Interview with Robert Fripp and Andy Summers on WHFS 99.1 in Annapolis/Baltimore
Song: "Begin the Day"
Robert Fripp: So would you like to describe what it is that's going on here and where we are and when we are.
Vic Garbarini: A good point. Hmm, starting with who we are, my name is Vic Garbarini and I am executive editor of Musician magazine. The fellow at the opposite end of the large pink table, signing strange lithographs which are about to become the cover of his new album, is Robert Fripp.
RF: Hello team.
VG: You can hear that pen scratching in the background.
RF: This is what is called art.
VG: Abstract art for those listening on the radio, but art nonetheless.
RF: I don't do these for a living, I do it for art's sake.
VG: And Art himself is not here, but in his place is young Andy Summers.
Andy Summers: Thank you
RF: Did you actually find the magazine with the article "Sex and the Rock and Rollers" (?) in which you are, may I say, heavily featured? Did I tell you this?
AS: Thank you for striking this low note at the beginning of this art interview, Robert. I did and I am still here.
RF: What was your reaction to that comments in the article?
VG: Understandable. You two have just completed your second duet album together. The Summers/Fripp album or Fripp/Summers album, depending on which end of the alphabet...
AS: Or Frummers/Siff, Sipp/Frummers anyway you like.
VG: Exactly. Why would two people with such obvious problems as you two have, decide to work together in this creative format?
RF: (in a funny accent amid much giggling) I couldn't find no one else that would let me work with them, see, so I said to my mate Andy "Andy, let's go down to Arnie's, let's go down to Arnie's hut and make us a record"
VG: Now, for those Americans listening in the college audience who wonder why Robert is talking like this, I should say that one of the things I know about these two is they come from the same part of Profidious (?) Albion. That is, they come from the same county of England, being the county Dorset. Now, is that a real Dorset accent we are hearing there?
AS: That is what's known as "guilding the lily".
RF: It is. Um, (in the same accent) I'd say "No, no, no". (back to normal voice) And that is a real Dorset accent. John Wetton, who is now a member of Asia, when he was fifteen or sixteen, and also living in Bournemouth and in a band called Palmer-James, with Palmer-James would go off to country lanes and show to each other from one side of the road to the other (accent) "Awright, awright, goin well, awright"
AS: Wonderful music background they have together.
VG: Yes, I think people have to understand - they didn't have MTV in those days, where that can be done for you. Um, so you both came from roughly the same area down there, around Bournemouth.
AS: This is true.
VG: When did you meet each other, did you ever interlock as musicians or in any other strange way?
RF: No, no I can tell you I haven't. Andy was working in Mins and I went in for some... Mins was a music shop in Bournemouth, since bankrupt by the most appallingly dinosauric policy. They had, a friend of mine was managing it until they sold out shortly ago, they has a whole pile of redundant, really awful, feeble, cheap organs.
AS: Well, we are all cursed with this, aren't we.
VG: I have to check that magazine for that, Andy.
RF: They used to do a lot of good business selling them to the middle-class of Bournemouth. And the middle-class of Bournemouth either ran out of money or improved it's taste or ran about new technology. Anyway, going back to, well, Andy was there, I went in and asked him a question and he was rude to me. Insouciant.
AS: This story continues to haunt me through the years.
RF: Well, you shouldn't have been so rude then.
AS: I know, but to pick up the story here, I was working at the Majestic Hotel in the guitar seat, let's say working for the Hebrew fraternity of Bournemouth. When I finally vacated to go to London, who should take my place, but young Mister Fripp. Who, of course, was to go onto London and assume much larger fame and fortune than I in the early term.
VG: And bigger shoes, if I remember.
AS: And bigger shoes.
VG: Yeah. One thing I have always been curious about. At that great time of transition, now lost in the mists of history. What kind of tunes were you guys...
AS: Oh, that was just last year.
VG: What kind of tunes were you guys playing in the hotel?
RF: You share the ones you played, then I'll share the ones I played.
AS: I think we used to do Profidea, the Jewish National Anthem, and Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen. Those are the three I knew the chords of. The rest I had to red-face on.
