Despite revealing that King Crimson will most likely never tour again, the band’s mastermind Robert Fripp is still pretty active. As of late, he’s gearing up for his spoken-word tour with David Singleton. In a recently released tour trailer, Fripp discussed meeting Jimi Hendrix and the musician’s opinion on King Crimson.
After revealing to the audience that he has, indeed, shook his left hand with Jimi Hendrix, causing everyone in the room to burst into laughter, he then elaborated on how he met the legendary guitarist (transcript by Killer Guitar Rigs):
“From time to time, whenever Hendrix’s anniversary is being celebrated, various guitar magazines or MTV ask me to comment on Hendrix. And the single time that I met Jimi Hendrix was at the Revolution club in Mayfair [in London] when Crimson were playing in 1969.
“It was the first time I sat down. I’ve always been a seated guitar player. And to work in a rock group, you couldn’t sit down! No one sits down to play guitar!”
“But I felt after… I think it was 12 performances by the ’69 Crimson, it was impossible for me to stand and play. So I said, ‘Look, I’ve got to sit down.’ And Greg Lake said ‘You can’t sit down, you look like a mushroom!’ My considered opinion was that the mushroom is a fertility symbol in many cultures. [audience laughs] And even if I were sitting, at least I could, perhaps, wave the flag.”
“So the E.G. [Records] management bought a stool which was painted black and was placed on stage at the Revolution club in Mayfair. Then, after the first set, backstage, a man came up to me in a white suit with his right arm in a white sling. One of the most luminous people I’ve ever met. And he came up to me and said ‘Shake my left hand, man. It’s closer to my heart.'”
Further on, Fripp recalled 1981 while King Crimson was recording the “Discipline” album at Sarm West Studios in London. While in the city, he met with Loretta Land who was Michael Giles’ sister-in-law. To those who don’t know, Michael Giles was the first drummer of King Crimson. He recalled the meeting by saying:
“She said to me ‘Do you remember the time Hendrix came to see King Crimson?’ And I said ‘Of course I do, it’s my Hendrix story.’ And she said, ‘Do you know that I was sitting on the next table to Jimi Hendrix?’ And I said ‘No.’ And she said he was jumping up and down, saying ‘This is the best group in the world.'”
“In all due modesty, this is one of the best calling cards any working musician is likely to be able to present.”
Photo: Sean Coon (Robert Fripp), Unknown (Jimi Hendrix 1967 cropped)