Wednesday, July 7, 2010

a crimson exclamation point

to all of you who posted your thoughts about my hope
that the 80's crim might chose to play together again
I would like to say thanks, yes, even to the person
who called me an asshole!* everybody has one and I'll
admit I can act like one now and then.

my thought was a simple one: I felt and still feel
a nostalgic longing to make that music again
the same way it was made to begin with,
i.e. with the same people who created it.

yes, of course I knew it was very likely NOT to happen.
and since robert has not yet called I feel pretty
certain it's not on his agenda. I respect robert's
thought and wishes. some people have intimated robert
might prefer to start a new krimson without me. to be
candid, that would hurt, but he has the right to do so.
I support robert in whatever he needs.

yes, bill has retired from public performances.
I understand his motives more than most people
ever will. there are many times, usually brought on
by the actions of others, when I could easily see
myself doing the same thing.
I suppose it was presumptuous of me to think he
might change his mind, but I know in bill's heart
he has to be proud of his work in krimson.
I figured maybe if robert, tony, and I agreed to
do it again, he might have a change of heart.
and finally, words like heart and love are what
prompted my desire in the first place.
not money as some have suggested.

I am a very busy and gratified man.
I am not desperate to work with anyone,
nor do I need money enough to ever compromise myself.
as I've said before, money has little power over me.

so...will the mighty crim rise again?
likely not any time soon, and probably never
in the 1981 guise. I accept that as fact.
so please allow me to gracefully back away from my
comments and allow robert (and bill and tony) their
rights as well. I am an artist and as such I have
moments of fantasy and sometimes I dream.
I meant no harm.
thanks again for all your comments.

back to life: today I have a very involved set of
plane frights to vancouver island, including an
overnight layover from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the
vancouver airport before making two more short
flights to the island itself!
then I rehearse with a new version of the power trio.
wish us luck.

*my desire to play with robert, bill, and tony
is not an exclusion of pat, trey, and gavin.
I loved working with all of the crimettes
and have a healthy respect for each of them.


  1. My thoughts on reading the original post were that its motives were much as outlined above. People in general are generous in their interpretations of another's motives - unfortunately the vocal minority are not. The artist must always dream, and I wish you all the best with yours, whether they involve the Mighty Crim (in whatever incarnation) or not.


  2. I really got my hopes up when I read the previous post, especially since I was born too late to see and appreciate the '80s quartet (my favourite Crimson lineup) back then.
    As an artist, I believe you HAVE to dream. No harm ever came from that.
    I really do hope that King Crimson rises again (with you in it)!

  3. Maybe Robert silence means that he is REALLY thinking deeply about it.
    Maybe BB is still walking around UK or the Alps (having looked at his website...) and didn't check the email lately.
    Or maybe Tony is touring EU and the phone has no signal....or maybe I'm Miles Davies, ok I'm joking.
    Whatever happens you 4 are still the best live band in the world (and in studio too, no other KC albums were better recorded than the three in the '80, not even close), I haven't seen/heard anything in the last 30 years that can beat you, all derivatives...

    Andrea from Italy

  4. bruno said it well. can't damn a dream.

    i'm 23. i was -6 years old when discipline dropped. i've studied it (and your subsequent krim records) so thoroughly that the music has become a part of me. even if just for a one-off, it would be ineffable for the 80s lineup to perform once more. i would travel to mars to see it.

    that it's even a possibility is thrilling. you've all maintained the chops, the music is relevant as ever ... if it happened, it would do the original performances justice and then some. adrian - can you think of any bands you've never seen that you wish you could? it's an unreal feeling for people so sentimentally attached to music.

    i maintain that given bruford's recent 'ann baileys soul house' performances, maybe the guy has an itch to retract the retirement. robert seems the only one that would really need convincing. i don't know him, but i know he is complicated, and i'm sure somewhere behind the veiled persona is a guy that wants to have that kind of fun again. perhaps getting everyone together for one reason or another might help the gears going. perhaps they don't remember the good as well as you do. if not for playing a show, you should at least have an anniversary dinner or something. it might help you get over the nostalgia (or, hopefully, exacerbate it for everybody)

    in any event, keep us all posted, enjoy the shows with marco and julie, and get real fat on that good japanese grub.

    friend and fan cyrus g

  5. rock on, like we know you will. sorry i missed the iron horse show, but if a live recording becomes available, i'll be snapping it up.
    all the best, and thanks for all your best,
    - jim

  6. We here in Chicago support any of your ideas - I do think you are correct on RF Fripptron particle - but I sent him a e-mail about what u think of this and have not had a reply - still we all know the itchy mind of the Criminoid - you must,we must, we will.
    And yes very good luck on the new P3 - I saw you here in Chicago - it was absolutly fun - I always feel great after one of your show's - hope to see you soon Mr Big electric cat,

  7. I was floored by the name-calling comment. I'm still totally befuddled by it. It was completely uncalled for. There is a definite downside to the anonymity that comes with the Internet.

