songs.
- The Sailor's Tale, beginning omitted
- Bolero, re-mixed
- Larks Tongues In Aspic, Part 1', middle section left out
- Fracture, middle section removed
- Starless, everything after vocal intro removed
- Moonchild, everything after vocal intro removed
Is that Adrian Belew singing 'Cadence and Cascade' on the 'Frame by Frame' Box set?
Yes, Adrian is fully credited for this performance, despite the fact that Gordon Haskell sang the original version on 'In the Wake of Poseidon'. These sessions occurred when the 1990's KC was being re-formed. On this matter, Adrian said:
"I was going to visit Robert over the summer for a couple of days and he suggested that "since you're here why don't you do something on this new compilation?" So, it was entirely his idea, but I enjoyed singing it."
It may be inferred (and is entirely possible) that Mr. Haskell's removal from the track is the result of a long-standing dispute with RF over royalties from the 'Poseidon/Lizard' era.
Who played the flute parts on 'Exiles'?
There are no official credits for the flute parts on the 'Larks Tongues In Aspic' LP. Jamie Muir is credited with "Percussion & Allsorts", but it is assumed that the allsorts referred to here are tuned percussion instruments. Both Fripp and Cross played Mellotron, but the flute heard in 'Exiles' is of a quality more closely associated with the original woodwind instrument.
ETer Biffy the Elephant Shrew posted in a recent newsletter that a press release from the period lists David Cross as playing "violin, flute, Mellotron". On page 59 of 'The Great Deceiver' booklet, David Cross mentions even playing the flute onstage. One such onstage performance could have been the 1972 Beat Club appearance: the improv 'Rich Tapestry of Life' features the flute.
In what seems likely to end the controversy, an interview with David Cross in ' Muzikalnaya Gazeta', David is asked:
MG. There always was a question: who played flute on original version of "Exiles"? Can you shed a light on this one? DC. I played flute on Exiles.
Was there a typo-error on the running time of 'The Talking Drum' on the 'Frame by Frame' box set?
Original (Virgin Records) pressings from 1991 of the 'Frame by Frame' box set indicated a running time of 29 minutes 4 seconds for 'The Talking Drum' on disc four: Live 1969-84. This error occurred on the booklet and the CD case. Subsequent pressings showed a running time of 8 minutes 29 seconds on the CD case, but retained the error on the booklet. Adding to the confusion is the fact that, on page 30 of TGD booklet, a reviewer mentions "the cerebellum-gnawing 29 minute live version of 'The Talking Drum'" from the FbF box set! However, since this version of 'The Talking Drum' was from the 1973 Amsterdam concert (used in 'The Night Watch' release), we know this version cannot be 29 minutes long.
What happens at the end of 'The Mincer'?
On the track called 'The Mincer', which appears on the 'Starless and Bible Black' album, the master tape recording machine actually ran out of tape before the end of the song. It was decided to keep the "mistake" intact when the LP was mastered.
Who played the bass solo on 'Red'?
On the original 1974 (studio) version of 'Red', from the album of the same name, the intense middle section features a bass solo not played by John Wetton. John Wetton has stated publicly that the solo was performed by Marc Charig on a bass cello. Charig's only credited performance on the album is cornet.
Was 'Red' ever played live in the 1970's?
No. After the July 1, 1974 gig at Central Park, New York, David Cross departed the group. On July 8, the remaining trio of Bruford, Wetton and Fripp began recording the 'Red' album.
Although Cross appeared as a guest on the 'Red' album, and Ian McDonald even supplied sax, the history of 1970's King Crimson ended when Fripp abruptly disbanded the group upon the album's completion. This means that the song 'Red' was first performed live by the 1980's version of KC, featuring Fripp, Bruford, Levin and Belew. (Note: both 'Providence' and 'Starless', from side two of the 'Red' LP, had been performed live by the 1970's KC).
What was the original name of the 1980's version of King Crimson?
The band that created the 'Discipline' album was also called 'Discipline', until all the members (Fripp, Levin, Bruford and Belew) accepted that the name should be changed to King Crimson.
This Discipline band played a concert at the Moles Club in Bath, England in 1981. This concert is the featured release (#11) in the King Crimson Collector's Club.
Is 'Matte Kudasai', on the remastered 'Discipline', actually the original version that first appeared on the LP?
Yes. The 30th Anniversary Edition of 'Discpline' contains the original mix from the 1981 vinyl LP, which includes a guitar overdub by Fripp that has been missing from most CD versions of the album. This "special mix" or "alternative version" was on the first vinyl edition, the the B-side to Elephant Talk 7", on Elephant Talk and Thela Hun Ginjeet promo 12" and on the first, non-remastered CD edition.
The "special mix" (without Fripp overdub) was on the original Matte Kudasai 7", on 'The Compact King Crimson' compilation, and on all Definitive Edition re-masters CD editions.
