Monday, April 9, 2007

Robert Fripp

Eric Tamm @ Progressiveears.
Robert Fripp (@amazon) (b. May 1946, Dorset, England) - band leader, recording artist, rock star, virtuoso electric and acoustic guitarist, producer, writer, composer, and, currently, music educator - has been a fixture on the contemporary music scene since 1969. On July 5 of that year, Fripp's first commercially successful group, King Crimson, catapulted themselves to the forefront of public awareness by playing in front of 650,000 people at the Rolling Stones' free Hyde Park concert.

For all his public exposure in the twenty-one years since then, Fripp has remained something of an enigma. Since the drift of what he does tends to be determined by experiences of inner upheaval, it has always been impossible to predict his next move, though in retrospect the logic of the development may seem clear enough. With almost every new venture he has startled his audience and opened up new doors of perception and music.

The music press has had a great time with Fripp. He has been called "the world's most rational rock star," "the Mr. Spock of rock," "the owlish one," a "persnickety plectrist" and a "plectral purist." He has been characterized as a "nouveau conceptualist," a "tin woodsman with a microtonal heart," and as "a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a guitarist."

One writer described him as having "the air of an old-fashioned, straight-laced and hidebound European professor." That's not the way he came across to me at Guitar Craft XII; well, there was an "element" of the learned professor, perhaps - even of the streetwise priest - but more striking was how genuinely funny he could be, able to make great fun of himself. Fripp possesses a bitingly pointed sense of irony. The liner notes to God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners, for instance, are hysterical if you read them in the right spirit; if you read them somberly or defensively, they sound like the most god-awful pomp. (Years ago I noticed a similar phenomenon when reading the manifestoes of the nineteenth-century Danish Christian existentialist Søren Kierkegaard.) Fripp isn't above ordinary, earthy bathroom humor, either. Rolling Stone writer Fred Schruers describes an encounter with Fripp and his tour party in the men's room at Boston's WBCN: "What does one do? Walk over to meet this ferocious intellectual composer guitarist as he lines up at the urinal? As I lurk uncomfortably, the investigator of archetypes addresses his companions: 'I don't see how you can piss without waggin' your willies afterward.'"

Fripp is robust, poised, and physically nimble; he moves gracefully. A peculiar thing about the man is that he must be one of the world's most unphotogenic people. Having seen dozens of photographs of him from every stage in his career, I can attest to the fact that almost none of them look anything like he does in person. Fripp's face, which in pictures can look muggish, leering, or frozen (sorry, Robert!), is in reality a constant dance of expression, handsome and fascinating (that's better). Although he is moderately small in stature, Fripp's presence has a way of filling up the room. He is indeed one of the most present people I have ever met: present to those he is with, acutely sensitive to the situation of the moment, capable of exceptionally keen concentration.

Fripp does have something of a reputation in the press for keeping his emotions carefully under wraps, for being cool and considered, for being something of a mechanical marvel. An interviewer from Creem relates: "He asks me how many words I will need for my article, mentally calculates how much talking he will have to do to provide them, and stops at that point." For his part, Fripp laments: "One of the disadvantages of having the particular stereotype I do is that I tend to get serious interviewers. When I have a serious interviewer coming in my heart sinks. But what can you do? Either refuse to answer his questions, or speak to the serious young intellectuals in the vocabulary serious young intellectuals understand."

Jungian theory postulates four basic psychological functions - thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition - any of which may dominate the others in a given individual personality. Fripp rejects the notion that he is primarily a rational thinking type: "I'm instinctive [intuitive, in Jungian terms] by nature ... I analyze and rationalize after the event in order to persuade people of something I think to be right." Nevertheless he presents the image of a man to whom self-control is a cardinal virtue, who is aware of his lower nature but struggles to keep it in check. Fripp will instantly retract a remark that in the next moment he considers "flippant" or "inconsidered." =>>>>>>>>>>>

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@ Wiki
Robert Fripp (born May 16, 1946 in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England) is a guitarist, record producer and a composer, perhaps best known for being the guitarist for, and only constant member of King Crimson. His work, spanning four decades, encompasses a variety of musical styles. He is married to Toyah Willcox. They currently live in Worcestershire, UK.

Fripp's earliest professional work began in 1967, when he responded to an ad looking for a singing organist for a band being formed by bassist Peter Giles and drummer Michael Giles. Though unsuccessful as a live act, Giles, Giles and Fripp did manage to release two singles, as well as an album, The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp.

Following the band's breakup, Fripp, along with drummer Michael Giles, made plans for the formation of King Crimson in 1968, with Greg Lake, Peter Sinfield and Ian McDonald. Their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King (@allmusic), was released in late 1969, to mixed critical reviews. Due to musical differences with Giles and McDonald, King Crimson broke up shortly after the release of the first album, to be re-formed again several times over the years. Initially, Fripp had offered to leave the group; however Giles and McDonald felt that King Crimson was his. To date, Robert Fripp has remained the only consistent member of the band. Crimson went through a number of line-ups before Fripp disbanded the group in 1974.

