David & I are Tone Probing away in DGM SoundWorld. We have several concerns that are calling for our attention. Much to my ire, I had to cancel today's session at Studio Eno to be here and address those concerns. Unable to contact Brian at his studio, I called his mobile & found him huff-puffing away on his bicycle in Acton. Brian is, he suggests, busy enough to be able to fill his day without me & promised he will continue to work with me despite the cancellation. Hope.
The machinery that is necessary to put Crimson on the road is as constrictive as the machinery that DGM constructed around itself in order to become less creative, spontaneous & fun. To become what is expected of a record company, that is. Now the reformed DGM is increasingly creative, spontaneous & fun, how to share the joy with Crimson? That is a question.
The practicalities of a KC European tour in the absence of sufficient information to make an informed decision as to whether the tour is feasible. This is a large subject, as is the European continent. Any attempt to tour "Europe" in a short time is therefore cursory, hard, involves long distance travel & borders, huge cultural disparities, and financial precariousnesses.
The Seasoned Gigster notes the following words with terror in their heart: promoter will provide hotels. This is part of a package deal, budgeted into promoters' plans for their leg of the tour. What it means is, the promoter will provide hotels that the band would not choose to stay in. These hotels are often cheap and rarely elevate the spirits; and always not the hotels the band would stay in if given the choice.
Generalising, and to quote The Vicar: in the US, Crimson is generally regarded as a current band and mostly liked. In Europe, Crimson is generally regarded as an historic band and mostly liked. In the UK, Crimson is generally regarded as historic, mostly disliked.
So, if Crimson plays a main city in Eastern Europe where we have never played before (Moscow & St. Petersburg are two examples suggested for this tour):
the venues are too large for this band to do what it does well; the ticket prices are astronomical; audiences come with expectations of hearing golden hits.
Add to this the parade of performance-killing photography, recording, autography & fan expectations, and I continue to wonder what we are doing. I have no answer to this question, because I don't do this to earn a living. But I don't do this to dread my work either. When a situation is superbly designed to prevent anything of value taking place, I wonder even before I get on the 'bus, why am I being asked to get on this 'bus & head off for yet another heart-rending sacrifice of music on the altar of expectation, conventional witlessness & reification?
But there is good news: no proposed London date.
Details regarding the settlement of large unpaid royalties with Virgin & BMG: confidentiality clauses were suggested to us. To our lawyer, Richard Bray, I suggested we instead put forward our own clause in response: a press release by Virgin & BMG to explain in detail why the large sums were under-accounted & unpaid over several years.
The King Crimson Tourbox: this is for the upcoming touring & is a wonderful wheeze by David Singleton to make available of value something for merchandising enthusiasts. This fabulous idea, which will provide additional income for the band, then falls on David (mostly) and Robert (to a lesser extent) to deliver.
All in all, it comes to this: if Robert & David are involved, it happens. If they are not, it happens feebly or not at all. The effect of this is that the creative leaps in our lives are pinned to earth by mundane trivia & heartbreaking, intelligence-numbing business. Did I mention that my patience at having my life trivialized is right out?
A call from Charlie Hewitt on the prospective European tour, to be followed by another call in a short while after he has crunched numbers. And an e-mail from a Crafty in Los Molinos --
Hold the pick with your hand, not your ass.
This aphoristic gem is attributed to Claude Squerd.
David is mastering Super Slow, a ProjeKct Three out-take that is not included on The Power To Believe but is going onto KC Tourbox I.
Saturday 1st. February: an uneventful flight to England, Gatwick; a train to Victoria, a taxi to Chiswick, a drive to Bredonborough - home! After shopping & unloading, I went to The Star for a pint of cider. This wonderfully unpretentious pub of the unreformed kind was relatively quiet for a Saturday night. I sat in my usual seat in the recess by the Inglenook fireplace & quietly quaffed my cider reflecting gently & being very happy. To bed at midnight, ready to get up on a telephone call from T & open the gates for her, driving down from Calamity Jane in Edinburgh.
Sunday 2nd. February: I woke at 03.03 knowing that Little Willcox was in the house. She had arrived about 02.45. A fabbo day at home, dribbling somewhat from jetlag. Barbara & Beric came for a Chinese at 18.00 & then we settled in for an early night.
Monday 3rd. February: E-frenzying, the mundane press of trivia, packing. Then to London, carrying concerns for the very open & uninformed nature of the prospective KC European tour. Arriving early at the restaurant where T & I were meeting friends for dinner, I went to a nearby Starbucks for a quiet coffee to ruminate on the likely horrors of KC touring Europe. Then - in walked the Little Willcox! Arriving independently & early, she came looking for me. And how everything changed, to see my wonderful Little Wife unexpectedly walk in the café door.
A burning, squerning Message 22 from the demo sessions at StudioBelew is now burning & squerning away in preparation for its inclusion on the KC TourBox I.
A comment from DGM lunchtime: David mentioned Laura's impression from Robert's recent Diary in Los Molinos that Robert seemed happier. I commented to Laura that "the music industry is not my spiritual home". This was somewhat redundant: Laura had independently come to the same conclusion. David feels that "Robert was breathing in" rather than the constant breathing out of recent months & years.
A Crafty e-mail regarding the contribution of money to courses -- my reply:
guiding principle for money: ask - what is this worth to you?
dealing with people over money is like dealing with their sex lives. hernan plays this as a master. i have myself used it to present people with aspects of themselves that are barriers to their presence in GC. some jumped over, some walked away. there are characters from the early days that you knew who fell at the barrier marked "money". and it wasn't actually a money matter at all.
David has just left, following another call from America re: the budget for Europe. It currently looks more likely than not. Now I am off to London & the press conference at Sanctuary for European press.