On television: about 30 seconds of 'Fracture' was used on a detective show on UK TV in the late 70s/early 80s called 'Hazell'. In the scene, Hazell was running down a fire escape in pursuit of a villain while 'Fracture' was playing. 'Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream' has been used in a deodorant commercial. About this, Robert Fripp writes:"I was asked for permission (on behalf of the other guys) as to whether 'Cage' from the mini CD 'VROOOM' could be used for a Gillette advert. Since I use Gillette it was fine by me. Not cigarettes, not alcohol. The other guys were also asked for their input. But the firm asking permission (Saatchi & Saatchi) made a mistake - they really meant 'SSEDD'. So we all had a BIG surprise when a deodorant ad with a different song came up! My personal aim was to have a wild Crimson song ('Cage') presented to a public which would otherwise probably never have heard it.
'21st Century Schizoid Man' has been used in an advert for Dunlop tires. Also, on 'Late Night with David Letterman', the band played 'In the Court of the Crimson King' when Larry King came onstage.
There is a producer at NBC who favors using Fripp related music in his sporting event productions. His work was spotted by many ETers during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. He posted to ET recently (Feb. 1997). More info about "Al" as it becomes available.
'Sartori in Tangier' has been heard on MTV's animated series 'The Maxx'.
A Dr. Who episode called 'The Mind of Evil' featured an evil foe called "The Master" who rode in a limo listening to 'The Devil's Triangle'!
The "tension and release" section of Starless was used for a scene of a car being smashed up in the late 1970s UK cop programme 'Hazell'.
On the Saturday, November 13th, 1999 broadcast of Saturday Night Live, Garth Brooks played a down-on-his-luck songwriter who makes a deal with the devil. When the devil arrived in dramatic fashion, a section of 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 1' was heard.
António Maria Correia, from Lisbon, Portugal says that Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's 'Shooting Stars' program features a portion of 'Indoor Games' in a short clip - the courtship dance between L/CPL Boiled Egg and his lady.
ETer Errol H. Tout tells us:"There is a video programme called 'Rage'. Their sweeper was the introduction to "Sleepless". The video show runs all night and the sweeper would appear dozens of times during the programme. Although it is no longer in use as the sweeper [as far as I am aware at least - I do not watch all night] it was used for at least ten years in this manner."
Edgar Kausel also reports that between 1993 and 1994, the Argentinian TV Network ATC used the intro of "Sleepless" as the main theme for its news program.
Similarly, the FAQmaster would like to relate that, here in the Denver Colorado area, a local independent television network (KBDI, channel 12) had a video program back in the 1980's called 'Teletunes' (also known as 'FM-TV'). Each show began with a live performance of 'Elephant Talk', prominently featuring Tony's hands on the stick in the intro. The performance was definitely KC, and definitely a studio (stage) performance. (One wonders if KC ever received royalties for of all these performances).
On the Fox TV sit-com 'Malcolm in the Middle' (one of the few sitcoms the FAQmaster actually likes ;-), an episode in which Malcolm and his family find themselves with new neighbors has his father looking through the neighbor's record collection. To paraphrase the father's reactions:"'You've got the Doobie Brothers?.......King Crimson! (holds up plain red cover presumably the back of Discipline).......and Cheap Trick!?'"
And so it goes....In other similarly oblique references, On the April 5th, 1999 telecast of 'The Late Show with David Letterman', the house band played '21st Century Schizoid Man' after the Top Ten List: Historical Inaccuracies in Peter Jennings' "The Century".
In film, ETer Matthew K. Smith reports that the album cover to 'Discipline' can be spotted several times in the record store featured in the movie 'High Fidelity', and also that King Crimson is mentioned in a conversation in the film 'The Return of the Secaucus Seven'. The soft-core porn films 'Emmanuel' and 'Emmanuel II' are probably the most notorious uses of KC music in film. 'Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Pt. II' (not performed by KC) was used as theme music in both films. Robert was not consulted. A lawsuit ensued and was settled out of court in Robert's favor. A January, 2000 entry in RF's DGM diary:"And, on the subject of (financially successful) erotica, Channel 5 (English tv) entered the "new millennium" with 'Emmanuelle'.(snip) The Channel 5 telecast will earn me a pitiful, trifling sum."
This would indicate that the LTiAII music remains intact in the movie, and Robert Fripp receives royalties for their performance. And speaking of 'LTIA', ETer Hisahiko Kawashima reports that the Chinese film 'Bruce Lee of Big Boss' also uses music from 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic Part II'. It is not known if this usage has been authorized by RF.
In the mid-seventies, a very low budget documentary about strange and unusual events in the Bermuda Triangle featured bits of Mellotron from 'The Devil's Triangle' (from 'In the Wake of Poseidon'). The film was also titled 'The Devil's Triangle'. It is not known if RF/KC granted permission or received royalties.
The recent independent film, 'Buffalo 66', features KC's 'Moonchild', from the first album. Robert approved of the use of the music in this film, as he recently stated in his diary at the DGM website.
Instrumental parts of 'Indoor Games' (from 'Lizard') were used as the opening tune for a Hungarian film called 'The Elephant'.On the subject of film - RF was commissioned in the 1980's to write the soundtrack for a sci-fi movie to be called 'Neuromancer', based on a story by William Gibson. Because of a conflict with the rights to the film, the project was never completed. It appears that now the film may be done after all, although it is not known if RF is involved.
