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Robert Fripp born 16 May is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer, best known as the guitarist, founder and longest lasting member of the progressive rock band King Crimson.

He has also worked extensively as a session musician and collaborator, notably with David Bowie , Brian Eno , and David Sylvian. He has also contributed sounds to the Windows Vista operating system. He is ranked 62nd on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the Greatest Guitarists of All Time after having been ranked by David Fricke 42nd on its list.

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His innovations include Frippertronics , "soundscapes" , and new standard tuning. Her earnings from working at the Bournemouth Records Office allowed his father to start a business as an estate agent. He cited jazz musicians Charlie Parker and Charlie Mingus as his musical influences during this time. In , the fifteen-year-old Fripp joined his first band, The Ravens, which also included Gordon Haskell on bass.

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After they split in the following year, Fripp concentrated on his O-level studies and joined his father's firm as a junior negotiator. At this point, he intended to study estate management and eventually, take over his father's business. He became the guitarist in the jazz outfit The Douglas Ward Trio, playing in the Chewton Glen Hotel near Bournemouth, followed by a stint in the rock and roll band The League of Gentlemen which included two former Ravens members.

In , Fripp left the group to attend Bournemouth College , where he studied economics, economic history, and political history for his A-levels. I knew I couldn't say no". In , Fripp responded to an advertisement placed by Bournemouth-born brothers Peter and Michael Giles , who wanted to work with a singing organist. Almost immediately, Fripp, McDonald and Michael Giles formed the first lineup of King Crimson in mid, recruiting Fripp's old Bournemouth College friend Greg Lake as lead singer and bass player, and McDonald's writing partner Peter Sinfield as lyricist, light show designer and general creative consultant.

A despondent Fripp offered to leave the group if it would allow King Crimson to survive; however, Giles and McDonald had independently decided that the band's music was "more Fripp's than theirs" and that it would be better if they were the ones to leave.

During the recording of the band's second album In the Wake of Poseidon Greg Lake departed to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer , leaving Fripp and Sinfield as the only remaining founder members. They issued two more albums Lizard and Islands and were the only constants in a regularly changing King Crimson lineup. Fripp was listed as the sole composer of the band's music during this time, which built on the first album's blueprint but progressed further into jazz rock and free jazz while also taking form from Sinfield's esoteric lyrical and mythological concepts.

In , Fripp ousted Sinfield and took over de facto leadership of King Crimson although he has always formally rejected the label, preferring to describe his role as "quality control" or "a kind of glue".

With avant-garde percussionist Jamie Muir , violinist David Cross , singing bass player John Wetton and former Yes drummer Bill Bruford now in the ranks, King Crimson produced three more albums of innovative and increasingly experimental rock, shedding members as they progressed: beginning with Larks' Tongues in Aspic , progressing with Starless and Bible Black and culminating in the benchmark avant-power trio album Red.

Fripp formally disbanded the group in , in what eventually turned out to be merely the first in a regular series of long hiatuses and further transformations.

Fripp pursued side projects during King Crimson's less active periods.

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He worked with Keith Tippett and others who appeared on King Crimson records on projects far from rock music, playing with and producing Centipede 's Septober Energy in and Ovary Lodge in These experimented with several avant-garde musical techniques that were new to rock.

A tape delay system utilising dual reel to reel Revox tape machines would play a central role in Fripp's later work, and become known as " Frippertronics ". Fripp started what was intended as a permanent sabbatical from his career in , during which he cultivated an interest in the teachings of Gurdjieff via J. Bennett studies which would later be influential in his work with Guitar Craft. He returned to musical work as a studio guitarist on Peter Gabriel 's first self-titled album in , released the following year.

Fripp toured with Gabriel to support the album, but remained out of sight either in the wings or behind a curtain and used the pseudonym "Dusty Rhodes". He produced and played on Gabriel's second album in And then he plays on 'Exposure'.