RF: I used to do all the Jolsons, the fast Jolsons and the slow Jolsons. Hava Nagila. All the wedding songs. If you were doing a bahmitzva, then obviously the music was a bit different. But I was responsible for what the band called the twists. "Have you got any twists, Bob?" they used to say to me. Every now and then I would go out and buy some sheet music to a new twist and write it out for them.
Photo Andy Summers
RF: I still have occasional nightmares about it.
VG: Anyway, Andrew, looking at Robert, signing away there busy as a little bee. What was it about his playing that made you reach out for him, as they say in the Mafia. The first time you decided to do a duet album like this. What was it about his compatibility or the difference in his playing or why Robert?
AS: Why Robert, indeed. Well, the serious answer, I suppose, is ...you know, like how, as you go through life and there is something that you are aware of all the time and then suddenly it leaps into focus and you are enlightened. Well, I heard his solo on, and I have quoted this before, what was that tune, that marvelous tune on The Roches album.
RF: "The Hammond Song"?
AS: He produced a marvelous, heart-rending solo on that, which suddenly lit me up to him and his works. And I had listened to what he did with David Bowie, which I enjoyed that very much. I thought it was terrific. At the time, I was looking for something to do outside of The Police, like a guitar duet. Something that could be, hopefully, wouldn't interfere with my activities in The Police and would be sort of rewarding musically. Really a completely different kettle of fish in terms of commercial pressures. And I like the idea of trying to do a very sort of 1980s guitar duet kind of album. So I wrote a letter to Robert from the Munich Hilton. When I got back to it, I was told that he responded with some enthusiasm. Of course, eventually, we managed to get together and talk this over. I think it was at my parent's house at Christmas in 1980. In September 81, we finally got together and made the album. And of course, that was the start of this sort of Laurel-and-Hardy career we have pursued since.
VG: Now, one of the things I'm sure our avid and attentive listeners have noticed about the difference between the first album and this one is that, on the first album, the term duet was very appropriate for that. There were clearly two guitar parts there interacting. Now on the second album, the format has been shifted quite a bit. The first side is sort of dance oriented and very minimalist, and the second side is remarkably fluid and it's sometimes hard to tell who is doing what. Even though you are both, in a sense, equals on the album, if you had to define how your responsibilities were divided in terms of - does one person play a particular type of sound, a particular role or responsibility? How does that work?
AS: Yeah, I think you could say that to some extent, but not totally.
RF: It would be inaccurate to say that this was an equal album. I was there for two and a half weeks and then had to leave for the Crimson tour. And leave Andy to finish it. So, I think it is certainly fair to Andrew to say that the album is a lot more Andrew than it is me.
VG: Half of Fripp is better than none, though.
RF: Yes, I think it would be unfair for me to claim half the value of the album, that's not true.
VG: Okay, but I am talking in terms of when you are both playing on a particular tune. Is there an instinctive tendency for the way you work together?
AS: Yeah, I think that is the way we work together. I think, to give you some sort of idea, if you have a body which is composed of flesh and bones, then maybe you could say that Robert provides the bones and I provide the flesh. But this is a real generalization, I don't think this true of every track we ever recorded. But, I think that's a fair comment on the way we do it. Robert will come up with a lot of single-line, polyrhythmic riffs and I will supply the harmonies around them.
VG: For instance, on the new album now, I still have the original cassette that you gave me which doesn't have any of the tunes listed on it. So, the thing on the second side that sounds almost Spanish or Moorish.
RF: Oh, that's a hummer.
VG: That really impressed me. Now, there is one guitar going through with a sort of arppegiating slowly and stately and then there is a fluid guitar in the middle of that.
RF: That is my new standard guitar tuning.
VG: Now, on the tune in question that we are talking about, what is the title on that?
RF: Andy chooses the titles. I never know what songs are what. I really don't know.
AS: Well, it does get confusing, you know, it almost actually makes a mess of the production part of the album. Because you work so long for like these ridiculous, stupid titles you make up - working titles you go through. And everyone is referring to that. And then you kind of get your sort of "real" titles for the album sleeve. I remember trying to tell them to master one tune and they got really confused. It does get confusing.
VG: What does Maquillage mean?
