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Arts and Entertainment

Fripp Siblings Coming To LA: All Talk, No Rock

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Photo courtesy of Patricia Fripp

Guitarist Robert Frippwould like it to be known that his forthcoming appearance at the Sheraton Los Angeles on Sunday, November 9 will not feature any guitar playing whatsoever. He's not bringing a guitar. He will instead be talking at length about how to give more effective business presentations.

Under most circumstances you might think a punch line was coming up.

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But Fripp, the only original member of King Crimson since roughly a year after its formation and still soldiering on under that name, is not most guitar players. He is perhaps the only remaining rock musician that came of age during the sixties whose audience still craves new ideas, which is a good thing since he rarely plays his own greatest hits. He’s got a keen attention to detail, and an intellectual desire to systematize everything, as anyone who’s ever pored through the thesis-like liner notes on his LPs can testify. He’s been doing the lecture circuit since the early 1980s, telling anyone who would listen about his many and varied systems, theories, plans and divisions while occasionally breaking into a wicked Hendrix impersonation.

For a period he left the performing world completely behind and let his followers travel to him, taking on full-time students in the Guitar Craft program. The program, which centered in Calabasas during the early '90s, looked from the outside a bit like an ashram, teaching an efficient approach to life itself along with efficient fingering of the plectrum. Much more than celebrity guitar lessons, it was a chance to share ideas with an audience very deeply, in a way that went far beyond what would ever be possible just making records. Interviews of the period sometimes reflected a creepy guru-like quality; he was typically surrounded by his students who would nod at his platitudes and laugh at his jokes in unison. But even this turned out to be the product of a sly sense of humor, extra-dry and exceedingly British, that only occasionally makes itself apparent in the music. The lecture show I attended in 1983 was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen, perhaps because the laughs were so unexpected.

For this four-hour presentation he'll be joined by his sister Patricia Fripp, something of a rock star herself in the world of public speaking. With credentials like these, you may even be able to get your boss to pay for the tickets. (At $75 a pop, that couldn't hurt.)

So while it may not be the King Crimson show which is noticeably overdue for LA, it still sounds like a good chance to spend time with one of the most prodigious brainiacs in the history of showbiz.

Fripp Siblings: Patricia and Robert Fripp
Sunday November 9th from 12:30 to 4:30 PM.
Sheraton Los Angeles, 6101 West Century Blvd.
For more information, or to register, visit