"King Crimson" em sua encarnação incipiente, sempre viveu momentos gloriosos. Em 21 de novembro de 1969 no Fillmore East, graças esta gravação, podemos conferir o quão impressionantes e virtuosos eram seus desempenhos da época.
O mais impressionante, além de sua própria e inquestionável qualidade, é que o "King Crimson" deste período contínua se fazendo presente, inspirando e orientando grupos conceituados, muitos dos quais seus integrantes sequer haviam nascido, inclusive propondo-se à interpretações, "21st Century Schizoid Man", por exemplo, têm dezenas de registros.
Apenas há 3 dias atrás a Rolling Stone, realizou uma longa entrevista com "Greg Lake", onde, apesar do título infeliz da matéria 'Punk Is Not a Form of Music. It's a Fashion Statement.', (o fato em si é irrelevante), a matéria é muito bem vinda pela retrospectiva traçada por "Greg Lake" em seu início de carreira. O grande enfase, até de cunho emocional, da parte de "Lake", é abordar o saudoso período KC, inclusive contando detalhes importantes, justamente por ocasião do evento em Fillmore, onde ele explica o porque da desistência por parte de "Giles" e "Ian" em permanecer na banda, quando ambos optaram por deixar o grupo ao invés da rotina de cansativas viagens decorrentes da turnê, segundo "Greg", espelhando-se no próprio "Beatles", onde os músicos passaram a privilegiar atividades de estúdio. "Giles" e "Ian", a partir de então fariam o mesmo. Em decorrência, a famosa conversa com "Keith Emerson", que coincidência ou destino, estava hospedado no mesmo hotel, e juntos naquela noite, iriam idealizar o "ELP". "Greg", ainda comenta que "Fripp" lhe propusera encontrar novos integrantes e dar prosseguimento à trajetória da banda, mas considerando a presença dos componentes originais, imprescindível em essência e à própria "química" da fórmula inicial, "Greg" preferiu interromper o ciclo, embora ainda sugerindo fundarem um novo grupo, "Fripp" apenas comentou: "Você se importaria se eu continuar?" E "Greg" então respondeu: "Em absoluto, Se você quiser fazer isso, tudo bem. E foi o que ele fez". (*Mais abaixo o trecho da entrevista original da Rolling Stone).
Em suma, este evento é um inestimável documento histórico para quem curte a trajetória da banda, cuja importância se torna ainda mais relevante, pela incrível qualidade sonora, e por estar tão próximo do fim desta formação. Fillmore East, sem dúvida foi palco de uma das melhores apresentações do grupo, o único fato lamentável no caso deste registro é que em ambas as apresentações "In The Court of Crimson King" está incompleta, mas mesmo assim pode ser ter uma ideia das belíssimas interpretações, e ao meu ver, mesmo tendo um desempenho fantástico em todas as músicas apresentadas, o destaque maior foi: "A Man A City" (futura "A Picture of the City"), ainda com letra diferente, sendo a única que não pertencia ao álbum de estréia. O próprio "Fripp" sempre fez questão de frisar, jamais reeditou-se com um desempenho do mesmo nível. Todos os músicos, pela virtuose individual, igualmente contribuem para esta inesquecível e breve apresentação, já que a banda nesta oportunidade participava de um projeto coletivo, dividindo o palco com "Joe Cocker", "Fleetwood Mac", entre outros. Boa audição!
A Man A City
Live At Fillmore East (1969)
November 21, 1969
The Court of the Crimson King (Fragment) 2'36
A Man a City 12'21
21st Century Schizoid Man 8'05
November 22, 1969
The Court of the Crimson King (Fragment) 2'16
A Man a City 12'19
21st Century Schizoid Man 7'56
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*Rolling Stone entrevista Greg Lake:
I want to go back a bit here and talk about your past. First off, why do you think the original King Crimson broke up so quickly after the first album? The whole thing was so brief.
Yes, that's right. We were only together, the original King Crimson, for one album and one tour. The tour went around England and it also went to the United States. When we reached the end of the tour in the U.S.A, Mike Giles, the drummer and Ian McDonald, who would play flute, Mellotron and saxophone, they decided they didn't much enjoy life on the road. I think they particularly didn't like flying, and they just didn't like travel and the whole hectic life on the road.
