Saturday, November 24, 2007


In the early 1980's ex-King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, did a solo tour. He chose mostly small clubs, restaurants, and record stores as venues. Why would a man whose undisputed genius and vision, not to mention mind-boggling guitar chops have lead to collaborations with artists as diverse Brian Eno and The Roche Sisters, choose such an odd array of places to play?

The local NPR affiliate in Buffalo, New York, where I was living at the time, interviewed him. I've never forgotten what he said.

The interviewer asked Fripp, who could easily have sold out much larger theaters that would have been available to him at the time (among the promoters in town were the team of Harvey and Corky-- Harvey later morphed into Harvey Weinstein, movie mogul, but that's another story), why he had chosen the smaller rooms.

"Ah, well you see," said Fripp.
"I work in an industry which is controlled by large, shambling dinosaurs. They easily crush the life out of artists and art, with their great, ponderous movements."

"And I, well I am just a small, furry mammal, scurrying between their legs, trying hard not to get stepped on."

"But, have you noticed that every day, every month, every year, it is getting colder and colder?"

The image of Fripp, a genius, slipping through the grasp of dinosaurs to live and create another day, made me smile. And with the advent of the Internet, who knows. It is getting colder. Janis Ian has some very interesting thoughts on the role the Internet can play in the "biz," and why the major corporations are so scared. Fripp was, as ever, prescient.

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