    I'm not one to go in for nostalgia acts, but an 80s Crimson is something I would queue up to see. This is the band that introduced me to Crimson's music, and I "discovered" them about a year after they ceased to exist, as Robert would say. If you guys get together again by some chance, just tell me where an when, so I can show up.

    In the meantime, you keep right on dreaming, Ade. Your dreams produce some pretty cool musical moments for the rest of us. I enjoyed the new DVD. If you get the urge to release some board recordings of your one-man shows, I'm in for that, too.

    Take care and break a leg out there!


  8. I don't know what YOU are apologizing for...

    Keep dreaming and don't let the Trolls get you down.

  9. If we cannot dream, we diminish ourselves.

    Hearing you dream out loud means you're human, and we love that.

  10. Not at all Bro!Like I wrote we love you!People are wrong although Robert it is a really problematic Guy. Grumpy.

  11. "I support robert in whatever he needs"...
    and we support adrian on whatever he needs...

    nothing happens again in the same way,
    but everything can happens...

    "Eyes wide open all the time
    Cause you never know what you might see "

    pierluca from italy.
    "Son, you've been reading
    too much Elephant Talk"

  12. Call up TLev, call up P@, choose a backup guitarist of your choice and name yourself the Red Princes. Then go out and celebrate your work in KC in anyway you choose fit. It's your legacy and your work and RF & BB hold no power in your kingdom - so celebrate away. There's nowt wrong with dreaming, but there's something very wrong waiting for other people to let you do what you want to do.

  13. It's hard to understand why anyone would place a negative spin on the suggestion "wouldn't it be nice?" to play with the fearsome quartet that spawned three of the most compelling albums made in any era. If you consider how fragmented the music industry became in the 1980's in terms of musicians controlling music, how unlikely was a project as brave as this to succeed enough commercially to be self-sustaining? When I first heard these records I was completely blown away, giddy with excitement I bugged anyone I could to help me learn how to play the drums like that, I wanted to dive into the works and learn what was going on to create this great new sound. Those records are full of brilliant ideas - let's not ride the cymbals, let's forget about playing in the same meter at the same time all the time and see what happens, let's scrap the bass on some cuts and use the stick, let's not strum the guitars - in fact, why does a guitar have to be a guitar? After all, we have Adrian Belew at our disposal. It's still exciting just to go back and listen to those recordings, a snapshot of what can be when great minds trust radical concepts and put the outer limits of their respective abilities to the test. If you were part of that experience, how could you not occasionally feel a longing to revisit it?

  14. 20-30 years on is a good time for nostalgia.

    I came of age musically in the early '70s, so that's my favorite lineup, but I certainly like "your" era. Just wish my wife could appreciate it. But if KC plays in San Diego or the OC, I'm there.

    I think the last time I saw KC was the late '80s, in San Diego. A couple came in late and sat next to us, smelling of sex and fungus. They stayed for one song and left. I still wonder what that was all about.

  15. As a long time RF diary reader, I actually find it positive that RF didn't say no. A non answer is not a no, and at least allows the possibility of hope. I understand in part his position and don't want him to do anything he is not committed to; but, I also think KC is always somewhere in the depth of his subconsciousness sending bubbles up to the surface saying "remember me."
    I overheard the conversation of those next to me at a KC concert, one said the to other that KC were the "evil Beatles."
    Maybe, maybe not quite. In my mind, KC would be the soundtrack if Wagner were having a wonderous and beautiful nightmare.

  16. When I saw KC on Pier 84 in NYC on a hot August night in 1982 my life was changed forever. No show that I have seen since then has had that kind of impact. No kidding. I really appreciate that it's still important to you and that you share your feelings with us. Peace...

