Joe Satriani Remembers Robert Fripp’s Weird Request for G3 Tour, Explains What King Crimson Mastermind is Really Like

We’re already aware of Joe Satriani’s incredible impact on the world of guitar. But aside from teaching some of the metal titans, writing incredible music, and pushing the boundaries of expression through guitar, he’s also connected some of the greatest guitar-playing minds in the world for his G3 tours. The first one took place back in 1996, featuring Eric Johnson and Steve Vai alongside Satriani. In the coming years, we’ve seen plenty of other guitar masters join Satriani, including Uli Jon Roth, John Petrucci, Michael Schenker, Brian May, Robert Fripp, and others.

While we’re at it, many would claim that King Crimson’s Robert Fripp is the most interesting name that ever appeared on G3 tours. Well, according to Joe Satriani’s words in a recent chat with Guitar World, Fripp did have some very specific demands and ideas back in 2004 when he participated in the event for the second time. Joe explained:

“Well, one of the most interesting characters was Robert Fripp, beyond a doubt. When he joined up, he insisted that he not be listed, and he wanted to play before the show.”

“He said, ‘Look, don’t turn the lights on. I’m going to sit behind all the amps, and I’m going to play music as people walk into the venue and find their seats. And don’t mention my name.’ It’s what he wanted to do.”

“Sometimes [bassist] Stu Hamm would play with him unannounced. He’d just come out, sit right next to Robert and he’d play along, or some of the other guys would play. It was really quite beautiful. Robert is such a wonderful human being and an incredible musician.”

Going through some old footage from this 2004 run, you could see that Fripp was always kind of in the back, not completely covered by the spotlights.

Robert Fripp Steve Vai Joe Satriani G3 Live Argentina - Rockin' in the Free World

There aren’t that many videos of these concerts available online. However, there’s one where you can see more of Fripp, although he’s still kind of in the back. You can check it out at this link.

Further discussing Fripp’s involvement, Satriani recalled what Robert Fripp is really like to work with. He offered:

“We did a couple of other tours together, just me, Steve, and Robert playing the blues or something. It was hysterical, and he was fearless about that. He was Robert Fripp to the very end.”

Photos: Sean Conn (Robert_Fripp), Hreinn Gudlaugsson (Joe-satriani_DSC05259)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.