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“After listening to Providence, what I believe to be the most beautiful, soothing, and focused song ever written, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the world's my oyster soup kitchen floor wax museum.”
King Crimson (not to be confused with Fling Plimsole) a soothing pop band known for their simple and catchy tunes, has been guitarist Adrian "Steve" Belew's vehicle for showcasing some of the greatest lyricists of rock and roll since the 1960s.
Although not as commercially successful as the multiplatinum Giles, Giles and Fripp, or the stadium-packing The Brain, King Crimson (known as "Crimso" to their fan) has nonetheless altered the course of popular English by peppering our everyday speech with widely-imitated catchphrases as "cat food cat food cat food again", "Uncle Rufus grew his nose", "these are words that begin with a 'D' this time", and "speck of lint on the penis of an alien". Due to the accessible, upbeat style of King Crimson, their music is often featured in aerobics exercise videos, and the band is currently collaborating with fitness expert Richard Simmons to record an album aimed at specifically at the fat fag hag exercise video market.
King Crimson began their days as a variety act led by Robert "Tony Visconti" Fripp known as "King Crimson And His Amazing Coconuts", featuring the Coconuts, a trio of attractive hula-dancing triplets. Fripp was well-known for opening his concerts by saying, "I'm King Crimson, and these are my Coconuts!" and for being a modest, likeable leader who nearly always deferred to the wishes of the other musicians. The group recorded their first record, featuring its famous cover depicting a benign, smiling, universally soothing cartoon face, in 1969. The album was notable for its strict adherence to songs under three minutes in length.
A few years later, the band was railroaded by John "Moneyman" Wetton, who forced them to smash their wind instruments and go totally metal. This conversion, coupled with lunatic percussionist/botanist Jamie "The Ghost and Mrs." Muir's propensity for lashing him about the head with heavy chains in order to get "that sound," made Fripp so tired that he went into a deep sleep for five years. When he woke up, he found that a curse had been placed on him that would cause any band he touched to become King Crimson. The first and only victim of this curse was the Talking Heads. Fripp now wears rubber gloves, and it apparently counteracts the effect quite well, except for the time he accidentally touched Maynard James Keenan's tattoo, transmitting the CrimVirus to a younger generation.
In 1999, the British Labour Government declared "A Day of Wooing Things," a national day of acknowledgement to honor all of Crimso's achievements. The holiday was later revoked when Fripp was caught in a seedy section of London's East End, in a disused pet store he had secretly turned into a "huffing-dungeon" containing an extensive quantity of kittens.
"Crimso" was one of the pioneers of an instrument known as the Mellotron, a keyboard instrument long since banned in England on grounds of cruelty to animals; each key was connected to a small animal (usually a gerbil, although its close cousin the Chamberlin used shrews) which had been trained to play a single note on a violin. The entire colony of gerbils was encased in a tin housing to give it that "sound". Later in the 80s the animals were replaced by robots and the instrument was re-released by PETA under the name "Fairlight".
Another claim to fame for King Crimson was their relentless use of 4/4 time, which rarely varied from 90 beats per minute. Crimso even named an album "Beat", for God's sake, after drummer Bill Bruford simplified his kit to a snare drum and bass drum.
This was probably a back-to-basics rebellion against the lavish and excessive song structures being bandied about in the post-prog-punk heyday by Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Chris Burke, and The Shaggs.
To this day, overzealous drummers in band rehearsals worldwide are all too familiar with the shameful calls of "Keep it simple, stupid! Play four to the floor, like Crimso."
Scales and Harmony
In addition to their usual time signature, King Crimson can also be identified by their almost exclusive use of the C-major pentatonic scale. This predictable scale complements the simplicity of 4/4 time quite well, with the result that their songs have a very familiar, lighthearted, and relaxing feel. In fact, most King Crimson members, both past and present, are known to avoid dissonance and non-standard harmony whenever possible. Robert Fripp in particular is such a determined opponent of atonality that, as with the overzealous drummer, it is common for the unorthodox guitarist to hear, "dude, come on ... stop huffing kittens and start playing the song the nice easy way ... like Fripp.” King Crimson's so strict about their scale use, they even named an album “Discipline”, for God’s sake.
Lake sang for King Crimson during the 69-70 era. Known for his high pitched rat-bag voice... wait no that was Boz Burrell. Anyway he was known for his strong voice and girlish body. After leaving Crimso he formed the band ELP with random junkie Carl Palmer and former stripper/hooker/candy shop owner Keith Emerson. The band was a huge success, known for there short fast paced and very simple songs. "Brain Salad Sandwich" was considered there masterpiece. They remainded a band until 1978 when they realised they had been using the same song structure since 1970.