ETer Glen Uber reports:"There is a business in Santa Rosa, CA called Sunset Car Audio that used 'Elephant Talk' in some of their radio spots a few years back. As I remember it, only the introductory riff and bits of Adrian's solo and "elephantosity" were featured."On a similar note, horror writer Stephen King made several references to "the Court of the Crimson King" in his novel, 'Insomnia'. Although these references are of a devilish nature, it's quite likely that Mr. King, a rock music fan of long-standing, intended some homage to the band.
Is there a King Crimson fan magazine?
We'll Let You Know 3 Kings Drive Wrose Bradford BD2 1PX West Yorkshire England
Who manages Robert Fripp and King Crimson?
Richard Chadwick no longer manages Robert or the band. David Singleton of DGM is now offically listed as the primary contact for all management affairs related to Robert Fripp and King Crimson.
Did King Crimson ever make any music videos?
The 1980's version of King Crimson (Belew, Bruford, Fripp and Levin) did indeed make music videos. A video of 'Sleepless' features Tony Levin as a boxer: this version of the song is also longer than the original version on 'Three of a Perfect Pair'. It is believed this extended version is the 8 minute "dance mix" version, made available on a limited basis as a 12" maxi-single.
All four musicians can also be seen "acting" in a staged cocktail party in a video of the song 'Heartbeat'.
Has King Crimson ever appeared on television?
Of course. Here's a tentative list:
- Top of the Pops: a BBC-TV appearance on March 25, 1970. 'Cat Food' was performed (actually, it was lip-synched!).
- Beat Club: an October 17th, 1972 TV performance of 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic Part 1', featuring Jamie Muir. This clip can be found on at least two different Beat Club compilations available on laserdisc.
- Atlantic Promo: a live performance of 'Easy Money' was used for an Atlantic Records promotional film, taken from a June 25, 1973 Central Park (New York) concert. However, the whole promo film has never been seen in its entirety on television.
- Midnight Special: turn to page 24 of your 'Frame by Frame' booklet and thrill to the sight of the boys hamming it up with Wolfman Jack. They performed 'Easy Money' and 'Lark's Tongues In Aspic Part II'.
- French TV: while in Paris on March 22, 1974, a live performance was recorded in Marignane and broadcast by the ORTF. The performances were: 'Lament', 'Improv-Nightwatch' and 'Starless'.
- Fridays: the irreverent comedy show provided a springboard for the newly revived Crimson King. 'Elephant Talk' and 'Thela Hun Ginjeet' were performed.
- The Old Gray Whistle Test: this British television program featured the 1980's quartet performing 'Indiscipline'. In her introduction, the hostess mentions Fripp's belief that Wimbourne is "the center of the universe".
- Showtime In Concert: the cable-TV network aired a mini-concert in 1984 in which Fripp, Bruford, Levin and Belew performed several signature songs from the 1980's.
- German TV: a (roughly) 45 minute set at the Alabamahalle in Munich in 1982 was broadcast on German television.
- MTV: a sixty minute version of the concert later released as the 'Three of a Perfect Pair' concert video (see question above) first aired in 1985. Although some songs were omitted, the MTV version did feature some interesting film of the boys sightseeing in Japan.
- Sold Out: an appearance by the Double Trio on this television show originating in Buenos Aires, Argentina occurred in 1994.
- Japanese TV: an alternate version of the concert that became the 'Live 1995' video, from the Nakano Sun Plaza concerts of October 5-6, 1995.
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien: on November 14, 1995 the Double Trio performed 'Dinosaur'. Conan shook everyone's hand.
- VH1: Although not a LIVE appearance, it's important to mention that King Crimson was included in the VH1 top-100 "Heaviest Hard-Rock Bands of All Time", which premiered in November, 2000. They made it to number 87 on the list.....
Didn't King Crimson once appear on the TV show 'Saturday Night Live'?
No, no, no!
The 1981 appearance on TV's 'Fridays' (a late-night show that "modeled" itself off of SNL) seems to be often mistaken for a 'Saturday Night Live' appearance. For more information, see the above question.
Who plays what guitar parts on 'The Sheltering Sky'?
In a special issue of Elephant Talk devoted to Adrian's' answers to questions posed by ET readers, he said:
"I'm not sure you're always supposed to know who is playing what, especially in the case of interlocking guitar parts. In 'Sheltering Sky', Robert plays the melody which he wrote while I play a simple rhythm part. In the middle I play some early "clouds". At the end it returns to Robert playing his melody; me playing chords." -Adrian Belew
Did the 1980's KC ever perform an instrumental version of 'Neurotica'?
Yes. Prior to the release of 'Beat', a live instrumental version of 'Neurotica', performed under a different name, was being performed live. Several posts from ET#353 - ET#357 indicate that Adrian introduced the song in concert as 'Manhattan'.
Has King Crimson ever performed music composed by other artists?
Yes, several "covers" have slipped in, mostly in live performance, over the years. They include:
- Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, the Beatles tune, and
- Michael From the Mountains, written by Joni Mitchell, were performed in KC's first rehearsals in early 1969.
