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Robert Fripp

On 16/05/1946: Robert Fripp was born in Wimborne Minster, Dorset. Robert took up the guitar at age 11. By the time he was 15 he was playing modern jazz and was influenced by Charlie Mingus and Charlie Parker. By the age of 17 he decided to become a professional musician and he started playing at the Chewton Glen hotel with a jazz group called The Douglas Ward Trio, before forming a short-lived rock band called The League of Gentlemen. He left the League of Gentlemen to study at Bournemouth College.
After responding to an ad he joined Peter Giles and his brother Michael Giles from Bournemouth. They formed Giles, Giles and Fripp. Judy Dyble and Ian McDonald joined the band. Despite some attention from their recorded material Fripp decided to leave, as he felt he didn't want to pursue the eccentric pop music that Peter Giles wanted to make.
Fripp, Michael Giles and McDonald then formed the first lineup of King Crimson. Greg Lake came in on bass and Peter Sinfield as a lyricist. Their debut album "In the Court of the Crimson King" was released and became a huge success. It would through time be considered one of the most influential prog rock albums of all time. By the end of their first tour Giles and McDonald had decided to leave the band as they wished to do different music. By the recording of the second album, Greg Lake had left as well to join Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Fripp and Sinfield produced two more albums with a frequently changing lineup. In 1971 Fripp took over full control of King Crimson as Sinfield left. From then on he became the only permanent member. The next albums would be of experimental rock, which amongst others would feature Bill Bruford who would return to feature again in later years. In 1974 the band formerly disbanded. It would return again in what would become a pattern of long breaks and style/lineup transformations.
Fripp would fill the gaps between Crimson iterations with collaborations and side projects. Amongst the names, he has collaborated with include: Brian Eno, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, and Blondie. It was during his work with Eno that he developed the tape delay guitar system known as Frippertronics. He would also start working on solo material, the debut album of which was released in 1979 called "Exposure".
1981 to 1984 saw a new King Crimson lineup featuring Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford. All of which became frequent collaborators on King Crimson projects. They released the albums "Discipline", "Beat" and "Three of a Perfect Pair".
He opened a guitar school called Guitar Craft, which would create a performance group called The League of Crafty Guitarists. He would also collaborate with his wife Toyah Wilcox on "The Lady or the Tiger" in 1986.
During the 1990's he would collaborate with David Sylvian and in 1994 King Crimson's 1981 lineup would reform with the addition of Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto. This lineup would release "VROOOM" and "Thrak".
In 2000 Fripp, Belew, Gunn and Mastelotto would reunite as King Crimson again for "The ConstruKction of Light" and "The Power to Believe".
Recent work has included collaborations with G3, Porcupine Tree, Slow Music, The Travis, The Humans, Jakko Jakszyk. King Crimson has recently reformed with a combination of past members which went on tour reworking some of the 1960s and 1970's material.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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