During King Crimson's less active periods, Fripp pursued a number of side-projects. He worked with Keith Tippett (and others who appeared on King Crimson records) on projects far from rock music, producing Septober Energy in 1971 and Ovary Lodge in 1973. During this period he also worked with Van der Graaf Generator, playing on the 1970 album H to He, Who Am the Only One, and in 1971, on Pawn Hearts. Collaborating with Brian Eno, he recorded No Pussyfooting in 1972 and Evening Star in 1974. These two albums featured experimentation with several novel musical techniques, including a tape delay system utilizing dual reel to reel Revox tape machines that would come to play a central role in Fripp's later work. This system came to be known as "Frippertronics". Fripp and Eno also played several live shows in Europe in 1975.

Fripp spent some time away from the music industry in the later 1970s, during which he cultivated an interest in the teachings of Gurdjieff via J.G. Bennett (studies which would later be influential in his work with Guitar Craft). He returned to musical work as a studio guitarist on Peter Gabriel's first self-titled album in 1976, released the following year. Fripp toured with Gabriel to support the album, but remained in the wings and was introduced to audiences as "Dusty Rhodes".

In 1977, Fripp received a phone call from Eno, who was working on David Bowie's album "Heroes". Fripp agreed to play guitar for the album, a move which initiated a series of collaborations with other musicians. Fripp soon contributed his musical and production talents to Peter Gabriel's second album, and collaborated with Daryl Hall on Sacred Songs. During this period, Fripp began working on solo material, with contributions from several other musicians, including Eno, Gabriel, and Hall, as well as Peter Hammill, Jerry Marotta, Phil Collins, Tony Levin and Terre Roche. This material eventually became his first solo album, Exposure, released in 1979, followed by the Frippertronics tour in the same year. While living in New York, Fripp contributed to albums and live performances by Blondie and Talking Heads, and produced The Roches' first album, which featured several of Fripp's characteristic guitar solos.

Fripp's collaboration with bassist Buster Jones, drummer Paul Duskin, and vocals by David Byrne (Byrne credited as Absalm el Habib) produced God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners in the following year. He simultaneously assembled what he called a "second-division touring new wave instrumental dance band" under the name League of Gentlemen, with bassist Sara Lee, keyboardist Barry Andrews and drummer Johnny Toobad (later replaced by Kevin Wilkinson) . The LOG toured for the duration of 1980. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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Stephen Thomas Erlewine @ Allmusic
Throughout his career, guitarist Robert Fripp has continually pushed the boundaries of pop music, as well as pursuing many avant-garde and experimental musical ideas. Fripp began playing professionally with the League of Gentlemen in the mid-'60s, providing instrumental support to many American singers who were touring England. During this time he began Giles, Giles and Fripp with Pete and Mike Giles. The trio only released one album, 1968's The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp, yet the group soon evolved into King Crimson.

Following the release of their 1969 debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, King Crimson became one of the most respected progressive rock acts of its era. From 1969 to 1974, Fripp was the one mainstay in the group, leading it through its various musical incarnations.

During this time, he pursued several side projects away from King Crimson. Fripp recorded two albums with Brian Eno: No Pussyfooting (1972) and Evening Star (1974). Both of the albums featured the musicians experimenting with avant-garde techniques, including Fripp's "Frippertronics." Frippertronics featured layers of guitars and tape loops, producing a harmonically rich, humming sound; it became a familiar sound on his records. Fripp also produced a handful of albums, mainly records by experimental jazz outfits.

In 1974, Fripp disbanded King Crimson and retired from music. Three years later, he returned to the business, playing on David Bowie's "Heroes." Soon afterward, he produced and played on Peter Gabriel's second self-titled album, as well as Daryl Hall's Sacred Songs. Fripp released his first solo album, Exposure, in 1979. God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manner appeared the following year and in 1981, he assembled a new lineup of King Crimson. While that band recorded and performed, he also led a new band which borrowed its name from his first group, the League of Gentlemen. After releasing three albums, the new version of King Crimson broke up in 1984; The League of Gentlemen split soon afterward.

Fripp released God Save the King in 1985 and began teaching guitar, dubbing his students and school the League of Crafty Guitarists; he released an album recorded with his Crafty Guitarists in 1986, the same year he released the first of two collaborations with his wife, Toyah Wilcox. Fripp re-formed the '80s lineup of King Crimson in late 1994, releasing Thrak in 1995. He returned to recording solo in 1997, releasing That Which Passes. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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