- Mars: the Holst composition was often performed live by the 1969 KC. (It should be noted that there is more than just a passing resemblance between 'Mars' and 'The Devils Triangle'. However, compositional credits on 'The Wake of Poseidon' for this instrumental have been given to Fripp and McDonald. For more info on this, see the q/a on "tritones".)
- Get Thy Bearings, the Donovan song, received a jazzed-up review by the original KC.
- Free As A Bird, the John Lennon composition recorded by the remaining three Beatles, also received a live 1995 treatment by Adrian Belew, performing with the double-trio. A snip of this can be heard on 'THRaKaTTaK'.
- Heroes, the David Bowie song, is currently being covered in concert by the double-duo version of KC. (trivia note: RF played on the original Bowie recording).
- The Creator Has a Master Plan, featured on the KC Club release 'Live At Summit Studios'. Ian Wallace mentioned in the liner notes: "Actually,'The Creator Has a Master Plan' is from the album 'Karma' by Pharaoh Sanders. The original lyrics are written and sung by Leon Thomas, the music is written by Pharaoh Sanders.".
- Prism, recorded on the King Crimson Collector's Club release 'Live on Broadway', is actually a (swiss Jazz percussionist) Pierre Favre composition, recorded on Pierre Favre Ensemble's 'Singing Drums' album (ECM).
Notes: items 1 and 2 are mentioned by RF in his diary (January 13, 1969), reprinted in the FbF booklet. Items 3 and 4 are available in the Epitaph box set, as well as disc 4 of the Frame By Frame box set.
There's a part in the 'Epitaph' CD that sounds like the classical guitar riff from the Beatles 'Bungalow Bill'. What's going on?
On the fist volume of Epitaph, Track 10 ('Improv-Travel Bleary Capricorn'), there is a Spanish/Classical guitar riff on the fist 8 seconds of that track matches note-for-note the track on the Beatles 'White Album', 'The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill'. This riff is, in fact, a "demo sound" included on many Mellotron models of the time. So, apparently, the Beatles had a Mellotron in the studio during the 'White Album' sessions, and were the first to include it in a recording.
This has also been mentioned in the q/a on Mellotrons.
Was King Crimson ever nominated for a Grammy Award?
Yes. It was announced on January 6, 1996 that King Crimson was nominated, in the category of "Best Rock Instrumental Performance", for the 'VROOOM' track off of the 'THRAK' album.
Ken Swiderski tells us that KC was also nominated for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1983 for 'Requiem'.
Has any musician ever turned down an offer to be in King Crimson?
Yes. Virtuoso keyboard player Keith Tippett, who played the piano parts for 'Wake of Poseidon', 'Lizard' and 'Islands', was content to remain a session player for KC, and turned down an offer from Robert to be a permanent member of the band.
Rick Kemp, bass player for Steeleye Span, was offered the bass player position in KC prior to the 'Islands' sessions. Rick allegedly quit after two weeks, and Robert eventually decided to teach Boz (who was strictly a vocalist) how to play the bass parts.
According to the text of an interview with David Sylvian:
"Robert approached me in late 1991 about whether I wanted to join a new King Crimson he was forming. Though very flattered, I decided that I didn't feel equipped to take on the whole baggage and history that comes with being a member of King Crimson. So instead we took the offer of the tour as an opportunity to write material for an album."
What albums are considered (by ET readers) to be "the lost King Crimson albums"?
According to a general consensus of ET readers who posted on the subject of albums that "could have been" KC albums, or represented a transitional phase of past or future KC members, we have these three candidates:
- The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp (Giles, Giles & Fripp): a year before the release of 'In the Court of the Crimson King', this seminal trio (consisting of future KC members Fripp and Michael Giles) released this eccentric LP record. The music is somewhat light and more pop-oriented, although RF's guitar playing on cuts like 'Euridite Eyes' are an indication of things to come.
- McDonald and Giles: after the departure of these two members of the original King Crimson following the 1969 American Tour, Ian and Michael released this album. Links to KC include the presence of Peter Giles (Giles, Giles and Fripp) on bass guitar, and Peter Sinfield providing the words to the 'Birdman' opus.
It is also interesting to note that 'Flight of the Ibis', which contains "the original melody for 'Cadence and Cascade'", has all credit for the music going to Ian McDonald. Yet, the credits for 'Cadence and Cascade' on KC's 'Wake of Poseidon' album list only Fripp and Sinfield as composer and lyricist, respectively.
- The First Day/ Damage (Sylvian/Fripp): essentially, one-half of the double-trio (Fripp, Gunn and Mastelotto) appear on 'Damage', although the studio recording 'The First Day' featured Jerry Marotta on drums. Elements of the future KC/double trio can be heard in these recordings. It is significant to note that David Sylvian was, at one time, being considered by Fripp as a prospective member for the new version of KC.
To illustrate how things run full circle, Michael Giles (see McDonald and Giles reference above) auditioned during the same double trio sessions that Pat Mastelotto and Bill Bruford did! (Reference: Modern Drummer magazine).
Are there any (KC) songs that have never been performed live?