  17. And Adrian, do NOT -- not for ONE SECOND -- back away from any dream you may have. To hell with the naysayers. You're in charge here. Do what you want to do. I think I speak for 99 percent of us on this page when I say "We are THERE," no matter what. My own exclamation point. Take care and good luck.


  18. No kidding. June 4th(?) 1984 you fellows pinned my ears back and they stayed pinned.
    Thanks! Totally worth thinking and talking about. Im sure conversations on that subject occur daily worldwide.

  19. I came to see the "Beat" concert that was canceled at the last minute at Poplar Creek in '83. We were turned away.
    I waited until '84 to witness "Three of A Perfect Pair" show at the same venue. Then I saw the double trio at the Rosemont Theater in 1996. Then I witnessed "The Power To Believe" at the Park West. Even chatted with you briefly afterward. I saw you solo during the Twang Bar thing, then again for Music Head, the Here tour with the Bears then with you and Kengineer (rest his soul) at Fitzgeralds with the Irrisponsibles. I would love to see the 80's lineup. You guys are so bloody awesome.
    If not? I have all the DVD's. I'll just put them on and turn it the hell up.
    Cheers Ade.(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  20. Adrian,

    You are a true gentleman with a kind HEART.

  21. new version of the power trio?!?
    who's in it?
    come on my friend, you can't just say new version without naming names!

  22. i would be disheartened by this, but i'm listening to 'b3' from 'e' and, well, i don't feel disheartened.

  23. Another idea: if RF doesn't want to be in, you can always, Ade, try to team up with TL and BB to form a "Three of a (un)perfect pair" band. I'm being serious.

  24. Dear Adrian

    You are not an asshole - 1980'2 crim was the best for a miriad of reasons and for me some of the greats include the GR300 (mine has now died) Sartory, Sleepless, Sheltering Sky, Waiting Man......superb, bravo and excellent. I would have loved that line up to play other greats like Hot Zoo and I remember how to forget. Luv your stuff - ignore the critics.

  25. Dear Adrian

    What a time in your professional and personal life it must have been when you were with the best version of king crimson! Just you mentioning a possible reunion has made me so nostalgic. No wonder it sent waves rippling through the universe!

    Thank you

    PS Loved you solo gig at Joe's pub in NYC (I'm the guy who had the gaul to ask 2 questions...)

  26. Not to invite any pointless or unfair comparisons, but I just want to say that the Power Trio with Julie and Eric is a truly great live band, and "e" is on my top-five list of all-time greatest albums.

  27. Adrian, I understand your motives and now your disappointments. But whatever you do and whoever you do it with, I know it will be top notch and from the heart. Rock on!


  28. It actually makes me quite sad to think that songs such as 'Neal and Jack and Me', 'Neurotica' and 'Waiting Man' may not be played Live again by the 80's line-up.

    I could be believe that Adrian and Tony would do it just for the fun of it. Perhaps, Bill too could be tempted to put that part of the KC legacy to bed in style.

    But RF? Hmm... I don't think he ever does anything just for fun, apart from the odd session for pals, perhaps.

    No doubt, getting the Crimson machine up and running again would cause the business type headaches that plague RF.

    Just to revisit old songs? For fun?
    I don't think that is enough of a reason for RF.

    A real shame but any KC fan will understand RF's motives by now, respect his position and be grateful for what we have.

  29. It was a great idea. Period.

  30. Dear Adrian,
    Great post! We agree to leave them alone.If they come around,let's do it but until then life goes on.
    My favorite K.C. album, "Three of a Perfect Pair" is belewed by "Twang Bar King" or "Mr. Music Head".
    I will be at the World Live Cafe tonight to see Laurie Anderson. I would enjoy seeing you and her together live.
    You have given us quite a catalogue of music so don't stop creating just because you can't help us fans relive the past
    ...and I've yet to hear the Zappa/Belew nuggets...

  31. My first exposure to Krimson live was with the '81 lineup at The Old Waldorf in San Francisco for Discipline and again at the UC Berkley Greek Theater in support of Beat. Both were great shows for me and a chance to see that team performing together live again would be a dream come true. I hope it happens, but even if not, I appreciate the enjoyment you and the rest of the band gave me.
    Thanks for taking a shot at making it happen again.

  32. ProjeKct Five (aka ProjeKct Nostalgia)?
    Adrian, TLev, Trey (for RF) and Pat (for Bill)?


  33. But would Bruford activate his hated electronic Simmons set. Would Robert activate his old Roland midi guitar unit. Probably not. It would sound different and it should sound different.

