Prog AUGUST 2022 - by Sid Smith


He's the serious leader of King Crimson, a hugely influential guitarist and one half of the playful Toyah & Robert's Sunday Lunch series, but who is the real Robert Fripp? In an often candid interview, the guitar hero sits down with Prog for the very first time to muse over his lengthy career so far, the collaborations that helped make him the master of Frippertronics and his plans for the future, which include several books and even a spoken-word tour.

Robert Fripp is addressing a room of around twenty-five or so attendees at a Guitar Craft course in the summer of 1998. Held in an old educational establishment in Alfeld, Germany, the windows are open, allowing a breeze carrying birdsong to accompany his gentle tones. He's talking about the importance of understanding what your aim is when undertaking something; if you can state what it is that you want to do, clearly and simply, then you're halfway to achieving it.

Later in the course, aspirant guitarists of various degrees of ability ranging from the fluent to the fumbling meet with Fripp in smaller groups where, among other things, he takes time to look at how each individual is holding their pick. Finding that all hands are far too tense and thus squeezing rather than holding the pick, Fripp stands back to demonstrate how it should be done.

Feet apart, knees slightly bent, quite relaxed, he proffers his right hand holding the plectrum before him. "Now try and take the pick from me," he says. Unlike all the other guitarists in the room, there's not a telltale trace of tension or whiteness around the knuckle as, one by one, each student attempts to pry the sliver of plastic from his relaxed grasp. No matter how hard each guitarist tries, Fripp remains impassive and at ease, the pick nestling between his thumb and the middle phalanx of his forefinger stubbornly refusing to budge despite the very best efforts of those trying to prize it from him. Admitting defeat, there's a feeling that everyone in the room has witnessed some baffling but beautifully cool Zen conjuring trick. The experience is also illustrative of the Guitar Craft aphorism that goes, 'How we hold our pick is how we live our life.' Later, Fripp explains, "How we hold our pick is a very small thing; but how we do one small thing is how we do all the small things which, taken together, is how we live our life."

Throughout his professional life, Robert Fripp has had plenty of experience in maintaining a calm yet steely grip on matters, seeing off all kinds of attempts to knock him off course and divert attention from what's important. He's always been a man with an aim, a person of single-minded determination ready to do what's necessary to create the right situation and environment so that, as he puts it, "music may enter our world." To suggest that the pursuit of this aim hasn't always been easy would be something of an understatement.

As Fripp has tenaciously wielded his plectrum, King Crimson's fifty-plus-year history not only contains a catalogue of music, often as groundbreaking as it is challenging, but it also comes with the collateral damage of frequent turbulence and disquiet as various players came and went after discovering the highly demanding life inside the group either too difficult, too uncomfortable or both. Ian McDonald and Michael Giles famously quit on the first North American tour in 1969, quickly followed by Greg Lake. Later, bassist Gordon Haskell and drummer Andy McCulloch would vote with their feet after recording Lizard, citing Fripp's dictatorial approach to the recording process as cause for concern and ire. Following the completion of 1971's Islands and Fripp's cutting of the final cord with the original Crimson when he sacked lyricist Peter Sinfield over the phone, Mel Collins, Raymond 'Boz' Burrell and Ian Wallace quit en masse at the very first post-Sinfield rehearsal, serving out their notice on a sometimes rancorous US tour that was captured on the 1972 bootleg-quality live album, Earthbound. By the time the Larks' Tongues In Aspic era came to an end in 1974, Fripp called time on the group he had helped to form, with the now critically acclaimed and hugely influential Red standing as a final studio album of the 1970s. Burnt out by years of constant touring and increasingly souring relationships within the group, he went looking for a different way to live his life after discovering the writings of English philosopher and mystic JG Bennett.

The Fripp that emerged from a year's residential course at Sherborne House was a changed man. His life would now forever be divided into two halves: that which happened before Sherborne and that which came after. In 1976, feeling better equipped to balance the rigours of the music industry with the needs of his artistic integrity and inner life, he renewed his commitment to pursue that original aim of being ready and available whenever music came to call. And call it did. After stints as a guest player and sometimes producer on records by artists as diverse as Daryl Hall, Peter Gabriel, Blondie, David Bowie, The Roches, Talking Heads and his avantpop combo, The League Of Gentlemen, Fripp resurrected a new, reimagined King Crimson in 1981. The line-up was more stable than it'd been in previous incarnations, but guitarist and singer Adrian Belew and Fripp seriously fell out during the making of 1982's Beat. Their relationship continued to have its ups and downs during the Thrak phase of Crimson, which also saw stalwart Bill Bruford end his active participation in the band he had first joined in 1972.