The enigmatic Robert Cervero was kind enough to answer this for us all recently:
"Based on what's out there on bootleg and circulating among tape traders, these tunes have never been performed live:
- Moonchild (from 'In the Court')
- In the Wake of Poseidon (from 'Poseidon')
- Prince Rupert Awakes, 'The Battle of Glass Tears', 'Big Top' (from 'Lizard')
- Fallen Angel (from 'Red' -- sidenote: short stanza played as part of jam at the Zoom Club, Frankfurt, Oct. 13, 1972, the inaugural show of the Wetton/Cross/Bruford/Muir/Fripp ensemble)
- One More Red Nightmare (from 'Red')"
The fact is, many KC songs have been played live, but never released on official live recordings, but are available on bootlegs (which then proves that they were performed live). Here are a few more:
- Happy Family (from 'Lizard')
- Nuages, Model Man (from '3 of a PP')
- Two Hands (from 'Beat')
Are there any (KC) songs that have never been recorded in the studio?
Well, yes, dozens of improvisations, but for the sake of this q/a, we'll confine ourselves to non-improvisational "songs".
- Trees, Get Thy Bearings, Mantra (see note below), Travel Weary Capricorn, Nola, Etude #7 ("could have been" on 'ItCotKC')
- Doctor Diamond ("could have been" on 'SaBB')
- Fracture (live versions on 'SaBB' and 'The Night Watch')
- The Night Watch intro (live version on 'SaBB')
- Conundrum and Prism (from the 'VROOOM/THRAK' era)
- and of course, the ProjeKct material.....
Note: On the subject of 'Mantra', although 'Mantra' in its entirety was never recorded in the studio, there is a section of 'Mantra' which eventually morphed into the intro for 'Exiles' (which, of course, was recorded in the studio). It's also interesting to note what engineer David Singleton said on page 5 of the 'Epitaph' booklet:
"'Mantra' and 'Travel Weary Capricorn' (track8&9) were originally written as separate pieces, although here they are segued."
All of this information demonstrates how the musical pieces of King Crimson often related to each other, and how the influence of the original KC formation lasted well past the first studio release.
Which live incarnation of KC never performed '21st Century Schizoid Man'?
The 1980's version of KC (Fripp, Belew, Levin and Bruford) never performed '21st Century Schizoid Man' live.
Are there any gold CDs of Fripp/Crimson music available?
'Damage', the Sylvian/Fripp live release, was made available as a box-set with gold CD. During the 1995 THRAK tour, a special metal-box collector's version of 'THRAK' with a gold CD inside was available.
ETers anticpate that a gold CD of 'TCoL' may be made available, perhaps during the Japanese or American tours. So far, no word from DGM or Virgin about such an item.....
It's also important to note that the Japanese re-issues of the "Classic Catalog" (1969-1884 studio albums) are gold CDs. They are the 24 bit re-masters released on Pony Canyon.
Is the violin in 'Larks Tongues in Aspic Part 1' based on 'The Lark Ascending' by Ralph Vaughan Williams?
David Cross, who performed this himself on LTiA, answers this question for us:
"At the time of recording I don't think that I knew The Lark Ascending. I was seeking to create an open space fresh air moment and the part I created seemed to fit the bill. Years later when I played The Lark Ascending I too was struck by the similarity with that Larks' Tongues Intermezzo passage. "It is a very well known piece of music, so it seems likely that I must have heard it before that date but I wasn't consciously referring to it at the time. I think the biggest coincidence is the name."
Is the magician on the cover of 'The Great Deceiver' actually Jamie Muir?
No. Although there is a slight resemblance in the face (specifically the goatee), the magician is actually The Great Kovari.
What instrument is Bill Bruford credited with playing on 'Trio'?
"Admirable restraint". This is because, at least on the version preserved on the 'Starless and Bible Black' and 'The Night Watch', there are no drums or percussion. Since this is considered an improvisation, is is assumed that Bruford's lack of involvement was intentional, and it is generally considered that this added greatly to the serenity of the piece.
On the recent Club release [[Live_in_Mainz,_Germany,_1974 | Live in Mainz] there are some percussive sounds heard, perhaps a xlyophone.
What was the origin of the "double trio" concept for King Crimson?
Perhaps this can best be answered by reprinting an excerpt from Robert Fripp's on-line conference, held in the CompuServe Convention Center on 23 March, 1995.
(#97,Rock Mondo) Hey...where did you get the idea for the double trio?
(#71,Robert Fripp) The question to ask is where the idea came from.
(#71,Robert Fripp) The idea of a double trio came in a flash, what in guitar Craft is called a Point of Seeing. This bypasses our normal way of thinking about things, which is actually not thinking at all. Only when we get past the surface noise does any "thinking" as such actually begin. So, the idea of a double trio had nothing to do with Robert, but flew by and impacted on him. Fortunately RF is sufficiently trained in these points of seeing to be able to bring back enough of the informational content to apply some of it in practice.
(#6,Glenn-Moderator) Is this a method you can practice and learn?
(#71,Robert Fripp) Yes.
(#6,Glenn-Moderator) You still use it extensively?
(#71,Robert Fripp) Yes!