AS: Actually, I think it's French, it means make-up. It has its implications, I think.
VG: Oh yes.
RF: Really? Song: "Maquillage" (excerpt)
VG: Now, all right, since we happen to be working this one over, Robert, did your part come first? Did you come to Andy with that simple outline?
RF & AS: Yes
AS: But what Robert did do, which was nifty, because... Most of this material was made up in the studio. We did have a little rehearsal period, a few months before, which really didn't get on to the album, apart from this one tune. Robert, as you may remember, where we were playing it, because it had kind of a "film" feeling to it, this one. Robert was playing it, and I was trying to construct a melody over it. But what he did in the studio, finally, which was pretty nifty, was to remove a note which put it into 7/4, which made it a lot more interesting. And I merely improvised over the top of it.
VG: The guitar synthesizer. Both of you now are using guitar synthesizers on and off, and I think in the washes of sound that we hear on the second side of the album, it seems to be very predominant. Andy, the first time I remember hearing you using a guitar synthesizer, I think was on "Doo Doo Doo" with The Police. Is that where there is that break where there is a chordal wash? Or is that "Don't Stand"
AS: That's "Don't Stand So Close To Me", yeah.
VG: Okay, now, the track that I heard on "Synchronicity" that I thought was one of the most beautiful uses of guitar synthesizer was "Tea in the Sahara", but that wasn't really a guitar synthesizer, was it?
AS: No, actually it is all done with a Stratocaster and an Echoplex.
Song: "Tea in the Sahara"
VG: How did you get that liquid smear sound?
AS: I think that way that I did it, because on the track, each of the three of the group were all in different rooms. So I was able to turn up extremely loud, and, you know, you are on the brink of feeding back. So it starts to kind of wobble, it's not quite sure which way to go. I mean, it literally depends on whether you turn to face the amplifier. You have to stand, physically, in the right spot of the room. It is very crucial. Played very loud and used a volume pedal. Literally, the way I held my hands on the string and shifted the chord position right at the moment where it was about to start feeding back. I aged about ten years doing that track.
VG: Now, when you say that you were all in three different rooms, that was because of personal hygiene problems in the band?
AS: Yeah, personal and mental hygiene problems. No, actually, to be honest, in Monserat (sp?), the best sounding room for the drums is actually the dining room, which is a great, long sort of wooden room. And we actually just cleared the entire space and Stewart had his drums there. Because it was the best room to get the live sound, much better than the studio. Sting likes to play through the board, and I was able to just line up my six amplifiers against one wall and choose whichever combination at will and blast forth.
VG: As a critic, I have a responsibility to make idiotic theories, of course, and one of the ones I've come up with is just looking at the two of you working over the past two or three years and feeling that you have influenced each other. I think some of Robert's work has become more fluid and I notice Andy working in some of the odd time signatures that you first started doing on "I Advance Masked". For instance, "Mother" on The Police album.
VG: Did that come out of, do you feel, out of some of the work you have been doing with Robert?
AS: Yeah, there is a little in-joke there, which never offended Robert, I hope.
RF: Not at all.
AS: Good, I mean this is about interacting and everything. I guess actually the riff as it is in 7, does sound very Frippish, let's say. Frippesque?
AS: Frippian, yeah I like that. But the solo in particular, which I played on that track which is actually quite difficult to pull off because the chords changed and it is in 7/4 time. I sort of had to work it out. But it starts out as a imitation (AS sings the solo), it starts out as an imitation of a solo that Robert played on, I believe on..
RF: "Another Green World", isn't it?
AS: "Another Green World". Is it "On Fire Island"?
RF: Once again, Eno's titles always used to throw me.
AS: Well, it was a track that Robert recorded with Brian Eno a few years back. That solo I particularly like.
RF: Just after midnight in Island number two, actually, with Rhett Davies engineering.
AS: Well there you go.
RF: I was just leaving to go to Sherbourne. There you are.
AS: So, I thought is was nice and I started off my solo quoting Robert. And for the cognoscenti if they had known the two albums that Robert and I, there was a little joke there. So that's the story on that.
VG: It is Frank and Alice Cognoscenti in Columbus, Ohio
AS: It's Frank and Ernest.
