Pat Mastelotto (10 September 1955)
“First time I saw King Crimson was in San Francisco. I was in a band in the East Bay/ Newark area back then, recalls Mastelotto. Crimson were supporting Ten Years After with Strawbs as the opening act in June 1974. “The Cow Palace was made for Barnum & Bailey style circus acts. I once went there as a kid to see a circus. Being up there in the rafters gave me a great vantage point to watch Bill Bruford. I loved the show but it was short.” He loved it so much that he saw Crimson a few days later in Los Angeles. “I remember they played Starless in San Francisco. From then until The Shrine I’d been singing that big bass riff from Starless in my head all week. So when they played again I was really cheering!”
Having begun playing drums at the age of ten by the time he was living in Los Angeles in his teens, Pat worked at earning a living as a session drummer. He first found commercial success as a member of Mr. Mister who went on to sell over three million records before splitting up in 1990. Mastelotto’s work in the late 80s included XTC’s Oranges And Lemons and The Rembrandts theme for the popular US comedy show Friends.
Hearing about the auditions at Real World Studios for the Sylvian & Fripp band the drummer cashed in his Frequent Flyer Miles for the 3,000-mile journey to Britain and was ultimately successful in securing a place in the group. Following the Sylvian & Fripp tour in 1993 Mastelotto was next invited to join Crimson’s Double Trio incarnation alongside Bill Bruford in 1994.
Throughout his time as a member of King Crimson Mastelotto has been a prolific collaborator demonstrating his wide-ranging musical interests. Notable amongst these are Naked Truth, KTU (with Trey Gunn and Finish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen) Tuner (with Markus Reuter), BPM&M (King Crimson remixes with Bill Munyon), Cock Robin, Chrysta Bell, Mastica, KoMaRa, O.R.K and many others.
In 2009 Mastelotto joined forces with Tony Levin and Michael Bernier to form Stick Men. Following Bernier’s departure, Markus Reuter joined and since then the trio has toured extensively in North and South America, and Europe and over the years have released several albums, their most recent in 2022 being Tentacles, a five-track e.p. In 2021 Mastelotto collaborated with his wife Deborah to record an album of King Crimson covers entitled A Romantic’s Guide To King Crimson.
Mastelotto recalls being shocked to get a call from Fripp in 2013 inviting him to join a reconstituted Crimson. “When the name popped up on my iPhone I was at my console in my studio at home and I was like ‘Robert, what the hell?’ I had no idea what he was planning and would never have predicted it. As I recall I said ‘do you really want to do this?’ I wondered if he was really ready to get back into the van. He said he was so I said yes.” Mastelotto is the longest-serving drummer in King Crimson.
Pat Mastelotto in King Crimson
The ConstruKction Of Light (2000)
The Power To Believe (2003)