The double-trio formation consisted of:
- Robert Fripp: Guitar, Soundscapes
- Adrian Belew: Guitar, Voice
- Trey Gunn: Stick ®, Warr Guitar, Voice
- Tony Levin: Bass, Stick, Voice
- Pat Mastelotto: Electronic and Acoustic Percussion
- Bill Bruford: Electronic and Acoustic Percussion
What is the chronology of the double trio?
The history of the double trio version of King Crimson, as traced through the ET newsletter, goes something like this:
- In Discipline #19 (Jan. 6, 1992), an excerpt from Goldmine magazine:
"...plans for a new King Crimson to emerge in 1992 look more concrete. Fripp describes the new lineup as being "in place", but he considers it "premature" to reveal exactly who will be involved-although he did admit that Belew and Levin will be returning to the fold."
- On April 8, a post is made about a "Fripp/Levin/Morrata/Belew Crimson '92 lineup".
- For the remainder of 1992, little else is heard, although the rumour that KC will be a five-piece is mentioned.
- In April of 1993, this blurb:
"In the latest issue of Rolling Stone (4/29, #655), there's a full page article about the upcoming Crimson reformation (page 20). Here's the cold hard facts according to Bob...Band: Fripp/Belew/Levin/Marotta/Gunn Recording: an 'introductory' EP to be cut in August, with an album later this year."
- At the close of 1993, no double-trio formation has yet materialized. It is noted in ET that Adrian had been involved in several solo projects, and Robert has done some recording with David Sylvian. Trey Gunn mentions in a July 1993 interview of jamming with Tony Levin, Robert Fripp and Jerry Marotta.
- During the Sylvian/Fripp tour, Jerry Marotta is replaced by Pat Mastellotto.
- On January 19, 1994, RF made this statement:
"One afternoon about 18 months ago, driving past the village church one afternoon, a picture of how Crimson should be in its present incarnation flew by. In Guitar Craft this is called "a Point of Seeing" - direct, immediate, irrational. And this Crim was not what I was planning nor intending. For the past 18 months I've been trying to fit together the music and the picture of the personnel, and two weeks ago they came together. It may well be the craziest Crimson yet."
- On Mar. 16, 1994, it was mentioned that Adrian was featured on the interview show, 'Modern Rock Live'. During this interview, Adrian says that KC would be a six-piece.
- On Monday, Apr. 11, 1994, a post is made to ET that a six-piece King Crimson would be entering the studio the following week. However, Jerry Marotta is mentioned in place of Bill Bruford in the line-up.
- On April 30 Mark Perry officially introduces the KC double-trio, with the correct personnel. He also announces a concert in Argentina.
- VROOOM, the mini-CD, is recorded from May 2-7th, 1994. "We present VROOOM as a calling card, rather than a love letter".
- After some limited touring in Europe and Great Britain, King Crimson announces the release of 'THRAK'. It is completed in December of 1994.
- In 1995 and 1996, the double-trio version of King Crimson tours extensively in support of the 'THRAK' album.
What are the "ProjeKcts" all about?
The ProjeKcts are various recording/touring groups comprised of current King Crimson members. The biographies section at the old DGM website had the following overview:
"The aim of these smaller Crimson ProjeKcts, or sub-groups, is to function as Research & Development units on behalf of, and for, the Greater Crim. The ProjeKcts may become as much and as little as they may, recording and touring as stand-alone and independent units. "The practical difficulties of King Crimson working together are immense: expectation from audiences - of repertoire, and what the legendary and august Crimson is, or might be; expectation from the group of what it is, or might be about-to-be becoming; major logistical problems in touring; and the huge expense in putting the full team together, whether to rehearse or tour."
So far, four ProjeKcts have existed, in the following forms:
- ProjeKct One - Bruford, Fripp, Gunn and Levin
- ProjeKct Two - Belew, Fripp, and Gunn
- ProjeKct Three - Mastelotto, Gunn and Fripp
- ProjeKct Four - Fripp, Gunn, Levin and Mastelotto
From time to time, RF also made references to another ProjeKct, 'ProjeKct X', 'ProjeKct Zero', or just 'ProjeKct', coming into being. This group eventually led to the next stage of King Crimson! The lineup was to have been:
'ProjeKct X' Fripp, Belew, Gunn and Mastelotto
This became the lineup in the Year 2000 version of King Crimson.
How did the idea for ProjeKcts originate?
Quite by accident, it seems. Adrian Belew tells us how the first ProjeKct to come into existence, ProjeKct Two, came about:
"Last year Robert and I talked twice about the idea of a trio with Trey. The first time we talked I thought we might do some Crimson classics with a new twist. Say, for example, using our guitar synthes to create a string trio-with-vocal rendition of 'Frame By Frame'. By the time we spoke about a trio again I was revved up about this new compact VDrum system I had just seen at the NAMM show, and I quickly mentioned the idea of taking along such a small kit so we could on occasion be a power trio of sorts. "The next time Trey, Robert, and I met it wasn't to form a trio but to continue working out new Crimson material. We began, the three guitarists, playing a piece called ConstruKCtion. We took a coffee break. Just two days earlier my VDrums had arrived and were set up in the corner of the studio. When we started again I asked what we would like to do next. Robert requested a demonstration of the "wonder drums". As I started playing, Trey and Robert joined me in an improvised 20-minute piece. Voila! P2 was born. So you see there was no grand plan, I simply became the drummer so we could play together as a band. Within 3 days we made a double-record and decided to do some live shows as ProjeKct Two. By that time the thought of three guitarists playing Crimson classics no longer seemed as exciting."