He gives the colour to this piece, being fifty per cent responsible for its construction. And he also plays classical guitar here and there.

He's a musician I admire a lot, because he's one of the only ones to mix discipline and madness with so much talent. Fripp and Eno had collaborated on an album released in called Evening Star. On this album — particularly 'An Index of Metals' — are strains that would influence the Bowie project two years later, notably its second side.

Fripp's playing on Heroes initiated a series of collaborations with other musicians. Fripp soon collaborated with Daryl Hall on Sacred Songs. This material eventually became his first solo album, Exposure , released in , followed by the Frippertronics tour in the same year.

While living in New York, Fripp contributed to albums and live performances by Blondie Parallel Lines and Talking Heads Fear of Music , and produced The Roches' first and third albums, which featured several of Fripp's characteristic guitar solos.

A second set of creative sessions with David Bowie produced distinctive guitar parts on Scary Monsters and Super Creeps and prior to that, Peter Gabriel's third solo album known as Melt. With Blondie, Fripp appeared live on stage at Hammersmith Odeon on 12 January participating in the band's cover version of Bowie's " 'Heroes ' ".

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This recording was on the 12" single of Atomic released the same year and later turned up as a bonus track on CD pressings of Blondie's album Eat to the Beat. He simultaneously assembled what he called a "second-division touring new wave instrumental dance band" [ citation needed ] under the name League of Gentlemen , with bassist Sara Lee , keyboardist Barry Andrews and drummer Johnny Toobad later replaced by Kevin Wilkinson.

The LOG toured for the duration of Although the band had been conceptualised under the name Discipline it came to Fripp's attention that the other members thought the name King Crimson was more appropriate: for Fripp, King Crimson had always been "a way of doing things" rather than a particular group of musicians, and the current group felt that their music captured that methodology. With the more pop-inspired Belew as main songwriter complementing Fripp as main instrumental composer the band took on a new style incorporating a gamelan -inspired continuo minimalism , New York influences from post-punk to go-go, and textured experiments with guitar synthesizers.

Bewitched was dominated more by Summers, who produced the record and collaborated with other musicians in addition to Fripp.

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As in his previous guesting on David Bowie's Scary Monsters and Super Creeps which also featured Pete Townshend and Chuck Hammer on guitar synthesizer , Fripp's distinctive guitar style and sound that characterised his music of this period is featured alongside the sisters' songs and harmony. He had been involved with the ASCE since , eventually serving on its board of directors, and had long been considering the idea of teaching guitar.

His course, Guitar Craft, was begun in , an offshoot of which was a performance group, " The League of Crafty Guitarists ", which has released several albums.

In , he released the first of two collaborations with his wife, Toyah Willcox.

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  • In February , Fripp recommended that Guitar Craft cease to exist on its 25th anniversary in Fripp returned to recording solo in , using an updated version of the Frippertronics technique that creates loops employing digital technology instead of analogue tapes. Fripp's collaborations with David Sylvian feature some of his most exuberant guitar playing.

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    Then Fripp performed on several tracks from Sylvian's release, Gone to Earth. In late , Fripp had asked Sylvian to join a re-forming King Crimson as a vocalist. The prior name of this band was Fripp Fripp, and they toured as such in The live document Damage was released in , as was the joint venture, Redemption — Approaching Silence , which featured Sylvian's ambient sound sculptures Approaching Silence accompanying Fripp reading his own text Redemption.

    Eno thought the visual aspects of the disc video feedback effects were very disappointing upon completion, and regretted participation. During this period, Fripp also contributed to albums by No-Man and the Beloved 's Flowermouth and 's X , respectively. Though musically and relatively commercially successful, the double-trio King Crimson proved difficult to sustain in the long-term.

