Sunday 20 November 2016

Robert diary update

Hotel Very Acceptable, Madrid.

Rising at 08.30 on our first day off since arriving in Antwerp on Sunday 30th. October for this, the second leg of The Seven-Headed Beast Of Crim 2016 EuroTour. I note, a travel-day is not a day off - it is a day travelling: packing, unpacking, into vans and tourbuses, often with check-ins and security screenings, flying machines not constructed for the happiness of those inside being hurtled through the skies, baggage (mostly) arriving, then into more vans and ‘buses to the next accommodation.

The touring of this particular incarnation of King Crimson is the first time for me, now in the forty-seventh year of life as a mobile working-player, where the quality of working life has become acceptable, sometimes quite acceptable, and (rarely) unacceptable. Although gentle despair and heartbreak are frequent visitors, these for several reasons.

KC in Florence....Italy stokes KC's fire...
Posted by AndrewJohn on November 14, 2016

I am sensing, at last, KC is reaching it’s true potential of musicality. Despite so many highs over the years this seven headed beast bestrides the years and gives true creedance to all the incarnations.

This is a view I share, although I might spell it differently. A few comments from The Guitarist’s Stool (Opera Garnier, Casino Monte Carlo, c. 15.53 18nov2016)…


1.    To hold an opinion of The Seven Headed Beast Of Crim, you need to have seen The Beast performing live.

2.    To hold an opinion of substance, better to have seen The Beast three times.

3.    To have seen this band through a prism of expectation (comparison to recordings, live and studio, and shows of former Crimsons) you will not quite have seen what was in front of you. That is, the value of your opinion and judgement are undermined.

4.    Better to take a broad view of The Beast’s performance/s, rather than detailed analyses. Then, move to detail.
So, for me, a treat to look out and see young audients, and young female audients, even older lady-person audients, knowing it is unlikely for them to have spent decades fondling precious artefacts of the Crimsonian kind, mostly in private chambers of (now elderly) men; who are themselves also most welcome as audients.


1.    If you haven’t seen this band live, you don’t have the right to hold an opinion.

2.    If you haven’t seen this band live three times, your opinion isn’t worth much.

3.    If you’ve seen this band three times, viewing The Beast through a prism of expectation; comparison to recordings, live and studio, and shows of former Crimsons; you will have missed the point.

A subjective view, although informed by long experience of being at all the KC live shows and present on all the studio recordings, is that in the live domain, no other Crimson has better-rendered its repertoire than this.

An experiment: return to live recordings / viddies by other incarnations from the perspective of The Seven-Headed Beast. For example, Starless and Larks from KC 1972-74. This will be particularly instructive for those who weren’t alive at the time.

In our wider world…

King Crimson’s current work in the front line has the backdrop of two major popular expressions of post-Crisis (2008) Rough Music IMO.

Where natural justice is not available, and where justice is only for those who can afford it, what to do in the face of inequity and a greatly superior abusive force? Even Gandhi said: You can’t fast against a tyrant. How to make an appeal to reason, to the unreasonable? One conventional and customary approach is rough music. For societies in transition, questioning the right-to-rule of its power possessors, one resort of the desperate is violence.

Rough Music

Rough Music Reconsidered


What of accountability to us by Power Possessors, those in positions of responsibility? The quick answer: not a lot. A Beginners’ Guide to (non-violent) Rough Music… My own 2008-Crisis can be pre-dated to 1991 and the collapse of EG: Endless Grief. The microcosm of Mr. S.G. Alder’s EG was reflected in the macrocosm of 2008 IMO. One person in a system, abusing the trust placed in them, establishing the culture of their system, multiplied by many persons in that system, multiplied by three decades = 2008.

From my morning reading at the breakfasting rough here in Madrid…

Mr. Igor Albin, deputy-governor of St. Petersburgh: There’s a moral component too. If the concept of shame and sin has been lost in society, not even the police can keep order.

Alternatively expressed, where Conscience is absent from our conduct, look out! noting also: Things can’t go right unless they can also go wrong.

King Crimson is an excellent exemplifier of this aphorism. I know of no other band of comparable quality that manages mishaps great and small on a nightly basis. As an aside, the music is intentionally constructed for this to be so.

Voice Of Experience c. 11.09 I…




In the background, our recently-arrived FOH Person with mixing responsibility, Chris Porter (In The Studio With Chris Porter)

Is their Hope for our suffering world? Of course!
What do we do? We keep going!

In strange and uncertain times, such as we are living through, on occasion a reasonable person might despair.
But Hope is unreasonable.
And Love is greater even than this.

And on we go.