Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Monday 24 March 2003

#504, Hotel Quite Acceptable, Vancouver.


A supportive & generous audience and what would conventionally be called a successful performance. I felt violation at the heart of it, although I'm not sure that affected anyone else.


Mobile HQ, Crimbus.

We left Vancouver punctually at 10.30 and crossed the border into the US. There was a long line of trucks queuing up for inspection. The document & screening area was strangely quiet. The Crimbus is now pulling into Seattle.

A call home to Bredonborough: T & her Parents were enjoying dinner. And a call to DGM HQ. David gave me the news: a Virgin cheque will be in the post tomorrow. And I believe it might.


#809, Room Most Acceptable, Hotel Quite Acceptable, Seattle.

The soundcheck was terrifying: sound in the venue was uncontrollable. This is good news: a soundcheck as bad as this usually means the sound at the performance is better, simply because it can't be worse. There is also the matter of anticipation: you walk onstage with no expectation that the sound might support the performance, and being prepared to work with it. And although the sound was very hard, very difficult, it was better than soundcheck. From where I sat, Crimson was a loud rock group. My monitors, with Rhythm Buddies on prominent display, were driven hard. And it was a joy to sit in the middle of them, as it were.

Pat & Trey have become a definitive Crimson rhythm section, quite unlike any other rhythm section I have known or heard whether Crim or non-Crim. Hooray! that P&T are beginning to be recognized & acknowledged as superb players in their own right. Pat & Trey inherited a difficult & contracted situation, from the Double Trio to the Double Duo, and a position defined since 1981 by two masters of their own game: T. Baldy Levin & Billy B. So, Pat & Trey began-at-a-beginning weighed down by history & expectation, and constructed their own Crim rhythm section from page one. And how wonderfully well. The Rhythm Buddies of New Definition are far more than a rhythm section: they are also a percussion orchestra with soloist as well.

For my show, I learnt a little more about necessary & sufficient force. Necessary force is forceless; rather like effortless effort. Looking over the shoulder of the guitarist He-Who-Plays-In-Not-Enough-Light-for-Me-To-See-His-Fingers-Move I noticed he wasn't putting quite enough weight & direction in the right hand (during Eyes Wide Open).

The audience were generous with sufficient goodwill available to hold the violation in check. And then at the end, the flash. A single flash. What a pity. Just to remind us: there is always violation present and waiting to act. I have a right, after all. What does Fripp know, after all? And it was only one flash, wasn't it? Only one prick in the balloon.

But overall, a strong performance by the audience, band & Crimcrew. The people standing at the front of the stage added significantly, positively, to the performance. We prefer to have some people on their feet, while allowing seats for the elderly.