(Source: Adrian's Corner at http://www.adrianbelew.net/).
What are the track venues for 'West Coast Live'?
The ProjeKct Four CD, 'West Coast Live', contains no information on the venue location of the various live tracks. Sid Smith, who accompanied P4 on the West Coast tour (and manned the merchandise table) fills in the gaps:
- I. 'Ghost (part 1)' is from SF day one set one first thing. At about 9:09 it starts to cross fade into Portland set one.
- II. 'Ghost (part 1)' Portland at about 18 min into that show. At about 1.20 the drums change.
- III. 'Ghost (part 1)' This comes from Boulder, day two, set two about 2 minutes into that set with Pat playing the wonderfully named, kissing fish shaker.
- IV. 'Ghost (part 1)' Track 4 is a particularly interesting construction with guitars from Seattle set one, towards the end, over the drumming from SF day two's set one starter.
- V. 'Deception of the Thrush'In an uncharacteristic lapse of recall, Pat admits that the Thrush on this occasion has indeed deceived him. "I think it is Vancouver or Portland or SF, day two" offers a hapless Pat. My own notes from the tour tell me that the Thrush in Seattle was particularly impressive. Sadly this is of no help to Mastelotto's memory. "it may be two shows pasted together because I know Chris and I mixed several." he suggests.
- VI. 'Hindu Fizz' from SF day two, set two at 18 min.
- VII. 'ProjeKction' also from SF day two where it originally appeared as the closing number of the first set.
- IIX. 'Ghost (part 2)' Track 8-from Seattle, set two.
- IX. 'Ghost (part 2)' Track 9 - takes us back to SF on day two, set one and picks up where track 4 ended.
- X. 'Ghost (part 2)' more SF, day two continued from set one at about 15 minutes.
- XI. 'Ghost (part 2)' Track 11 again from SF, day two, set one from about 18 minutes.
- XII. 'Ghost (part 2)' Track 12 - more of the same from about 21 minutes into thatset.
"My only complaint about the Box set was that the earth shaking version Seizure (or Dubbadubba as it will be forever known to me) from the second night at Boulder didn't make it onto disc." - Sid Smith
What are the differences between the VROOOM mini LP and the THRAK CD?
The version of 'VROOOM' that is on the 'VROOOM' mini-CD is 7:16 in length. Although the opening cut on 'THRAK' (also called 'VROOOM') clocks in at only 4:37, the coda included in the original version has now been listed seperately (as 'Coda:Marine 475', 2:41 in length). It is essentially the same piece of music, but re-recorded. Also, note that the very beginning of 'VROOOM' is tracked on CD players as a seperate track, then, when the main theme of 'VROOOM' begins, it is track 2. This causes all of the listed track numbers on the CD insert of the 'VROOOM' mini CD to be off by one. A press release from Possible Productions that accompanied advance releases of 'VROOOM' even refered to this seperate track as 'Intro'.
Are there any technical issues associated with the 'Deja VROOOM' DVD?
Yes. After 'Deja VROOOM' was released in January 1999, the DVD Resource Page presented a review. An excerpt:
"Deja VROOOM also marks the first domestic DVD that offers both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 mix on the same disc; alas, you have to be a supreme commander of the remote control and navigate some of the dumbest (and most complex) menus I have ever seen to switch soundtracks. But contrary to even the disc's packaging, the DD mix is in 5.1. So how does the DTS track compare to the DD track? It's louder. Other than that, I noticed no real difference in sound quality. So Crim fans without DTS equipment should be served just as well as those with."
The author's commentary on the menu system and sound features cover only some of the issues later addressed by readers of ET. Some ETers have apparently experienced setup problems with their DTS sound systems (rather than the DVD itself): hopefully, these issues have been resolved. The DTS component of 'Deja VROOOM' does appear to work. For help on the complex technical issues regarding DVD in general, consult http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.txt.
Here is a list of alleged "bugs", misprints and errors:
- DD 5.1: although the cover and booklet do not indicate this, the Digital Dolby soundtrack is 5.1.
- Three of A Perfect Pair: is on side two of the disc. The booklet indicates it is on side one.
- PJ Crook paintings: the booklet indicates this feature should have musical accompaniment, which it does not.
- Multiple angles: on some DVD players, when the multiple camera angle feature is employed, as in 'Vector Patrol', either the video or the soundtrack halts until the new angle is selected. (It is not known if this is simply a matter of preference or a true "bug").
- 21st Century Schizoid Band: some ETers have complained that this feauture "simply doesn't work", or that switching between vocalists of one era and instrumentalists of another is impossible. The FAQmaster has found that, although the menu interface may be "less than intuitive", that the feature does work. Differences in performance may be based upon the brand or model of home DVD player.