After the release of Crimson's thirteenth, and to date, last studio album, The Power To Believe in 2003, and an unsatisfactory pre-fortieth anniversary tour in 2008, the partnership between Belew and Fripp When Fripp announced a new, boldly reimagined seven-piece Crimson in 2013, it no longer had any room for the vocalist and instrumentalist. Between 2014 and 2021, notwithstanding a Covid-induced lay-off, this Crimson played shows that not only premièred new tunes but encompassed the band's earliest repertoire, including some of it played live for the very first time. Nothing seemed out of bounds for this incarnation, including increasingly larger venues that saw them headline an evening at 2019's Rock In Rio festival before a live and TV audience estimated at several million. All of this ensured Fripp's aim of not only bringing Crimson to a newer, wider audience but to reclaim and reposition King Crimson's standing and legacy.

• • •

In April 2022, when Prog knocks on the door of Fripp's home in the market town of Pershore, the trials, travels and tribulations of King Crimson over the years seem long ago and far away. The guitarist is in a cheerful, ebullient mood as he readies a pot of tea in his spacious kitchen, chatting about the warm weather, cows' milk versus the alternatives, and the currently volatile state of Britain's domestic politics. Settling down in his book-lined office, the subject settles on his life in King Crimson, no stranger to volatile politics itself. If you want to understand something of the interpersonal relationships of being a member of King Crimson, the music comes first, says Fripp. "Secondly, the band comes first ahead of the interests of any of the members. Thirdly, the band shares the money. Fourthly, an aim in the band is for each of the individual members to develop themselves and what is best in them can be developed and given room to develop. So if within those four initial points, there's any disagreement among the members, there's likely to be difficulties, even problems."

Problems, indeed. There have been several times in Crimson history where Robert has asked musicians to be in the band even though he knew it'd lead to tensions. In the case of Bill Bruford for example, while the two men respected each other enormously, they had wildly differing modes and methods when it came to music-making, personality and world view. Why invite Bill back into the band after 1974's breakdown and 1984's fractious parting of the ways? Is that because he believes people can change or that he's changed? "It's because I have a discipline. What is the discipline? It's doing what needs to be done, whether you like it or not."

That discipline, something he honed and refined after his time at Sherborne House, has given him the ability to apply himself to the problems being in King Crimson throws his way. "I refer to it as the difference between Robert and Fripp. Robert says, 'This is what you need to do.' Fripp says, 'Oh no,'" the latter comment rendered in a quivering, timid voice. Fripp has long referred to himself in the third person in his diaries and in interviews. Does he realise that almost everybody would think his habit of referring to himself in the third person is evidence that he's, well, not to mince words, fucking mad? Has anyone pointed this out to him before? He pauses and smiles. "Not quite that bluntly but if you knew my background and my practice, you would say, 'Yes, I understand what he's doing.'

"The composer Andrew Keeling, who is a good Jungian, would say that what Fripp refers to as Robert is allowing for the unconscious impulse. Robert is that part of me which decides what to do and Fripp is the person that has to go out and do it. They're entirely different elements. Another way of describing that is who and what I am. Another way of describing that, is that Robert is the spark within me and Fripp is the animal I inhabit. Robert says, 'Go out and do this,' and Fripp goes and does it. It doesn't matter if Fripp likes it or not."

The practical outcome of all that personal discipline and meditative practice is that even if you know things will get fractious or go wrong, you have the tools to be able to deal with it. "What you do in getting to know yourself," he adds. "You say, 'To what period of time can I commit myself?' And in terms of a developed practice, the greater the discipline, the longer the period you can commit yourself."

A typical source of tension that rose to the surface in all the incarnations of King Crimson was the means by which finished material would be arrived at. In many groups, the traditional route usually means having a largely finished song presented to the band in a rehearsal room. While it is true that during the '80s and '90s songs such as Heartbeat or Dinosaur, and several other Adrian Belew-penned pieces, came into the room fully formed with only a modicum of post-natal 'Crimsonising', for the most part, the method has been far more speculative and circuitous. "Tortuous" is how Bill Bruford once described Fripp's preferred methodology of the group exploring motifs, grooves, feels and phrases often without any guidance whatsoever in the hope that something gold would come from the base material.