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    From to , the band "fraKctalised" into five experimental instrumental sub-groups known as ProjeKcts. By Bruford had quit the band altogether: in , Fripp, Belew, Gunn and Mastelotto reunited as a four-piece King Crimson minus Levin, who was busy with session work. This lineup produced two studio albums, the construKction of light in and The Power to Believe in , which took on a more metallic, heavily electronic approach.

    Gunn departed at the end of Although Levin immediately returned to the band, another hiatus followed until King Crimson reappeared in with a second drummer - Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree - appended to the lineup, This version of the band played a brief eastern USA tour in , reassessing its back catalogue and approach and introducing lengthy percussion duets between the two drummers. No new original material was recorded, and in , Fripp announced that King Crimson were on another indefinite hiatus.

    He also worked at Microsoft 's studios to record new sounds and atmospheres for Windows Vista. Fripp's online diary at dgmlive. In late and early , Fripp joined sometime R. This collective of musicians toured the west coast of America in May Fripp also sporadically performed Soundscapes as an opening act for Porcupine Tree on various tours from through In , Fripp collaborated with Theo Travis on an album of guitar and flute-or-saxophone duets called 'Thread', and the duo played a brief English tour in repeating the collaboration with the Follow album in In , Fripp contributed a guitar solo to an extended version of the song ' Heathen Child ' by Grinderman , released as a B-side on the 'Super Heathen Child' single.

    The album also featured contributions by Tony Levin and Gavin Harrison, leading to speculation that the project was a dry run for a new King Crimson. In an interview published 3 August , Fripp stated that he had retired from working as a professional musician, citing long-standing differences with Universal Music Group and stating that working within the music industry had become "a joyless exercise in futility". In his online diary entry for 6 September , Fripp announced the return of King Crimson as a seven-piece unit with "four Englishmen and three Americans".

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    The new lineup was Fripp, Levin, both Mastelotto and Harrison on drums, returning s band member Mel Collins and two new members: Jakko Jakszyk as singer and second guitarist, and Bill Rieflin as a third drummer. The '57 guitar featured three humbucker pick-ups with one volume control on the pickguard controlling the middle pick-up. Another difference from the Gibson Les Paul is that Fripp's guitar is built using a deep set neck tenon rather than a traditional set neck. Fripp recommended that Guitar Craft students adopt the Ovation Legend steel-string guitar , which had a shallow body.

    Fripp began playing guitar at the age of eleven. While being taught guitar basics by his teacher Don Strike, [40] [41] Fripp began to develop the technique of crosspicking , which became one of his specialities. Fripp's guitar technique, unlike most rock guitarists of his era, is not blues-based but rather influenced by avant-garde jazz and European classical music. He combines rapid alternate picking and crosspicking with motifs employing whole-tone or diminished pitch structures and sixteenth-note patterns for long stretches in a form called moto perpetuo perpetual motion.

    Rather than stand when performing, he seats himself on a stool unusual for a performer in rock music , and by doing so was called in a May issue of Guitar Player "the guitarist who sits on stage. Fripp is a pescetarian.

    DGM has an aim "to be a model of ethical business in an industry founded on exploitation, oiled by deceit, riven with theft and fueled by greed. DGM's aims were called "exemplary" by Martin , who wrote that "Fripp has done something very important for the possibilities of experimental music" in creating DGM, which "has played a major role in creating favorable conditions for" King Crimson.

    DGM publishes an on-line diary by Fripp, who often comments on performances and on relations with fans. A moderated forum allows fans to ask questions or to leave comments.

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    In , Fripp complained that the music-distribution service Grooveshark continued to stream his music despite his having delivered repeated takedown notices. Fripp's published exchange was included in a suit against Grooveshark by Universal Music Group, which was filed in November Fripp has been extremely active as a recording musician and a producer.

    Robert Fripp

    He has contributed to more than official releases. The Robert Fripp Discography Summary, compiled by John Relph, also lists compilations and unauthorised releases such as bootlegs. This means that more than releases including both official and unofficial ones, as well as both studio and live recordings can be found with Fripp participating.

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