Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Friday 03 October 2008

DGM HQ The Yellow Streak



The Yellow Streak, a hurtling Singleton, streaked & hurtled by the office at 07.58

Nicky Bookkeeper came in the back door at 08.38…


… to find the Reception & Accounting Area is also the DGM Art Department…


Nicky indicates she has been in touch with UMG India regarding my cheque – it will be in the post! Well, that’s all right then.

David came in at 09.00 followed a little while later by dear old Mr. Stormy…


David & Mr. Stormy are aghasted by the DGM Mess I…






… aka the downstairs hall tape store.

A sunny morning on the street I…








10.25  An invitation has arrived, via Sister Patricia, for her bRuVveR to be interviewed by a well-known music magazine. From the reply…

interviews are no longer part of my job description. and if they were, they would not be telephonic. and if they were / were not telephonic, interviews relating in any way to progressive rock would not be included. and if interviews telephonic or otherwise were an item of interest, they would not take place with the journalist you suggest. he is a well-informed writer, but the side & sarcasm of his reviews put me further off english music writers even than before.

and i have nothing to plug!

so, overall, life is much better than when i was pressured to do interviews by management & record companies; and i refused to sign the do-publicity clause in the virgin contract of 1994.

but, good luck with the edition & many thanks for the invitation.

The possible-interviewer is one whose reviews of my work have been informed, but informed with rudeness & a nastiness that characterise the golden age of English music reviewers. Long time readers of this Diary may know that I have a high tolerance for dissentient views, & gratitude for negative reviews by impartial & qualified reviewers, but that my tolerance for unkindness & bad manners is limited.

10.45  Ah! The joys of working in Italy.

Even if you’re not working in italy, you may be advertised as working in italy. (Similarly in some parts of south America).  Robert Fripp is presented on the programme of this festival series in Reggio Emilia as playing solo on November 1st., the same day as my pal Clodagh Simmons with Fovea Hex. Clodagh was in touch, noting that we were both appearing on the same night. That is, we would be if the announcement were not completely untrue.


How would the promoter make this mistake, I wonder? Surely this is not an act of dishonesty & deception within the Italian music industry?

11.36  I hesitate before engaging in discussion & debate with someone whose expressed views are reliably contrarian.

The Unknowing Contrarian has a blind spot, unaware that they invariably take an opposite position. If presented with the suggestion of their contrariness, perhaps that they may have an argumentative nature, their answer is likely to be: no I’m not!

The Knowing Contrarian may deliberately play the role of Devil’s Advocate. This can be useful where:

1.         the contrarian acts intentionally;

2.         is disinterested in the outcome of the debate;

3.         is qualified in presenting also the positions of advocacy & reconciliation.

The role that interests me most is that of reconciler: how to find & present a position that brings together, and neutralises the heat, between the opposites; and finds a solution?

For the Reliable Contrarian, personal aims such as grinding axes, venting hostility in reaction to a range of real & imagined transgressions against their very being, personal aggrandisement and jealousies take precedence over a desire for informed discussion. Reasonable debate may be useful, but unlikely to “succeed” unless the participants share a common aim.

So, I hesitate before entering into discussions with Reliable Contrarians, their viewpoints being dependably oppositional & frequently openly provocative; the provocation a frequent indication of the lack of commitment to dialogue / trialogue / N-lougue.

In a professional sense, this behaviour falls under the purview of a DGM business practice we refer to as the No Jerk Policy. This policy was an eventual outcome of seeking to engage with (inter alia) former Crimson members who seemed to have greater interest in maintaining / growing antagonistic & sometimes threatening relations, rather than developing a relationship of mutuality, even cordiality. The Policy is now applied to anyone whose honesty, decency, straightforwardness & good manners are notable by their absence.

13.23  In DGM SoundWorld I David & Alex have been working on KC at the Paris Paris Olympia in 1973 I…




They are processing two cassette bootlegs, widely disparate in sound. The better-quality tape had a drop out for several bars during Exiles, which were present on the low-quality tape. They are now effortlessly conjoined, the result of time, diligence & care; allied to buying expensive stuff. No bootlegger would put the time into work of this quality.

15.15  Hugh the Fierce is in the Art Department, or Art Department I...




What is Hugh working on? I…






Hugh is entering data on KC euro-activities in 1981. The info is on EG headed notepaper. The directors named are three, and the director with priority is David Enthoven. David was ejected from the company in 1977 by Mr. SG Alder, a name that appears regularly in this Diary as a featured player in Endless Grief. But why, might an innocent Diary-visitor ask, is David’s name on the company’s headed notepaper 4 years after he left the company? If this innocent also knew that David’s name featured on the heading until 1984, when David threatened legal action to have it removed, what conclusion might they then come to? The reason given by EG for its continued use of David’s name was: we had a lot of headed notepaper.

Following David’s threat of action, for some months the headed notepaper remained the same, except that David Enthoven was tipp-exed over (for those readers who remember analogue paperworks, the paperful office & typewriters). Then, in 1985, a new line of headed notepaper appeared – E’G. The logo was not one that I liked, rather, it alarmed me. It indicated that the company had changed its nature, and indeed it had: from that of an artist-driven music company to a business company relocated in property with one of the EG partners’ interest lying in the Lloyds’ insurance market.

So why did the Alder-driven EG, for a period of 7 years, one whole life-cycle, include the name of an un-Director, a joint founder of that company & a driving factor in establishing the company’s ethos & direction, on the company’s headed letters? My own conclusion, given much experience & access to information throughout the period of Grief, is that a stockpile of headed notepaper does not explain the persistence of its use. And that’s a story for another day.

The info shows that KC were playing at Friars, Aylesbury, on 7th. October. On that date a young man gave me a cassette from the front of stage. The cassette was of his new & unknown band, Marillion, and the young man became known to the world a little while afterwards as Fish.

15.32  Mr. Stormy has called me into SoundWorld I to choose a PQ point for a transition between Peace A Theme & an improv I…




15.56 David has called me back into SoundWorld I to bear witness to the hours we spend at DGM in presenting the best available versions of any dodgy tape, of whatever form of origination & lineage, of whatever Crimson show that is in circulation. David is right: we do it best, we do it rightly.

17.23  E-flurrying & computing enough for today. To pack & set off to Bredonborough via Romain’s Emporium in Wilton.

21.34  Mr. Romain shows library steps c. 1780, which usefully include a commode pot for the caught-short bibliophile I…




… only one of several antiquities of interest. The library steps have, however, sold themselves.

Bredonborough at night I…






Home. Yippee!