    I did not see the 80's Crimson but what I would like to see is new material from these guys and maybe a fifth member to extend the possibilites.

    As theyr are simply 30 years older now and wiser the would not play the material as done then. For sure it would be slower as happens and that might mean disappointments. But then I think if they re-intepret the music it might be interesting. New soloes for eaxmple.

    Örn Orrason

  34. Having heard the Roxy show in 1981 from DGMLive, it would be hard to deny that you were the best band in the world for a time. This may even be a understatement.

  35. What's so nice is that a) you shared your dream and b) you had the idea in the first place. If I had a penny for every time someone's pooped on my ideas I'd ... well, I would be wealthy, but I would have a lot of pennies. Much respect to you Adrian!


  37. Dear Belew,

    Try this: compose complex moto perpetuos and invite Fripp to solo on them.

    Jam with Roland JV worked out synth sounds.

    Fripp will implore you to tolerate him in the band.



  38. ok, i'm an idiot. i just read that Marco Minnemann will be the third leg in the new power trio. great choice adrian, he sounds excellent. should be a fantastic set of shows!

  39. Hi, I have no advice, but nevertheless you have my support. I feel there's still a need for King Crimson to be somewhere between Heaven and Earth these days. I could not say, which line-up I would prefer, every line-up would be fine for me.


  40. To be honest, King Crimson for me ended after the Sinfield/Fripp split. I respect his statement that King Crimson is a way of doing things, and is bigger than the individual players (including himself) and that the spirit of the Mighty Crim appears according to when the players and zeitgeist are right and available to receive it.
    What I don't understand is why, according to this criteria, that Mr. Fripp is the only one who seems to be able to discern when and what this is. Certainly there is his connection with the original "download" from the early Sinfield/Fripp version of the group, and the fact that he has actually stuck around in order to continue what he understands as Crimson. And yet this seems like what he is saying is that the only reason no one else does is that no one else has.
    Certainly the 21rst Century Schizoid Band was made up of many members who should be able to have a say on what this Crimson was, is, and could be. Similar things seemed to happen to them as well when they took the approach of setting forth from the original compositions and tried to extend where the music could go from that - the same conflicts and eventual breakup just like the original Crimsons.
    Now, all of this is probably massive simplification - and I don't know if anyone (other than Muir, perhaps?) has engaged in the kind of spiritual discipline as Mr. Fripp has with his application of Gurdjieffean principles to his music and GC and Crim. I am certain that beyond copyright issues and all of that that Fripp is most likely the best caretaker of the Crimson legacy, since he has stepped up to that responsibility apparently more than anyone else has seemed willing to.
    But could there ever be a King Crimson without him?
    Just curious.

  41. Oh and just as an addendum - I really love EVERY version of King Crimson! Just after the Sinfield/Fripp split I have always thought of it as "King Crimson Legacy - The Robert Fripp Discipline Band".

  42. Dear Adrian,

    Hi once again from Ecuador.

    Last month, when I read this post where you announced your wish to re-create the crimson of the 80's, I felt excited.

    The reason? I'm a Crimson nutcase, haha. Seriously, the reason is 'cuz I was born way too late, and way too far to witness any King Crimson show. While the Crimson of the 80's was goin' round, I even wasn't born!

    Go figure...

    Anyway, being an admirer of Robert's and each member of the Crimson family, I sincerely hope this happens. I had this weird thought I shared once with a friend of mine

    "King Crimson only arises when the music needs it."

    And I'm 150% sure, music NOW needs you.

    I'm sometimes frustrated, everyone plays the same chords, the same licks, everything seems so equal yet people try to make us believe they're different. But no, it's the same old story, same old song and dance.

    But when King Crimson plays, you know you're hearing SOMETHING you will never ever, hear anywhere else.

    My thoughts are with you Adrian...

    I hope father Robert gete his boots on and do one last time Crimson incarnation, and I hope you're also on it. I always thought of you like Robert's brother from different mother.

    (Why I call Robert father? I call him father 'cause he's part of my 3 main old school guitar heroes, being them David Gilmour, Robert, and Tony Iommi from Sabbath)

    Once again, I wish you all the best, and may your dreams of playing with the 80's almighty Crims come true.

    Take Good Care, crimson Elephant!

    Cheers from Guayaquil, Ecuador.


