Have you talked to your children about Robert Fripp? It may be time to start thinking about this important conversation. Throughout adolescence, to me, he was merely “that guy” that made an album with Andy Summers (they actually made two!). I had no idea who he was or where he came from. I just knew that Andy Summers was adorable and his book One Train Later changed my life. It had always been about Stewart Copeland for me, but Andy… he was there all along and like a fool I had ignored his magic.
In my twenties Robert Fripp started to pop up in old books and magazines. I noticed him in a photo with Debbie Harry--it’s that Andy Summers guy! His name appeared next to CBGB, Max’s typicals. How had I missed this earlier? One would think with the sick, teenage drive I had for devouring rock books I would’ve noticed. I’m of a distracted generation however. I only knew of the Summers/Fripp album because of one music video that would show up on Vh1 Classic every so often. That’s how I was taking in most of my ‘70s-’80s knowledge. A prepackaged video blurb that can’t tell you anything except that it happened.
May I serve as an example to your children. This is no way to live. Surely an uncle or cool older sibling has played King Crimson at some point in one’s life. To a casual listener one may name drop King Crimson as a “prog band” (or maybe they meekly express liking Yes but get shot down when it’s “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”). But what of Robert Fripp. Here are some tips on how to approach your child in a delicate but informative manner:
If your Generation Z friend is an avid cassette collector or interested in tape, introduce them to Frippertronics. I will warn you that this could lead to a love of Brian Eno, perhaps Bowie and I can’t tell you where it will go from there. But it’s the right thing to do.
If for some inexplicable reason the person in question HAS NOT heard King Crimson we suggest you take a day for In The Court of the Crimson King. It’s the appropriate place to start and you must play it no less than three times.
After some serious listens we invite you to come visit us and pick up an album from the shop. Depending on where your student falls in the grand scheme of general interest we have several options for entering the world of Fripp. Of course I’m partial to Exposure but there’s a whole great big Robert world out there and it sounds damn good on vinyl.