- Skipping/Menu Interface: to quote one ETer, "The authoring on the DVD is terrible. I haven't tried it on a DVD-ROM, but I too have experienced lock-up and skipping problems on two different DVD players." To be fair, not everyone has experienced these problems.
(On the subject of the menu interface, I would like to note that, while verifying some of the issues and features in this q/a, I tried to access Robert's notes in the side one feature, 'Court of the Crimson King'. After more than 15 minutes of trying, my DVD player eventually locked up on me. To reiterate, the menu interface is, to many users, "less than intuitive", and not user-friendly. - FAQmaster)
In all fairness, it is important to note that some ETers report absolutely no problems with Deja VROOOM on their home theater DVD players. It is not known if the problems that are present are being caused by hardware, software or a combination of the two. It should also be acknowledged that Deja VROOOM attempts to exploit the interactive potential of the DVD format to its fullest. ETers with high-end systems have noted no problems.
With regard to the specific use of 'Deja VROOOM' in a DVD-ROM on a personal computer, ETer Pierre-emile reports:
"I had some problems with the installation of the DVD. My computer refused to work, and displayed some strange messages about the flux of the image and the necessity of having a TV screen connected.(!) BUT changing the definition of the computer display (800 x 600 instead of 1024 x796 and avoiding the 32k colors for a 256 colors) fixed all the troubles. Hope this little trick can help you all."
I have seen references in RF's diary to 'ProjeKct X'. Who is this?
During the event in Los Angeles to promote the launch of 'Deja VROOOM'(January 1999), Robert first mentioned ProjeKct Zero. ProjeKct Zero would have been all six members of the double-trio together without the weight of the King Crimson name. Bill Bruford expressed little interest, and nothing came of it.
While the next version of King Crimson (Fripp, Belew, Mastelotto and Gunn) was still in the planning stages, RF stated publically in his DGM diary last summer (1999) that there might be time for one more ProjeKct. This ProjeKct, he speculated, might be called simply 'ProjeKct', and would be made a "sounding board" for new material that would be eventually recorded and performed by KC proper. A public event, perhaps a one-week residency in Nashville, would herald the beginning of a limited tour for 'ProjeKct'.
From the beginning, it was set that the personnel for this ProjeKct line-up would be Fripp, Belew, Mastelotto and Gunn. From time to time, during these planning stages, Fripp would sometimes refer to this ProjeKct also as 'ProjeKct X'.
Eventually, as it became clear that Tony Levin and Bill Bruford would not be available for the next stage of King Crimson, the 'ProjeKct X' project eventually evolved into the new King Crimson, inheriting the Nashville venue and recording dates at Adrian's studio. While the new "double-duo" recorded tracks for the new King Crimson CD 'The ConstruKction Of Light', other tracks and out-takes were set aside. Pat Mastelotto will assemble the 'ProjeKct X' tracks, to be released as a seperate 'ProjeKct X' CD sometime during the Spring/Summer 2000 timeframe.
Who's that singing on the first track of 'TCoL' ('ProzaKC Blues')?
Adrian Belew, lead vocalist for King Crimson, recently commented in an online chat that he's the one singing on the first track of 'The ConstruKction of Light'. His voice was digitally processed. Adrian said:
"We started the record with Prozak blues, primarly for its shock value, in that you are not expecting to hear the voice of a 300lb singer. The singing is me, in case anyone wonders. He is a character we call Hooter."
What's this I hear about a "secret track" on one of the ProjeKct CDs?
On the ProjeKct Two CD 'Live Groove' there exists several minutes of mayhem caused by a flash photograph, which caused RF to leave the stage prior to a possible encore. This is during the last track, '21st Century Schizoid Man' and is not really a "secret" track per se, merely not mentioned on the CDs package or liner notes.
Are there any technical issues associated with running the 'Heavy ConstruKction' video on a Mac OS?
Apparently so. The 'Heavy ConstruKction' CD contains a "secret" video on CD#2, playable in Windows Media Player on the Windows OS. Mac users report that access of the video is not so easy on their chosen platform. David Craig and Bill Chachkes have put together a fine page to address these issues. It's at http://www.panix.com/~dac/macdgm/.
Why do I need a password to access the 'Heavy ConstruKction' video on disc#2?
If you are a Windows user, simply access the "Data" folder on the CD-ROM and open the KCROME.ASF file with Windows Media Player. The Data folder is a hidden folder, so you will have to enable the "view hidden files" option in Windows Explorer. To do this, select: |Tools|Folder Options|, then select the VIEW tab and the "Show hidden files and folders" radio button.
OK, what begins here is a (hopefully comprehensive) list of the hidden features, goodies and extras on the 'Deja VROOOM' DVD. If you know of any others, please contact the FAQmaster.
- On side A, check out "In The Court Of King Crimson", under the title 'Frame By Frame', which lists the television appearences of the group. There are two icons, one which leads back to 'The Court' and the other is the 'Discipline' knot. When the 'Discipline' knot is selected, it shows Robert Fripp performing Soundscapes.