"Robert never told us what to do. We were supposed to know what to do," says Bruford expressing some frustration that Fripp hadn't come up with more through-written pieces such as Fracture. Had Fripp's output been greater, Crimson would have got on quicker and faster.

"Charles Mingus didn't write out parts and hand them to the players," says Fripp in response. "If I had to tell someone what to play, why would I be working with them? Here's a lovely story from Wayne Shorter: he's just joined Miles [Davis], I think they're going to play Carnegie Hall and there have been no rehearsals. So there is Miles on the side of the stage with Wayne asking him what they were going to play. Miles replies, 'You know my music?' Wayne says, 'Yes' and Miles says, 'Play what you hear.'"

Bruford is on record as saying that Fripp's approach as a bandleader is very much along the Miles Davis model. "You throw five guys into a room and assuming they don't all kill each other, you might have something very interesting come out of it."

Fripp opts for a different analogy. "Robert says, 'All right, lads, here we are. Here's the playing field. We're not gonna play football, we're not gonna play basketball, we're not gonna play rugby, we're not gonna play cricket.' In fact, none of that is said. What it is is that all the players walk onto the field and Robert says, 'All right, we're gonna play King Crimson. That's the game. We're playing King Crimson.'"

Fripp's role in King Crimson, he says, has little to do with the conventional role of being a bandleader. "Bill referred to my role within Crimson as quality control, this not in the sense of: is it good enough? But that Robert has the sense of what King Crimson is. And if someone comes in with a suggestion or an approach which is not King Crimson, Robert says, 'No.' For this, you have to have an overview of King Crimson, what it is and how it works."

Looking back on their studio output, what are the albums that stand out? "I haven't a clue," says Fripp, baffled. "I don't really listen to past work and the only time historically I have is when there's a new version or a new format, or a remix with Steven Wilson and so on. Otherwise, why would I keep going back? In terms of the contents of the box sets, I am involved in the overview, but I don't specifically choose the music, for example, the Frippertronics concerts on the Exposures box set because it's unlikely that much would go in. I would be hearing all the..." And he's momentarily lost for words, perhaps recalling at that moment the various circumstances, setbacks, and numerous factors that accompanied the music at the time.

"You know, actors don't go and see the films they're in a lot," he concludes. He's reluctant to offer a direct assessment of the individual albums perhaps in the way a parent might not want to make a judgement about their offspring. "I would rather probably, say, look at the defining King Crimson music, but in terms of studio albums? Obviously In The Court Of The Crimson King and there's the ongoing question of whether we should have edited Moonchild in 1969. Anyway, it was what it was. I did do an edited version along the way and generally, most people said I shouldn't have done that."

He next alights on Larks' Tongues In Aspic: "The studio album sound isn't great and the playing wasn't great but the music is important. Red as a studio album, I think, is mainly successful. Discipline as a studio album is successful. Then we have to look at what are my criteria for judgement, which would be: is the album a whole, single piece of work? The Power To Believe is good but it doesn't change the course of rock music."

Does he think changing the course of rock music is King Crimson's job? "Not primarily. The function of King Crimson is to be true and if you're true then everything follows from that. The question you ask is, 'Is this right?'" He believes that In The Court of The Crimson King, Red and Discipline provide the answer to that question. "Each of them probably changed something within rock music overall, if I can judge by a lot of the comments I've seen since. I believe I've been on other albums that had defining functions. One would be Fripp & Eno's No Pussyfooting. Two more would be Bowie's "Heroes" and Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)." Then, almost apologetically he adds, "I think Exposure had an effect. But when it comes specifically to Robert, I can kind of get a bit nervous. I'm always hesitant in referring to Lizard because really I'm responsible for most of the music and that makes me awkward. Why? I suppose because I have confidence in a group undertaking that I don't have in a simple Robert undertaking."

His relationship with Lizard has been problematic. For a long time, he was unable to disassociate the deteriorating, increasingly acrimonious relationships with Gordon Haskell and Peter Sinfield with the music. It wasn't until Steven Wilson's 2009 remix that he finally warmed to the record, that he could hear the music itself. "You see, I could hear it through Steven's ears."

