Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp's Diary

Sunday 22 March 2020



Rising 06.45.

Morning Sitting and Advancing Masked for the second day…

Gentle morning reading with music.

Guitar Craft aphorism, and the first rule of applied art…

Turn a seeming disadvantage to your advantage.
The greater the seeming disadvantage, the greater the possible advantage.

The current situation, of self-isolating, is a superb opportunity that I am joyfully embracing. New domestic protocols are in place, responding to the latest UK Government advisories, changing our home schedule and activities in turn. One example of which…


Guitar Craft Definition…

 A category of food found on many, if not all, Guitar Craft courses.

Commonly takes the form of a glutinous mass with uniform color and consistency, of indeterminate and indeterminable origins.

The assumption is that, whatever the origins may be, this food is good for you.

There are currently two categories of squerd: savoury and dessert.

The colors of savoury squerd tend toward brown and green, indicating the healthy origins of the fundamental ingredient/s: these must be vegetable. Sometimes, however, the colors are brighter; for example, orange (swede) and scarlet-purple (beetroot). These more demonstrative colors may sometimes be compromised by the inclusion of less exciting vegetables, colorwise, in the composite squerd-conglutination. In which case, the default colour tends towards brown.

Dessert squerd frequently features bright colors, often semi-luminescent and even approximating to psychedelic.

One is not sure that this food is any good for us at all. But by the time dessert squerd has been served, usually few care.

Sweet Lips Willcox is an exceptional cook, me a willing student, now Kitchen Boy here in the centre of Bredonborough.  And preparing squerd is not much of a challenge after twenty-five years of Guitar Craft.

Lunch by the back door…

… and then a cup of tea for two in the garden.

I am blessed, well aware of my good fortune, and grateful.

An afternoon of e-fury. So many good people are enquiring after our health and well-being that I am scrambling to reply. Apologies if I am unable to fully acknowledge the generosity being made available.

There have been several online queryings regarding the reply to DW of Kings Langley; whose posting to Toby Howard’s Discipline, Number 128, Friday, 11 March 1994; was copied in yesterday’s Diary. The reply, also in Discipline No. 128…

Dear DW of Kings Langley,

I was saddened and upset by your rude, insulting, presumptuous and deliberately unkind letter. That you have a sufficient passion for music to write the letter is reassuring and heartening to me; that you allow no room for any interpretation other than your own of the RAH show, nor an alternative approach to audience/performer responsibilities, and respond only in the nasty and graceless fashion which you have is disappointing. Regrettably, the tone of your letter typifies the quality of public debate. Given your intentionally offensive manner, you may understand why I shall not enter a discussion with you regarding the issues you raised, which are in themselves interesting and have been a major concern of mine for many years.

If you consider me a fraud then you make my life easier: you abandon the demands which your expectations make of me.

You "feel sorry for (RF) and wish (me) peace of mind in the quiet, unconscious, daily living 'hell' that (I am) keeping (myself) in". Uh, thanks for your kind feelings, Dave, and I'm really sorry that I'm such a terrible person. Forgive me, but your arrogance is breathtaking, even to one whose breath has been taken many times. Your only possible excuse for that one is youth.

You mention the decision to support me, or not, through records and shows. Although the audience can choose the performer, the performer has to take the audience as given. This is clearly inequitable. You seem to assume I want, and perhaps should be grateful for, your "support". My life as a musician isn't undertaken either to get rich or become popular. So please be informed that the author of your letter is not a person I wish to have in my audience (whether in person or in an extended sense). Neither do I want, nor feel the need for, your "support" nor for that of any audience which assumes its right to impose on me its particular expectations of how I meet my responsibilities (which your letter in any case disputes). I know the extent of my training and experience, but I have met few members of the audience whose training has been quite as extensive.

You ask me to send you £21 to pay you back for the show as I "didn't earn it". I've considered the fairest response to this.   

Firstly, you did at least see David Sylvian, and three other musicians. My own contribution was surely less than half. 

Secondly, both audience and performer take a risk on the performance. The audience gets an artist who may not meet their expectations, and a performer might get someone as lacking in charity and courtesy as yourself.

Thirdly, anyone with a measure of familiarity with my work (which you claim) might reasonably expect the performance to be not-quite-as-you-might expect.

So, £21 shared between us both x 40% (a poor estimate of the three musicians' performance) = £4.20. Although not much for you, we haven't considered the expenses I carry and I doubt that you'd want the bill for those. Enclosed is a cheque for £4.20 on the understanding that you will never again come to a concert at which I am performing.

Sincerely, Robert

18.39      After an excellent day in which parameters have been intentionally re-directed in response to time, place, person and circumstance; now to the Cellar for guitar practicing.