Thursday 29 June 2006

Hotel Acceptable With Great View, And Even Better When The Sky Is Blue, La Spezia.


Hotel Acceptable With Great View, And Even Better When The Sky Is Blue, La Spezia.


The Pumping Chamber’s NPU was set to on this morning, and featured Quiet Witless Rock-a-Pap. Noise Cancellators assumed the position.

Lobby call for 10.15. Departure to Milan at 10.30.

14.56  Corner Room, Hotel Acceptable, Milan.

Across I…


Across II...



Left I…






Right I…







Room I...




As soon as we arrived in the hotel, standing in the lobby, our tour manager asked the question.

TM:      I have a question to ask but I think I already know the answer…
RF:      If you know the answer, don’t ask the question.

TM:      She called again this morning about the photography.
RF:      Ask Hernan. He knows the answer.

This is the same question answered several times by e-mail, well before we left for Italy. So why, every fucking day, is the same fucking question asked when the same fucking answer is repeatedly given?

Online @ €22 – this is a rip – business in the music industry continues as usual… Virgin-EMI’s online parties have twice put up KC for download, and recently Fripp & Eno, although rights to do so were never granted. Adding cruelty to injury, Virgin made download rights a requirement of renewing their license (even though they’re not important); and this was the reason DGM didn’t renew. Interesting therefore…

19.34    To The Venue I…






















Villa Franconi: Backstage I…








Performance Tent…


Stage I…






01.13  Corner Room, Hotel Acceptable, Milan.

Another night in Italy. Another show in Italy, and the last in this series. The tour is now finished.

At sound check, the 20 music students we were asked to allow into the sound check, didn’t arrive.

Also at the sound check: a compromise on photography during the show, this a continuation of the question that didn’t need to be asked in the hotel lobby this afternoon. The LCG performed for a photo call lasting 35-40 minutes, in stage wear. Accompanying the photographers, a video cameraman. Video filming is not understood, in the industry, as a photo call: it is understood as filming. This is a significant & qualitative difference. Perhaps, there was a misunderstanding? Nevertheless, The LCG continued with this, in exchange for the show being left alone.

The promoters didn’t want our Crafty Announcer of the please no photos! kind.

His accent is from the south of Italy and, at a municipal event in the north, this would cause some difficulties (we were informed). Respectful of local sensibilities & political interests, we deferred. The head local man is the best man to do the announcement! Which he did.

The audience were generous & supportive, perhaps 800-900, providing a strong & honourable presence in the 2,000 seat tent.

With the exception of Rome, it feels to me that Soundscapes go out into a vacuum. It’s not until two Soundscape segments are done, and the LCG is into its second block & during Eye Of The Needle, that I sense the audience is engaged & with us.

Photos: during the body of the set, one character just outside the tent let off a series of flashes; inside, mobile phones & small video camera. But at the end, the serious professional stuff got going. The two professional photographers & video cameraman from the sound check, representing the venue, appeared during the encores. Our national promoter agreed this was a violation of the agreement, but it was nothing to do with him; and the venue-promoter-municipality declared it was not the official photographers at all.

The Team suppered afterwards at the back of this remarkable building, in the 16th. century part (our dressing rooms were in the 17th. century addition).

A young Italian guitarist, who has attended several GC courses, came backstage and sat at our dinner tables. This is another, and only one small, example of backstage security on this tour: as watertight as a sieve. No water gets past here – only through the holes! At the end of our meal, as I was leaving our table en route to collect stuff from the dressing room, I saw behind me a body shifting from repose & into motion, moving rapidly towards me. Then, the Call of Terror – Robert! Excuse me! Robert! I do not recall, on any occasion, the swift approach of a body from behind uttering this call, which also bears some contribution to the quality of my life & its living. The young guitarist followed me, caught me, and presented to me his CD. He would be very happy that I listen to his tracks, give him my opinion on them, and his contact numbers are on the CD for me to do so.

I note, once again, that very few people who ask for my opinion actually want to receive it.

What the young guitarist did not address:

1.         Why he felt I might wish to do this;

2.         What benefit he felt I might receive from this;

3.         What other work/activities I need put aside to spend 40-60 minutes listening, perhaps 1-2 hours considering & commenting on his work. That is, why I might wish to give him some 3 hours of my focused time;

4.         Why he came uninvited into post-performance RF/LCG private space & time to present this himself, rather than give it to one of the Team to pass on.

Now returned to the hotel, I am online. It’s late, but there is lotsa arising business to deal. For example, a letter to EMI from the person currently responsible for distributing DGM’s record catalogue …

I thought it might help to summarise the current position as I understand it.

1) Fripp/Eno

You have a master that you accept is not yours, but you are refusing to return it unless we pay for studio time to enable it to be separated from another master with which it shares a reel and in which you claim copyright.

This master is currently housed at Abbey Road, a studio you own.

In what respect is your copyright in the other track on the shared reel greater or more significant than the copyright in the master you are refusing to return? 

2) Fripp/Eno

You accept that the artwork/materials necessary to reproduce art for the albums you no longer control has been lost by Virgin/EMI.

You are refusing to pay for the remaining films to be processed so that fresh art can be shot for these titles.

3) You accept that there have been a variety of instances whereby Digital Providers in the UK, Europe & the USA have offered King Crimson material for sale both before & after the license for the physical catalogue ended in Dec. 2003. Some of these were initially offered after the physical license had expired. All of these Digital Providers have confirmed they received the rights from EMI -

including the most recent instances by Napster & OD2 - the latter only solved this month.

You issued take down notices for this material in 2004, but accept that you did not ensure the destruction of the files held by the likes of OD2.

You have acknowledged that no royalty accounting for any of this activity has even taken place. You have requested this but nothing has yet been received by DGM or myself.

4) You accept that a variety of King Crimson tapes & production masters - in particular those from Virgin/EMI Japan & those previously held by Caroline USA & Virgin USA - have never been returned. You have offered no indication as to how you intend to retrieve these tapes despite my reported concern that similar tapes are now beginning to appear on Ebay & related auction sites.

I’d appreciate it if you could get back to David Singleton & Robert Fripp with a definitive position on each of the matters.

It’s too late to discuss these in detail, but for an innocent reader interested in the mechanics of the record industry (ie how the industry actually works on a day-to-day basis) this letter refers to lost masters & artwork; and the second time that parts of the catalogue have been made available for download even though:

1.         Download rights were never granted;
2.         EMI’s right to release the catalogue finished in December 2003.

Now, almost 02.30, it’s bedtime even for the Happiest Gigster Of All Possible Happy Gigsters In All Possible Happy Gigster Worlds.