It's a revealing moment that shows Fripp is occasionally prone to self-doubt just like the rest of us. That said, more often than not he'll be able to gauge the potential of a project right from the word go. When Fripp was putting together the 1980s band, his diary at the time records that he felt that this band, then named Discipline rather than King Crimson, was going to have what he refers to as 'the juice', that is a power that has the capacity to change things around. The certainty and conviction of this was another repercussion from his work in Sherborne House, he says. He had a sense that something was available to him.

"The Discipline incarnation had a power that the '69 band had. You knew: this is it, something is going on here. There was something of it with the five-piece Crimson with Jamie Muir in 1972 but I didn't get that sense until we played the final show in Central Park, New York in 1974. But with the '81 Discipline line-up it was obvious that the juice is here."

It didn't quite carry over into 1982's Beat and 1984's Three Of A Perfect Pair, he says, but there was enough of a residual current to keep some momentum going. The first time around everyone was prepared to throw away any preconceived ideas and try another way of doing things, he says. "We've got a new repertoire, we've got a new vocabulary, let's run with it," he implores, regretting the fact that after that first year people fell back on their default way of working. "I believe that Bill and Adrian thought that Beat was a better album than Discipline. I have no idea how anyone could come to that conclusion."

The 'double trio' incarnation that formed and began working in 1994 had juice, but not in the same way. It had a lot of potential, he says, but the band only ever got close to a small proportion of what might have been available to them. "If we are making any judgement of anything, consider always time, place, person, circumstance. I was in dispute with EG Management for six years and seven months from 1991 through into 1997. So while the 'double trio' is ongoing I am mired down with EG business, so that was a distraction for me. I was not able to bring to bear fully what was required. Nevertheless, you have five other stunning musicians on stage, and it really had something, but I didn't have the same sense that the 'double trio' had the defining juice."

Fripp goes on to explain that he didn't experience that power again until the 2014 to 2021 group, which famously boasted three drummers at the front of the stage. It's an incarnation that never made a studio album. "Why? Because the world's changed," he says brusquely. "And that's fine. So the judgment here is not in terms of was there a defining album but was it a defining live act? The answer to me is clearly yes."

Fripp says that when he envisioned the front line of three drummers with the row of players behind them, he knew instantly that this configuration was going to work. Seeing the stage setup at a venue called The Egg in Albany, New York, in 2014 for their first live show was incredibly exciting for him. "I could have come home right then because I knew, there it is," he says with some passion. It represented a form of redemption for Crimson, he says. "The perfunctory incarnation of 2008, which for me really was a failure, it was a finish. It was not a conclusion. It was not a completion. It was a finish. Something was lost and it left a very bad taste for me, which this band has redeemed. To make Discipline we had to make three albums because that was what was contractually required. So to make this gig happen what is required? A complete American tour. Then it kept getting better and better." What is interesting about material such as 1970's Lizard Suite or 2003's Level Five is that they sounded as though they'd always been waiting for this specific incarnation of the band to play it, with an edge that sounds positively dangerous. Fripp agrees and adds, "The danger is in the writing because they are virtually impossible to play." It's like being a trapeze artist doing a show night after night doesn't mean it's not fraught with the risk that you might fall to your death. "It's dangerous all the time because the danger is built into it. Even if you can play the notes can you count the time while everyone is somewhere else? It's inherently dangerous."

For Fripp the deciding factor in many of his considerations centres around necessity. He isn't persuaded by the clamour from fans who want a studio album from the last incarnation of the band and another tour. "Why would King Crimson do that? If King Crimson were planning a tour next year, which we're not, it would take me three to six months at two to four hours a day to be ready to go into rehearsal. It'd then take two days of rehearsal with the band to get up to the point where we could do one week of playing gigs to do one show. You look at the reasons why you would and why you wouldn't. It comes down to necessity: what is necessity? What are the aims? So you have music, you have money, you like the guys and then, if you like the world view that is being served?"

For King Crimson to come back together, he says, there would have to be some external force or wholly unexpected circumstance from the outside to provide that all important necessity. "Like, if I believed that King Crimson playing live performances would prevent World War III, I'd be making the phone calls. So there are no plans for King Crimson to play live and no plans to make a studio album. The juice for me is in the live performance."