Song: "Every Breath You Take"
VG: Oh Ernest, that's right. They went through some changes in the seventies.
RF: I thought they were fish merchants from Patterson?
VG: Uh, yeah. Of course, the biggest song of last year and a lot of people would say the biggest single of the decade so far was "Every Breath You Take". Of course, Sting wrote the song and it is a simple sort of fifties-sixties chord pattern. But, the guitar figure in there, if I am not mistaken and I know I am not because you have told me this once before, the guitar figure and the way it was formatted came from you and didn't that come from something you were working on out of Bartok and out of Fripp/Summers or something that was somehow changed or altered for that song?
AS: Yeah, in between finishing the album with Robert and then going on to record another Police album and thinking about doing another album with Robert. I was in various sessions with myself in the kitchen where I live playing into a tape recorder. I was working on one of those little riffs that we had done on the first album, which was sort of Bartok, "Painting and Dance" it was called.
Song: "Painting and Dance"
VG: Videos. You have done two videos now, one for the first album.
RF: And one for the second.
VG: (laughing) And one for the second.
RF: That's perceptive of you, Vic.
VG: I think there's a connection there. I think there is something being said on an archetypal level.
AS: There is a great photograph of you
Song: some frippertronic-sounding stuff that I am unfamiliar with
RF: Really? What was this? There's some great photos of the session?
AS: I photographed Robert at the video shoot in London last week. I have some marvelous of you Robert that I took. And I may be able to lay them on you before you leave for Washington.
RF: Wonderful. Where are they now?
AS: They are down the road. Not very far away. I'll make a call.
VG: Let's all go there right now.
RF: We'll go there after the interview and vibrate together.
VG: All right.
RF: You want to know something about this video?
RF: It was hilarious. It was also very very hard work, because it was running a day late. So instead of finishing at 8:00 in the evening after a long day of shooting, we simply went on until 7:00 the following morning. But, it was amazingly funny. It was amazingly funny. There was one particular scene where Andy is bringing me tea. Should I paint in a larger background?
VG: Oh, please. Give us the synopsis.
RF: It was filmed in the Holloway Sanitarium, which was built in 1877 for the curably insane middle-class of England. It is now on the market for 6 million pounds and 25 acres. Only one of the out buildings is this huge brick church. One of the intriguing things when you walk in through the entrance hall is the paintings done by the London School of Art, I believe, in 1900. Although I don't think they realized what they were doing, they were painting a whole scene of demons all over the walls.
Photo Andy Summers
AS: It is unbelievable.
RF: It is really horrible and profoundly disturbing, and anyone with any sensitivity at all, let alone someone who is having a little difficulty with their mental life, finds it utterly unnerving. However, you go on from that into the hall with pastoral scenes painted on the panels around the room with a long table that was set up. Myself, in the role of master of the house was unmoveable and unprovokeable and deadpan, while Andrew the butler tried to provoke me and live my pen (?). There was this one particular scene where Andrew is bringing me my tea, past the monkey riding on the donkey, past Gene October in the role of a junkie slumped in a large chair with a stuffed black bear hovering over him with a live sheep tied to his chair. There was also a goat on a table eating the Times and when he finished the Times, he would go to the Guardian. The camera was on a dolly, which is a little railway, moved along as Andrew came and the different animals handlers were holding the animals. And as the camera approached, they would let them go and run to get out of the shot. I was also given tarantula crackers to eat. Fortunately, the tarantulas were dead. However, they were very real tarantulas and they were placed in cream cheese on crackers. One thing that I didn't know, was that the hairs from legs of tarantulas fall off and they fell into the cream cheese.
VG: I am speechless myself , actually. Sort of a microcosm of the music business in a sense. A mini-music business.
AS: I think we made a statement.
VG: Yeah. Do the animals get residuals for the...
AS: Well, they left residuals.
VG: Ah, they left residuals.
RF: The fox fell asleep at midnight.
AS: Oh, the saddest part was we had a baby pig. There is a happy note to this. The pig lay there all night and was waiting to come on and do it's bit. But it was dying and it was out the back wrapped in black cloth.
RF: At 4:00 in the morning, the message came through "The pig is dying".