Gordon Haskell once sang for King Crimson. Wow!, He left soon after recording Reptilia because Robert Fripp made him do stuff that can't even be spoken of in America (they call it "the British Vice" for good reason...). He went on to be a pretty successful Industrial Metal singer/bassist. His song "How Stupid You Are" was more requested than The Beatles song "Hey Jew" and Frank Sinatra's "My Way Or You Die" on the BBBC Radio.
Another important member of King Crimson, who was in the band for the '73-74 era. He was a strong communist leader and thought that King Crimson should release Red in the name of Communism. After being assaulted by Fripp twice in studio and ten times during one show. He left in '74 to help lead the Khemer Rouge in Cambodia. Until he helped to start "Russia" which with there self-titled album he found world wide fame. He left "Russia" for no reason.
Currently he is working on an album called I Used To Be In King Crimson (But Let's Ignore Asia, Shall We?).
Montel Williams look-a-like who is most famous for playing a 10 string penis like guitar called The Chapman Stick as well as the bass guitar. He was reported to have been the first cool "bald guy" in rock but his association with both King Crimson and peter Gabriel have proven this to be just a rumor. Montel, I mean Tony has played on every album recorded since 1970, and is linked with many famous artists through name dropping on his own web site. He released a solo album in 2007 titled "What the hell is this thing?" and is now on tour with his own band "Tonight Only Peter Gabriel's Bass Player" He is currently listed as an active member of King Crimson.
Peter Sinfield was in the band 69-71 he wrote lyrics about Epitaphs, Lizards, Islands, Schizoid people and ladies of the dancing water and on the road. He left King Crimson because Robert Fripp was a little to friendly at times and creeped out Sinfield. He later went on to release an album called "Still...I Said Still Damit I'm Peter Sinfield you asshole now stay Still" which is hailed as a masterpiece even though each song was only a 1 minute long and was mainly just Sinfield talking about Ladies and his Lizard. The song "Hey Lady Touch My Lizard" was a popular single and a dance club number for many years. After that amazing album he released "The Great Lizard Lady Of The Road Who's Epitaph Was About A Schizoid Man On An Island" which was filled with short acoustic songs and Grindcore ballads. After this album he and the rest of the original King Crimson met at a random building and talked about being sexually assaulted by Fripp. These days Sinfield spends most of his time writing poetry with Dick Hurtz who was also in King Crimson for a good 3 minutes ("the worst 3 minutes of my life," says Dick). He is going to release a new album in 2008 titled "Look At My Epitaph It's A Lizard On A Island With A Lady Of The Dancing Water Hugging A Schizoid Man" which is said to be another masterpiece even though it hasent even been created yet.
Also known as Bill Gates, he is the only original member since the beginning. He really enjoys being a guitar god, lots and lots of money and long walks with his many man friends. Also he is the reason, The Giles Brothers, Greg Lake, Peter Sinfield, Gordon Haskell, John Wetton, Bill Bruford, David Cross, Boz and Jamie Muir left King Crimson. He is a very great guitar player that changed playing forever, he even has a school for little boys where he teachs "Guitar Playing". Also Fripp has worked with David Bowie, Brian Eno (who he had a short relationship with), John Denver, and Microsoft. He has a pretty successful album called "Exposure To Little Boys" the song "You Burn Me Up Little Man" was at the number one spot for about 3 minutes than they relised what it was about. Even though he is a "diffrent" kind of person he is still highly respected and very talented. He is planning a 2 disc album that will be released in 2008 titled "Love Cannot Bear My Love For Children And Fellow Band Members" He was responsible for recording the entire soundtrack for Windows Vista, which he felt was a necessity because the original noises that happen when you click on stuff were just not good enough. Oh, Robert...
"Imma chargin mah lazer" (1969)
"In the Court of Poseidon" (1970)
"Boz Who?" (1971)
"Another Badly Recorded Live Album" a.k.a "Earthbound" (1972)
"Larks' ball in asparagus" (1973)
"Star Gate and Piper Black" (1974) (Featuring Syd Barrett on skin flute and Theramin}
"Red" a.k.a. "Crimso Manifesto" (1974) (Banned by The Love of Richard Nixon)
"Random Noise" (1975)
"Wild Belew came disciplined" (1980)
"Beat it!" (1981)
"Three millions and more of a perfect share"(1984)
"Vroooooooommmmmmmmm THOKKKKKKK BOOOODDDDD" (1995)
"Big Mac Attack (Vroooooooommmmmmmmm THOKKKKKKK BOOOODDDDD Live at Buddokan)" (1996)
"The UnderConstruKction of Blackout" (2000)
"The Power to deceive" (2003)