Fans may have to console themselves with the long-awaited documentary In The Court Of The Crimson King: King Crimson At 50. Due for release this autumn, it will come in a variety of formats including a physical edition with copious extras such as previously unseen interviews and special footage of the band performing in the round. Initially director Toby Amies wasn't especially conversant with King Crimson's music but had explored the world of outsiders with his 2013 documentary, The Man Whose Mind Exploded, which had impressed Fripp. Not wanting to simply "film King Crimson's wiki page", as Amies put it, his documentary instead avoids all the usual conventions found in the format. After March's premiere screening at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Variety headlined it Doc About A Prog-Rock Perfectionist Is Nearly Perfect Itself. Not one to be swept up in any kind of hyperbole, Fripp offers this perspective.

"I hoped that I would show what King Crimson is," says the guitarist. "The documentary is a very successful documentary, in my view, at presenting a report on the life of working musicians of a certain age in real-life context. Very good snapshots and reports of that. What it does not do is tell me what King Crimson is, but it is a grown-up documentary addressing the specific moment in these people's lives and death. It's nothing like a music documentary; actually the fact that it's about musicians is almost irrelevant."

• • •

On December 8, 2021 in Tokyo, King Crimson moved from sound to silence. The last man to leave the stage, Fripp looked around the packed venue, taking time to look directly at the audience in each part of the room. He then bowed deeply and, perhaps not wishing to make his leave in too formal a manner, lifted his camera to take a selfie with the crowd. Smiling, he left the stage and later noted: "Onstage at 18.40, doors held for 10 minutes to allow the audience to enter. A full house. The first set: one hour and three minutes. Overall length: two hours and twenty-four minutes. King Crimson's final note of Starless, the last note of this Completion Tour in Japan, moved from sound to silence at 21.04."

In the midst of all that sound, a lot of musicians who came to play had the trajectory of their lives moved,sometimes in ways they had not expected nor wanted. Some were able to learn and grow from their time in King Crimson. For others, it was not a happy experience. "If your aim as an artist is to be happy then King Crimson was never going to be the right band for you," says Fripp. "Happiness is an outcome of acting rightly. If being happy is an aim in itself then it's really dumb. I'll explain why: happiness is one end of a stick and the other end is unhappiness. So if you aim for happiness you will get unhappiness in equal measure. The aim is to be right. The aim is to be true. And if you are true to who you are, happiness will eventually be an inevitable outcome of that. You might have to get to be very old, but eventually, if you can look back as an older man and say, 'Yes, I was true to myself, I acted rightly and did what I saw as being necessary for me to do.' There will be a satisfaction in that which will more or less equate to a version of happiness."

Prog's time with the guitarist musing on his life in King Crimson is just about complete. He opens a door to a part of the house that's still being renovated. Among the wires and bare brickwork, there is box after box filled with books. "If you think this is a mess, you should have been here last week," he quips. Throughout his life, Fripp has been a bibliophile, frequently nosing his way around the bookstores of whichever city King Crimson happened to be in at the time. As a younger man, one of his strategies for dealing with the unwanted attentions of custom officers upon returning to Heathrow would be to declare the books he'd bought while out on tour and open his case for inspection. "They'd wave you through and wouldn't even look at the fact you were a hairy young man carrying a guitar," he smiles. He doesn't know how many books he has in total but one of the joys of having a spacious property is to be able to get everything out of storage and into one place. As he sifts and sorts through the personal archaeology that a library of books inevitably represents, it coincides with the completion of fifty-three years his life spent as a touring musician. Part of the shift in his mindset is to put his life in order, he says. "My current aim is to put my life in order. Not put my affairs in order, which is part of that," he says quickly. "I'm planning to work for the next nine years specifically but I am putting my life in order so that I can more fully engage with my present and current moment."

Right now, that involves leaving for a brisk walk to a cafe in the town where he has a date for afternoon tea with his wife.


In 1976, Fripp relocated to the Big Apple and embraced its experimental creative scene with some unexpected collaborations that led to his solo debut.

Released in 1979, Exposure was Robert Fripp's first solo album. A surprisingly eclectic mix of razor-edged rock and gnarly complex instrumentals, as well as some touching, tender moments, it featured an array of guest contributions including Mahavishnu Orchestra's Narada Michael Walden, Phil Collins, Tony Levin and stunning vocals courtesy of Daryl Hall, Terre Roche, Peter Hammill and Peter Gabriel. With much of it recorded in New York, the album and its subject matter is essentially an autobiography rendered onto magnetic tape and remains one of Fripp's most deeply personal releases to date. It was the culmination of a time when Fripp said yes to almost everything that he was asked to do and typified the kind of 'can-do' energy that accompanied his relocation from the UK to New York in 1976.