Photo Andy Summers
AS: Yeah, but the pig, we are all happy to say, lived. It was only a six months old piglet. The pig made it.
RF: It was only five weeks. It hadn't been weaned.
AS: Oh was it? Yes, six weeks, yeah five weeks. It hadn't been weaned.
RF: Five weeks. It hadn't been weaned.
AS: Yeah, it was terrible, but, anyway, the pig lived. We are happy about that.
VG: Actually, there is a bit of a story about the first video. Robert, didn't you make a facetious remark about what the first video needed which then came to pass
RF: Yes, what happened was I was at World Headquarters in Wimbourne. Fripp World Headquarters. I was just off on a Crim tour, an endless King Crimson tour somewhere or another. I phoned up Andy and Andy said "We have to do a video, do you got any ideas?". I said "Yes, how about half a dozen oriental dancing girls?" with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. And Andy said, "What a great idea". I went away on tour, came back, and phoned Andy up to see what was happening. And the first thing Andy said was "I've got the oriental dancing girls". Then, sure enough, I turn up in London to film the video and there they were. One complete with koto.
Photo Andy Summers
AS: I beg your pardon.
RF: Complete with koto.
AS: That video is actually seen in this video, we might add. We show it during the running of this video, now has that ever been done before.
VG: Good technical point here. I don't think so.
RF: These are only two videos which I have ever done I am remotely interested in. The videos I have done embarrass me and humiliate me, generally.
AS: I didn't you had done any, Robert. Have you done any? With Crimson?
VG: You don't mean the pretentious, silly ones that have been done with King Crimson, do you?
VG: I'll rephrase that. You mean the King Crimson videos you are not happy with?
RF: I very much like the "I Advance Masked" video, because it's very very silly. Very humorous.
AS: It's nice, it's exciting, actually. I was really excited to see it.
RF: Great music.
AS: Yeah, the music, really happening.
RF: But this other one I think will set new standards.
AS: New standards, yeah.
VG: Robert, do you really more comfortable and more able to let fly, as Andy said, when you are working on a project which isn't directly involved with Crimson, a band that you feel responsible for.
RF: I find it utterly impossible to play well in Crimson.
AS: Current incarnation?
RF: It's always been the same.
VG: And why is that?
RF: What I have always tried to do within Crimson is to have a band, a group which is not really a reflection of the four individuals. It simply has an identity all of it's own. And, I think that Crimson in 81 came close to that idea, although the penny haven't dropped fully all around the team. (?) But it was there as a possibility. But I think after 81 there were elements within the group that found this frustrating and wished, if you like, a higher level of self-expression. So, it wasn't really a group. And within the situation, individuals were going for themselves.
AS: I think it is the same in any group, really. Any group that gets anywhere and is noted for doing anything at all, it's just one of those things, you tend not to embrace it, but to revile it. Well, you carry on, but at the same time you, to some extent, feel trapped and you want to become known for other things or doing something else.
VG: So the implication is a certain amount of creative friction is useful, but it can cross a certain invisible line where it brings diminishing returns.
Photo Andy Summers
AS: It brings something else with it, yeah.
RF: It is called egotism. Where you get egotism, everything breaks down.
AS: But, all the best groups are rife with egotism.
VG: Well, The Police is a very volatile group. I mean you have three very distinct personalities. And I am sure that there is a lot of pushing and pulling.
VG: And isn't it true that, for instance, that you yourself have a lot to do with arranging The Police songs? We talked about "Every Breath You Take" and so on. I mean, people think of Sting as the songwriter and yet those songs don't always sound the way we hear them on the radio when they are received.
AS: No, over the six years or whatever we have been recording, what finally gets on record there is often considerable change from the demo, the original idea to what finally goes down on a record. I mean, it's like anything. I mean, I think editing and constructing is almost as creative as writing the original piece because it can become so different. And you sort of take the base material, which you obviously need, and you transform it into something else.
VG: We've mention "Every Breath You Take", can you give us another example of a song that people might be familiar with that started out in a very different incarnation before we heard it the way it is now?
