The crazy genius Robert Fripp is celebrating his birthday today, and in honor of the occasion, we have gathered 27 interesting facts about him:
(Photo: Steve Morley)
1. He was born in the southeast of England on 16 May 1946.
2. At the age of 10 he received his first guitar as a gift from his parents, and he says that he immediately knew it would change his life.
3. He got guitar lessons from the age of 11. He was a very quick learner. He first studied rock, at the age of 13 he switched to jazz and by 1961, when he was only 15, he had already formed his first band - "The Ravens".
4. In 1965 he began studying economics and history at Bournemouth College, where he met artists such as Andy Summers, John Wetton, and Greg Lake, through whom she would cross paths with them down the road.
5. In 1967 he responded to a newspaper ad of brothers Peter and Michael Giles who were looking for a keyboardist and singer for the band they formed. Although he was neither a keyboardist nor a singer, he auditioned and the three became the trio "Giles, Giles and Fripp" who released in 1968 the album "The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles, and Fripp".
6. The album didn't sell well, the band disbanded and Fripp together with drummer Michael Giles began planning the formation of the next band. They recruited Greg Lake, Peter Sinfield, and Ian McDonald and founded "King Crimson" in 1968.
7. The band's debut album "In The Court Of The Crimson King" was released in 1969 and was a revolutionary masterpiece that is considered by many to be the first significant progressive rock piece.
8. Robert Fripp will continue to lead "King Crimson" in his madness and genius for over five decades, to this day, when he serves as the only permanent member of the band.
9. Together with Crimson, Fripp released 13 studio albums, including masterpieces such as the debut album mentioned, "Lizard", "Larks' Tongues in Aspic", "Red", and more.
10. In parallel with his work with "Crimson", Fripp began collaborating with other artists. One of the first and most notable collaborations was with the progressive rock band "Van der Graaf Generator" when they were featured on their masterful albums "H to He, Who Am the Only One" from 1970 and "Pawn Hearts" from 1971.
11. This Fripp collaboration with "Van der Graaf" also continued the cool of Peter Hammill's solo and began with the 1971 album "Fools Mate".
12. In 1972 he also began to serve as a producer. One of his first known productions was of the second album by Robert Wyatt and Dave Sinclair's "Matching Mole" - "Matching Mole's Little Red Record".
13. In the same year, Fripp began his collaboration with Brian Eno on the album "No Pussyfooting" from 1972. This collaboration will continue throughout the 1970s on albums like "Here Come the Warm Jets" and Another Green "World" and will be renewed in the 1990s And 2000s. Working with Eno in the early 1970s presented Fripp's experiments with various musical techniques, including "Frippertronics" - a technique used to play loops of tape recordings.
14. Other Fripp recording and guitar tuning techniques that have influenced various producers and musicians are "Soundscapes" which also includes the use of loops, and "New Standard Tuning" which includes the guitar tuning in a non-standard way.
15. Another significant collaboration of Fripp began in 1977 with Peter Gabriel's first solo album in which he also served as producer, and continued with the second and third solo albums from 1978 and 1980.
16. Another collaboration that began in 1977 was with David Bowie. It started with the album "Heroes" and continued with the album "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" from 1980.
17. At the same time, in those years, Fripp was featured on Blondie's 1979 albums "Parallel Lines" and Talking Heads' "Fear of Music".
18. These collaborations coupled with the global music market change and the decline of progressive rock's led Fripp to change phase towards the release of his first solo album "EXPOSURE" from 1979. The album which featured Peter Hammill and Peter Gabriel included some short and less complex songs.
19. In 1982, Fripp began working with guitarist and college-age friend Andy Summers, known from the Police band. Fripp played and produced the album "I Advance Masked". The two continued to collaborate on the 1984 album "Bewitched".
20. Another interesting collaboration of Fripp was with David Sylvian from the band Japan. It started with the excellent album "The First Day" from 1993.
21. In 1993, Fripp released with King Crimson the album "Thrak" which simultaneously plays two different lineups of the same band.
22. Fripp will continue to play with this brilliant idea, with performances that will include a number of the band's lineups, which will sometimes also appoint three drummers on one stage.
22. In 2004, Fripp joined guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai on the "G3 tour".
23. In 2010 he contributed a guitar solo to Nick Cave's "Grinderman".
24. Of course Fripp's list of collaborations is endless, since he is part of about 700 official recordings with various artists.
25. Fripp is ranked 62nd on "Rolling Stone" magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
26. His influence on guitarists and producers is enormous and from the 1980s he passes it on to future generations also through a master class based on learning to play the electric guitar on a peripheral technique he developed. He was also hosted in Israel with this class.
27. Since the Covid-19 crisis started, Fripp and his wife Toyah Willcox began a tradition of a series of amusing covers to raise morale, released every Sunday.