  43. Feel no fret sir. You can wait and feel no fret.

  44. I too wish for 80's Crim to play again. Ade, you are the man. I fail to understand why you listen to your critics. They cannot stand toe-to-toe with you on a musical level, let alone your humanity. What are their credentials?

    There are different and clear incarnations of the Crim and the Levin-Fripp-Bruford-Belew lineup was a singular and stellar ensemble because it didn't sound like ANYTHING BEFORE IT. That cannot be said of any of the Crims with maybe the exception of the very first. Even that was a reflection of the times with it's jazz influence.

    That's all. Peace.

  45. Mr. Belew,
    You are (not your ego) one of the most honest musicians I've ever had the pleasure of following. I'm 53 years old and KC opened my mind like nothing had done before, not even acid.
    I understand the dynamics of a band and the hard work that's involved keeping it together and fresh. KC isn't nostalgic at all. Again as you mentioned everyone has an asshole somewhere, some of us let it take over the little brain we have.
    Keep on going and good luck with Mark. Your work (including paintings) is very inspirational, I only wish more musicians were as dedicated as you are to their crafts.
    Thank you for being yourself, hopefully will have a new/old KC.

  46. Hey Adrian: I sure appreciate your openness on this tricky subject.

    Ordinarily, I'm not that hot on reunions - Don't look back and all that, or maybe they just make me feel old. But then after your posting came up, I started listening to "Absent Lovers" again and decided that for you guys I could make an exception. Geez, what a performance.

    Ah, well. As some guy said somewhere, you can't always get what you want. But congratulations on keeping the trio going. Great news.

  47. It strikes me that Mr. Fripp seems pretty involved with the UMG horror story, and of course a successful end to that battle would benefit you as well.

    No idea where the rumors about KC without you come from. Certainly not from Mr. Fripp's diary, which is, in the main, the way he chooses to keep everyone in the loop.

    Hope you find your way back to British Columbia again. Couldn't make it to see you at the Music Festival on Vancouver Island, but I'd sell... well I won't say what body parts to watch one of my favorite musicians on stage. If TL, BB and RF want to be there with you, that would be ultra-cool, but I'd watch you play with an acoustic with four strings.

  48. dear adrian, I don't think this will happen again, but your words are so beautiful...a man with an open heart, thank you.
    Paolo Manghesi

  49. Only read this post, but I understand the desire. Sometimes things work right and you think that the magic can be captured again. The good thing about artists is that they quite frequently do that.

    I'm glad that Adrian expressed these thoughts and whether Robert, Bill and Tony feel the same way or not, it is the thought that counts. I appreciate his art as well.

  50. I would actually love to see more ProjeKcts.

    But, of course, anything with Mr. Belew on board will get me out of the house.

  51. FrancescoTheMagnificentJuly 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Hi Adrian - I'm in New York and I've seen the mighty Crim in two of the lineups that you were a member of. Both were wonderful, memorable musical experiences, for which, thanks (to you & all of the Crims). Listen, I doubt that the artistic stars will ever align so that I could see those bands again (or any of the earlier iterations of Crimson), but - as a fan - I'd very much like to. I've been fortunate enough to see such bands as Cream, the Stooges, NY Dolls and Cactus reunite & revisit their old material from a new musical point of view (and even create some new material). Though I'm not an artist (well, maybe a BS artist - I'm a damn lawyer) I can't see why such efforts aren't artistically "valid." Hell, I can't see why doing a reunion to ramp up your retirement account isn't valid either. People who made it together ought to help each other out. Hang together or hang separately. Being a professional musician doesn't come with a health plan and pension, as far as I know. When I was in college, I worked in a music copy and supply shop & we once participated in collecting money to help bury Big Joe Turner (Dr. John ran a funeral fundraiser at the Lone Star Cafe). Disgraceful. As an attorney, my advice is: Do whatcha gotta do. And do it in NYC so I can come listen. Thanks again & enjoy the summer.

  52. Adrian,
    I know I'm arriving at this discussion a bit late but I have 2 comments. First, I love you and your music and encourage you to continue to attempt to get the "Krims" together for another go. Second, contrary to a few comments Fripp would always have to be part of the equation and with all due respect TL and BB could be left out. You and Robert on the other hand....also lets dream bigger, a KC Tour with guest appearances by Greg Lake and John Wetton, etc, I mean Greg singing "I Talk to the Wind" wow!