AS: Yeah, like "The World Is Running Down" for instance, although I thought that the lyrics were great that Sting had. Nothing like what we finally came up with. It was like this sort of disco song with different chords and everything. I know there was quite some friction in the studio over that particular piece. And we worked through it and we finally came up with it. Without bragging, overly, if I had not put those chords on and put the guitar sounds that is so characteristic, it wouldn't have sounded anything like it does now.
RF: If you wish to brag overly, you can go ahead.
AS: Well, I will. The minute that I put this sound on and those chords with Stuart's drumming, it all fell just like the key (he snaps his fingers) and within five minutes we had recorded it. It was just like instant, it just needed that key. And so on and so forth.
Song: "The World Is Running Down"
VG: Right, there is the old story that I remember. Sting in The Secret Policeman's Other Ball played "Roxanne" as a bossa nova and that was the way it was originally written, wasn't it?
AS: That's right, yeah.
VG: And then what happened to turn it into what it was?
AS: Oh, I guess this was in the period - early, early days - when we were rehearsing in a gay hairdresser's basement up in Finchly (sp?). I remember very damp, cold, mildewed basement in the depths of winter. And he liked Stuart, I remember this. But anyway, there we were and we started to fool around with "Roxanne". He had, as I remember, just the verse, and we kept playing with it. Sting always denies this, but I remember Stuart kind of teaching him where to put the bass line, because Stuart was more into the reggae thing than Sting was at that point. Anyway, I mean this is not to belittle Sting, I mean he is a fantastic musician in his own right. For God's sake
VG: No, no, no, it's not a question of belittling, it's just a question of... All of this goes into the maw of the band.
AS: It's all being in a group, I think. Any group that's any good is rife with these things. Any group that really gets along, I think has to be suspect. I just don't think....You know the best stuff comes out of conflict of personality, as long as the talent is there with it.
RF: If the group is going to work, it needs to have the same aim. Otherwise, you're looking at mechanics. Mike Giles, the first drummer of King Crimson, always said that there were three things that keep a group together: the social life between the members, the money they make and the quality of the music. And any two of them will keep the band together.
VG: Fortunately or unfortunately.
RF: Yes. If you share the same aim for the group, it is possible to overcome almost anything. But if there is a difference of aim, then the smallest issues become really really nuts.
AS: I think that is true. I think that is about the truest thing you could say.
RF: Like, if the white wine afterwards isn't quite cold enough, or if it isn't quite cold enough, you can't really really drink out of plastic glasses. These become very very weighty issues. For example, if you are in a group and your aim is to have a group spirit, and maybe another member of the group's interest is to have a vehicle for them. You are going to run into problems, you do not have the same aim. You do not share the same aim.
VG: Do some of the same creative tensions when you are working together as a duo? I mean you both have very different styles and yet, obviously, you've made something larger than the sum of the parts out of it. Was it much easier than working in your individual groups, was it harder or was it simply different?
RF: Well, I left after two and a half weeks. That is the quick answer.
VG: Well, the other album, too. I mean, we are talking two albums here.
RF: Oh, I stayed for that one.
AS: We've not had to go through the chore, well, not the chore, but the trauma of being on the road or trying to do that together. I think we both like the idea of working together and doing this because where maybe we'd be able to work in a sense where we were free of all those things. (some indecipherable murmuring about how he just contradicted himself)
RF: You mean you just contradicted yourself?
AS: I just contradicted myself. We've both come from those situations that we were just talking about. So, we get like a third thing which is...or a second thing? Where we are very happy to be working together and out of that. And you get this kind of freedom that goes with that, hopefully.
VG: Fooling around, as it were. Being irresponsible. Being silly and expecting people to spend their hard-earned money on this, huh?
AS: Yeah, being indulgent. Robert and I had a very nice little routine where we would meet in the morning, we'd have some coffee, and we'd sort of talk about what we had done the day before. Listen, fool around, do a bit of sketching out the new arrangement. And then we'd go off and have...
RF: One thing we have to say at this point is we are talking in the morning. I would go across to the little homemade cake shop opposite, and bring back a green cake. Bright, livid green with...
AS: He would bring back me a green cake.
RF: It had cream in the middle
AS: Loaded with white sugar.
RF: Do you know what? It's changed ownership
AS: Oh my God.