Fripp came to the city without any of the negative baggage that accompanied him in the UK press. He wasn't just the guy from King Crimson, who didn't have anything like the profile they would later enjoy in North America. He was the maverick who played with Bowie and Eno. Fripp relished the relative anonymity his new location afforded him in the relaxed atmosphere of the city's arts milieu, where the visual and conceptual arts, fashion, poetry and music all jostled and intersected. "I wasn't a central member of that scene but I wandered in from the wings from time to time, like on Glenn O'Brien's TV Party. The house band was Walter Steding And The Dragon People and I'd sit in with them."

In New York he found himself in all kinds of new situations. He recalls, "Another of the wonderful things I did with Chris Stein and Debbie Harry was at Irving Plaza for some festival or other: Debbie on drums, Chris on guitar with an octave device so he was the bass guitar, and me on guitar. And what I was doing was these howling noises with fuzz turning the bottom string down low and pressing the string behind the nut so it produced these huge trumpeting sounds - which was a technique I used on Requiem from Beat in 1982 - actually enacted as part of a trio with Chris and Debbie at Irving Plaza some three-odd years before. The point is we were wild. Here's Debbie, a huge star, playing drums in this mad trio at Irving Plaza playing improvised music."

In December 1978, Melody Maker featured a photo of Fripp and Debbie Harry in full costume for a proposed remake of Jean Luc Goddard's sci-fi neo-noir movie, Alphaville. Recalling the video and photoshoot with director Amos Poe, Fripp says, "They were kind enough not to tell me it was a screen test. I was invited to look angry and irritable - and that's something I can do with ease." The film failed to get financed, but it's a reminder of a time when he open to all kinds of new experiences. "The point is that this was a time in New York where who knows what was going on. So rather than give a 'no', give a 'yes' and see where it leads."


With Exposures out now, what's next for Fripp?

He may have stepped away from live performance with King Crimson for the foreseeable future, but rest assured Robert Fripp has got plenty to keep himself occupied with.

On September 1, he publishes his first book via Panegyric. The Guitar Circle provides a meditative account of what it means to develop a relationship with music and is about as far removed from the standard guitar tutorial as is possible to get. Sourced in part from Fripp's writing on Guitar Craft (a series of guitar and personal development classes given by Fripp that began in 1985) and its successor Guitar Circle, it sets out in practical terms his approach to the personal discipline and practice he's spent almost fifty years pursuing. It's the reason he's on the planet, he says and likens it to a calling. "It's my proper work in life," he offers. "King Crimson has been useful because it made Guitar Craft possible."

Supporting the book launch with a speaking tour in September and October in the USA, he'll be sharing the stage with his business partner, King Crimson producer and manager, David Singleton, appearing as That Awful Man And His Manager. The pair undertook Q&A sessions prior to Crimson shows and their candid opinions on music and the music industry and other topics make these talks something of a hot ticket. Always a prolific writer, as well as maintaining an online journal on the DGMLive website since 1998, Fripp has kept a handwritten diary since his schooldays. Additionally, there are voluminous notebooks containing detailed first-hand accounts of life in Crimson that stretch back to the 1970s.

For several years now, Fripp has been actively engaged in getting his analogue archive digitised and some of the information and observations from these sources will find their way into a series of publications that focus on King Crimson and documenting the Exposure period. Publication for the first of the Crimson Chronicles series is likely to be late 2023. While all of these things could be said to be within the boundaries of expectation, no seasoned Fripp-watcher could have foreseen the viral success of the weekly Sunday Lunch videos with his wife, Toyah Willcox. Although it's not the first time their professional careers have intersected - they appeared together with the League Of Crafty Guitarists on the music and spoken-word album, The Lady Or The Tiger? in 1986 and in the rock-orientated setting of 1991's Sunday All Over The World - the appearance of the kitschy kitchen cover versions have required everyone to recalibrate their image and idea of who Robert Fripp is. Having cultivated a rather austere and remote figure, seeing a mohawked, makeup-smudged Fripp mugging along and grappling with tunes by artists as diverse as Billy Idol, Metallica, Neil Young, Slipknot and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to name but a few, and all in Fripp's new standard tuning, shows beyond doubt, that he's game for a laugh. The pair have announced they will be taking their kitchen mayhem and frolicking on tour in 2023.