Friday 16 June 2000

The show is off Adrian

The show is off: Adrian is very sick. The call came in from Laurie around 11.00. Last night on the promenade to dinner we suggested that P3 offer to play instead of Crim. Needless to say, the P3 groovers are on instant call should they be needed. But the sense for tonight is simply to cancel.

A hard day for me personally. So hard that after several hours e-flurrying I set off on foot for the cathedral. As I walked around it, looking & trying to "read" what it had to say, the words came unbidden to mind: "Monument to a lost religion". This morning I was reading Jason Elliot on the destruction in Afghanistan of sacred monuments which managed to stand for hundreds of years, until about 20 years ago and the Russian invasion. Are we are at the beginning of a new period, when we are being handed responsibility for ourselves?

I tried 2 cafes by the cathedral. Neither quite managed to give me a sense of place. The newspaper vendor opposite the entrance to the cathedral had his wares on open display: newspapers - including the FT, etc., etc., plus a host of what, in WH Smith & Sons, would be on the top shelf. Here, opposite the entrance to Vienna Cathedral, bevooomerant fatties of guys & gals on open display & available for acquisition.

So, my spirits not quite revived, I went to the Hotel Sacher & had Sacher cake with coffee. Yep. My spirits were that low. So I sat and considered my position as a Working Gigster.

Each "world" has its own kind of performance. The material world has, fairly obviously, material performances. This is where music exists to serve business, and music is performed so that business may be transacted. "Fans" go to tape and photograph the performance. Music is a "thing", to be materialised on tape and then exchanged, bartered, even sold. The performers are also material: things to have images made of them. Surely "fans" abhor music as a business act? As prejudicial to the act of music? But recording, photography & autography are all part of the same world as which claims music as an opportunity to do business.

So, business & fans collude & agree to undermine what is possible. In my (often frank & difficult) dealings with the music industry, I would hope to look for support to KC audiences. How dispiriting when I read, on a daily basis in ET or on the Guestbook, that a significant minority of the audience intend to arrive at a show to pin it down. And have the right to do so - Fripp is clearly mistaken to take the position he does! Why regard his errant & impotent views? They have no relevance to the performance! He gets paid so how dare he claim to be anything other than a money man!

I have, for many years, referred to live work as "the front line". Performers go into battle with their "fans". It does not have to be like this.

So, back at the hotel & e-flurrying, on the telephone, dealing. I have not yet given up on what I know to be possible.

Now, excerpts from today's correspondence:

1. To a Brother In Life:

For you to know in case this affects your plans: we won't meet after the show. Wherever we play there is always one person I'd like to meet. Wherever we play, there are several who jump upon me and suck the life out of me if I even breathe loudly. London is the worst place in the world for this. For that reason alone, I hesitated before agreeing to this show. For me to be able to play London at all - a horror in itself - I place as impenetrable barrier around myself as is possible. I can't let that down at all or I'm fucked. Two tickets will be at the box office of the Shepherd's Bush theatre (it's near the tube station - about 300 yards away) in your name.

Please send your prayers.

2. To a fan, at a difficult time in his life:

Artists, through their work, provide a doorway to what is real. "Fans" are touched by what is real but are often confused and confuse the message with the messenger.

Soundscapes help me, too.

3. To a business advisor:

Half the venues we've played on this tour have been so sonically appalling we won't be back. We shouldn't have been there in the first place. Poznan sports stadium an acceptable venue? Maybe for sports. If the venues compromise the performance to the degree that we can't properly be KC, we should NOT play them.

I have no difficulties at all not playing venues we shouldn't be playing! And I'm prepared to accept the consequences of this. For example, KC may not play Europe again. To reverse the position: would I like KC to play a depressing series of shows for half of a tour, to make the other half possible, where the budget doesn't have wages in it? (RF interjection: clearly a Venal Follower!).

Having said that, all the venues work fine for Soundscapes!

My life as a working player is depressing for about 50% of the time. That's not a proportion which makes what I'm doing worth doing. (My) reasoning is to find a different structure in the music industry where the industry serves the music. Currently, the music supports the business. BTV is part of this restructuring, as is DGM and, in its way, KC.

There are no surprises in anything which I'm saying: I've said it repeatedly and ahead of time. I am now being presented with a fait accompli situation where unless I am prepared to compromise & go back on everything which I laid on the table at the beginning, I am the villain of the piece. I resent being put in a position I asked not to be put into.

BTV WILL film all KC shows. If BTV are unwilling to pay the facility fee, the show is cancelled in accordance with the conditions I laid down at the beginning, when the tour was being planned. Perhaps (this wasn't taken) seriously?