RF: And they do not make lime, livid, luminous green cakes
AS: Well in that case, I don't think we will be recording anymore albums.
VG: I was afraid of that
AS: But, I must continue the story, because then we would go to the salad bar and have our health food lunch. Then we would go to the antiquarian book shop and probably buy a book each and mull for an hour. And then we go back and carry on recording. See how simple and uncomplicated we are?
VG: Very artsy, yes.
AS: That's what we would do every day.
VG: Since you mentioned coming into this project after both of you had been touring for quite some time and how it was a nice change of pace. You both come from bands that do a great deal of touring. Are there any plans for the two of you to take this little show on the road and give the great people of America a chance to hear what you sound like live?
AS: We've talked about it and I would love to do it, actually, because I think we would have a lot of fun bringing our experience to bear on the situation and try to avoid all those previous traumas that we've talked about. I think it would be a very nice thing to do, however, both Robert and I several commitments, so it is just trying to find the time to do it.
RF: I don't know whether we'd agree on the same way of doing it. There you are.
AS: We may not.
RF: And I think your manager's ideas would probably be remarkably different than yours or mine.
AS: There are three ways, really. We could either do it as a duo, like with two guitars. Or we could try it as the two of us plus one guy filling in and running tapes that we could play against. Or, we could put a group together to carry off this music.
RF: And I would far rather have two guitarists
AS: That would be the most fun. Whether we could make it sound anything like the album is another...
RF: It doesn't matter
AS: It doesn't matter, maybe we wouldn't even try to do that.
VG: It's the chemistry itself that would probably come through anyway.
RF & AS: Yes
VG: Well, all right, let's look at that for a minute. You both do have a lot of commitments and...
RF: I don't. No, I'm just going into retreat and I shall then let the future present itself.
VG: So are we to deduce from that there is no more Crimson as of right now?
RF: There are tapes of a live album to be mixed in February.
VG: But you are not planning on working in a band format immediately in the future again?
RF: There are no plans for that.
VG: All right. Andy, what about you? Aren't you involved in some film projects now?
AS: Yeah, I am. I'm just going to trip out to L.A. actually tomorrow or Saturday to see about another one. But, actually, I am going to write a screen play. That is the next sort of project for me. And now I have three films that I could score in January/February and just have to decide which one. Actually, just as we are here with Robert, something interesting has come up which I must tell you about. Last summer, I wrote a script. They are now considering using the music from the two albums, all the music for the film.
AS: Yeah, I'm pushing for that, because I think that would be very nice
RF: That's great.
AS: So that's something that's being talked about daily, at the moment. And they are very keen, the director loved "I Advance Masked". So, yeah, film projects really mostly for me. A live album with The Police over December.
RF: (in Dorset accent) You're going to be a film star.
AS: Well, I don't know, we'll see. The world will decide. I am in my own mind, of course, except in my mother's mind.
RF: (in Dorset accent) I reckon you'd be great. Number One. Number One!
VG: Wasn't there a jazz oriented album that you were planning on for a while? Is that going to happen?
AS: Yeah, with Jack DeJohnette. We've talked about that many times. I think he's getting a little frustrated because I haven't actually been able to get to it. But I would love to do that with him. And I actually have some very good tunes that I think would work with him.
VG: And, Cameron Crowe, who wrote "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" sent me a tape just the other day with a little star beside a certain song you had done that is going to appear on an upcoming soundtrack.
AS: That's right. I did a song actually in the same studios were Robert and I recorded these two albums. A song called "Human Shout" and that's in this movie.
VG: Which is called...
Photo Andy Summers
AS: It's called "The Wild Life"
VG: When will that be coming out?
AS: It will be coming out soon, any day now, I think.
VG: Speaking of things coming to the surface and a great deal of work and preparation being put into things and spontaneous eruptions and so on. I think it would should end the interview the way we started just before we came on the air here. And Robert was asked to say something into the microphone and a spontaneous duet erupted between the two of you. On the count of three, I was wondering if you could reproduce that? One, two, three
RF & AS: (in unison) Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention. A kingdom for a stage and princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene.
VG: Thank you gentlemen. Robert Fripp and Andy Summers.