Fripp Pussyfoots With Eno

From an unknown publication, probably in 1973, from the Jeffrey Morgan Archive.

“Anyone who really wants me knows where he can find me.” With a series of statements along these lines, Robert Fripp dismantled King Crimson and set out to prepare body and soul for the apocalypse which he believes to be around the corner. He is, in musical terms, “a guitar for hire” – of sorts. “I can’t make any staggering claims for being the saviour of the new age, leading the world into a new dawn with a golden guitar around my neck, the music of the spheres dropping from every digital movement,” Fripp quipped while he sipped Celestial Seasons tea (“you can really taste the vibes in it”).

“But if anyone really wants to hear me play in certain situations of my choosing, maybe that can be arranged,” the blue-eyed master added mischievously. That situation seems to be materializing into at least one major U.S. gig of the Fripp and Eno duo at New York’s Felt Forum later this spring.

The doll-like techno-rocker, Eno, and Fripp have created a vinyl disc, No Pussyfooting, together, a work of considerable value to the seeker after intense moments of sonic penetration. But onstage they are completely unexplored territory.

“A concert would consist of Fripp and Eno and no one else,” the alchemist of the six strings explained. “Possibly someone mixing. Tracks would be recorded at home with different tape loops and cassettes, but in a fashion where Eno could plug in any cassette or any system or series of cassettes that appeal to him at the moment. It must put me on the spot where, having prepared these tracks, I’ve never heard that particular combination before and have to react on the moment to what he’s done.” A kind of spontaneous combustion of man and technology.

“I’ve been thinking that systems of harmonic extensions, changes of keys could also be built in, which is quite different from one Revox to another, you build up one note which becomes linked automatically. He can discontinue that and in time it decays. Side One of Fripp and Eno is, in fact, only two guitars. It took me 45 minutes and cost $12. It just goes to show what you can achieve with a small unit.”

Only by way of “small, highly mobile intelligent units”, (unlike large rock bands), is society to survive the future, believes Fripp, who sees today’s civilisation as one dominated by dinosaur monoliths unbalancing the delicate structure of earth. “Man has an inflated sense of his own importance…. Being a rock star, for instance, is psychically dangerous… The huge rock’n roll entourage that goes on the road is, frankly, over… the music produced by groups will reflect the return over a period of years, to a simpler, more vital music. It will become hopefully, and I think inevitably, more concise and to the point. The end of the nonsense to which we’ve been treated by the likes of King Crimson!”

What if “Red”, the fiery last Crimson LP becomes a hit album and makes its founder wealthy? “Good. It will enable me to pursue more profitable activities longer,” replied Fripp, and he set out to sketch his blueprint for tomorrow, in which a very different consciousness must evolve.