An open letter to Robert Fripp

Dear Mr Fripp

Firstly, as we have never met and are never likely to, I would not be so presumptuous as to address you by your first name, I trust you don't mind?

I read with interest and a near-confirmation of a growing suspicion your mini interview in this month's Uncut magazine. The forming of King Crimson Mk VIII was announced last year and inevitably provoked fevered interest among us Crimson fans. My friend and I speculated on possible weekends in London, Paris, Brussels, or anywhere on the near European continent, our partners enjoying whatever the locale had to offer while we were only really there for a night of Crimsoid menace.

As the months after the reformation announcement went by, and eventually the American tour dates were announced with no mention of Europe whatsoever, I began to realise that this, what is in all probability a final tour of a King Crimson involving your good self would most likely be a repeat of the last outing in 2008, that is a tour confining itself to the shores of the old colony.

Your comment in the Uncut interview that "touring Europe or beyond is 'not a question that has current relevance' " at least is not an unequivocal "no" but falls not far short. If I may be entirely selfish, is it beyond the bounds of possibility that King Crimson would play two or three dates at a venue in London? There must be at least one venue in the capital that doesn't resonate in middle C, or whichever note this particular Crimson may find unsettling. The band in former guises has played the Shepherds Bush Empire the last two times it was sighted briefly on these shores, and if that is now an unsatisfactory setting, I cannot believe that there is not one venue in London that does not meet your requirements at least to the extent of some those barns you are playing in America!

Is it unreasonable to ask that you and the band play one last time in the country that provided the chance set of circumstances that led to an entity called King Crimson, and gave you the opportunity to embark upon your chosen path, and provided you with the initial audience and platform to eventually make a not insubstantial living from your muse?

Finally, I was sorry to read that your professional life has been "devoid of joy", but most of us out here in the world of work and drudgery can say much the same. At least you have spent your working life following your art, something the rest of us cannot imagine, for our lives, professional or not, are spent making do to a greater or lesser extent. Take satisfaction, if not joy, for the work you have done correcting the greed-obsessed and obfuscating record industry excesses where past royalties are concerned, setting precedents for others to follow. Not to mention the hour upon hour of fabulous music you have been a significant part of over the years.

While typing this I have been listening to what many regard as the "ignored" Crimson album, the actually rather fine Lizard. The irony is not lost on me that I am a member of the "ignored" Crimson audience. For all that, I wish you and the rest of King Crimson a pleasant and enjoyable tour of the USA.

Yours sincerely
Roger Trenwith, an English audient (hopefully, but not expectantly)

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