They decided to work in the studio exclusively. I think perhaps that the Beatles, making that same decision, influenced them, in a way. They saw the Beatles back off from live gigs and go into the studio. I suppose they thought that was maybe a thing to do.
Anyway, that was their decision. Robert Fripp, who I grew up with . . . we even went to the same guitar teacher. We were old friends, and he wanted to continue on with King Crimson. I just didn't feel good about it because Ian, particularly, wrote a lot of the material. Also, Mike was a great drummer. They were so fundamental in the makeup and the chemistry of the band. I just didn't feel it was honest to get two new people in and pretend that nothing had happened.
I said to Robert, "If you want to form a new band, I'm happy to do that. But I just don't feel comfortable carrying on with the name King Crimson." He said, "Well, do you mind if I do that?" I said, "No, no, no, no, not at all. If you want to do it, that's fine." So that's what Robert did.
Strangely enough – and this was an absolute coincidence – on the night this happened, King Crimson was playing at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. This is one of the few things I can remember clearly from that period. We were on the bill with the Chambers Brothers and a group called the Nice, who had Keith Emerson on keyboards. We were all booked in the same hotel, and after the show I went down to the bar and met Keith Emerson.
I started talking to Keith, and he said, "How's King Crimson going? I hear you're doing real well." I said, "Well, sadly, Keith, it's come to an end. You know, the two boys . . . " I explained the story to him. He said, "Strangely enough, I've reached the end with the Nice. I just can't take it any further. I've done everything I can. I feel limited now."
So anyway, that was the beginning of ELP, on that very same night. It's very weird, but there you go. Strange things happen sometime.s Music and the music business is sort of very fortuitous. It's very circumstantial.
That first King Crimson album really changed the world. When you were making it, did you realize you were making something really bold and different?
It's a strange thing to say, but I have to tell you I did feel that way. We did feel it as a group. We knew the chemistry was unusual, and the reason we knew that is because when the band played live we really shocked people. I think that was the case because up until that time, the music they heard was essentially United States-inspired. The influences had been drawn from blues, gospel, country and western, jazz, early rock & roll, Motown. These were the influences of rock at the time.
It was a very strange thing to hear a rock band taking their influences from European music, as King Crimson did. I mean, I didn't sing with a mid-Atlantic accent. I sang with a British accent. The music of King Crimson was drawn almost exclusively based on more European structures. It wasn't the three-minute single. It wasn't basic blues-riff music. This was using very different harmonic components, different structures, so it wouldn't be verse, chorus, verse, verse, chorus, verse, verse, chorus. The structures were individual and not necessarily any given or prescribed length.
The sheer lineup of the band, too, was unusual. Ian on flute, and just having a Mellotron. The other interesting thing about the band is that it was more orchestral. It wasn't like the Moody Blues, sort of mild and gentle and symphonic. It was intense. Things like "21st Century Schizoid Man" would literally scare people.
Then suddenly there's Yes and Genesis and all these other prog bands. You guys really kicked off so much music in the Seventies.
I drew influences from people as well. That's how musicians grow up. They absorb like a sponge. You absorb the influences and process them through yourself, and hopefully come out with something original.
Yeah. It was just a particularly big step forward.
Yeah, I think there was some sense of some sort of a quantum leap happening. But I have to be honest with you, it wasn't so much like we sat down and planned it that way. I think the times had something to do with it. There was a moment in time where new awarenesses were being experienced. People were doing LSD, and it expanded the type of thinking going on. There was something about the atmosphere of the streets, certainly in London at the time. You could feel the sort of excitement about the youth of the day taking control from the establishment.
I've seen Robert Fripp say recently that he's done with Crimson and done with touring. I know that fans have this fantasy where the group will end by going full circle with the five original guys playing the first album straight though. Is that at all possible?
[Laughs] I'm often asked this question and my answer is always the same: I certainly would be prepared to do it. I've always felt that if someone is good enough to buy your album, that you owe them a performance. I also think it would be very emotional, and very cathartic in a lot of ways. Robert and I get on OK, to be honest, but there were a lot of strange feelings that happened through the career of King Crimson. Mike didn't feel . . . or perhaps they regretted leaving. I would be happy to do it. Whether it will happen, of course, is another matter.
I'm thinking it should be 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the album.
I'm thinking it should be 2019 for the 50th anniversary of the album.
There you go. Phone Robert up and tell him. [Laughs] Tell Robert him Greg says so. [Laughs]
March 5, 2013