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Robert Fripp: From King Crimson to Guitar Craft Paperback – April, 1991

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, April, 1991
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (April 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571162894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571162895
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,232,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There have been few people with a serious musical background writing about "rock" music and even less who write about it interestingly enough. I was unsure if I was gonna get this, but when I read it was by the same guy who wrote Brian Eno: His Music And The Vertical Color Of Sound - a longtime favorite of mine since college (!) I said "Shut up and take my money". I see other people on here mention that it is a bit dry - Eric Tamm writes about the music, not the musician (as he says in his introduction). You're not going to hear about how Fripp really wanted to get laid in Berlin when he worked with Bowie or other such ephemera. You are going to read a lot about the music of King Crimson, Robert Fripp and Guitar Craft (the book stops in the early 90s; it's a shame that there couldn't be a second edition with the last 20 years). If there is anything of interest to cult of personality types, there's Robert Fripp's admitted "loss of ego" during the making of Red (something which Bill Bruford corroborates in a very amusing manner in his recent bio) and an in-depth glance at the philosophical teachings Fripp absorbed in his 'lost years' in the mid 70s - but those all relate to how the music was made (and Guitar Craft was built up). Tamm isn't an impartial observer. He has some critiques when he deems them necessary. Some I think are spot on (Belew's "tacked on" vocals to KC material) some fall a little flat (I like all the jarring sequencing Fripp likes to put on albums) - but it's always intelligent, informed, and worth considering.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A case could easily be made against the widespread cultural abuse of music. From muzak in its many and more "progressive" forms to advertising jingles to radio and clubs, music has been enslaved to commerce, to celebrity and to perpetuating fairly vacuous states of mind among listeners. (Someone still has to prove that a majority of people actually listen to music instead of simply "hear" it). It's also become clear that, even considering the popular music press, we approach our understanding of music in a purely colloquial way. Reviewers resolutely do not take on music as music, they simply describe it through metaphor and excessive use of the word "like". Listeners seem to accept this. Through the wordless collusion of the industry, the publications and even the artists themselves, current popular musical culture is essentially illiterate, bigoted and unable to imagine any other future for itself.

Eric Tamm's book on the work of Robert Fripp is precisely the sort of cure music needs. The book actually manages to combine a musician whose work and music strives to change both the business and the audience with a writer whose own musical credentials are up to the task specifically because the author's perspective on the work and on the man is one that remains open, receptive and critical. This is not a book about being a fan. This is not a book for fans. This is a book about how music can shape and guide us to a more profound view of the lives we live by giving the practice of music the importance and attention it actually deserves.

Mr. Tamm is eloquent on both the music and the meanings which Fripp seems to intend. The author never lapses into a false certainty about what he hears and what he understands, giving the book the right sense of investigation and learning.
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Format: Paperback
Alright, that title was a bit harsh. I did like the book overall. I found Mr. Tamm's initial level of dissection vis-a-vis Crimson to be a bit much for my liking, and didn't really feel that the book 'took off' until it became a diary of his experiences at one of Robert Fripp's Guitar Craft seminars.
The personal interpretation of the Guitar Craft process described by Mr. Tamm is a much more interesting and enjoyable read than the cold discussion of theory that precedes it.
If you're interested in Robert Fripp, King Crimson, or Guitar Craft, then your time will not be wasted.
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Format: Paperback
Eric Tamm's book started out as a master's dissertation and became an enjoyable, although at times heavy, insight into rock music's quirky guitar genius Robert Fripp. Much background and insight is given to King Crimson, all the way up to and including the album Three of a Perfect Pair (the book was released in 1991 and so doesn't cover anything subsequent, nor does it go into great detail on the touring life within the band). Tamm then takes the reader into a week in GuitarCraft, Robert Fripp's week long guitar seminar. Much is also discussed on Fripp's philosophical views and a number of pages are devoted to Fripp's study of the teachings of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, from which I was able to cull enough information to develop a sense of curiousity about this 'prophet'.

At any rate, the book is out of print, and hard to find (even harder to pay for, or so it would seem). For those who'd like a chance to read this book, may I suggest going to Eric Tamm's personal web site, where you can download the text of the book for free.

This book is a fascinating read, and the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that it does get pretty heavy at times, but for the reader who perseveres comes the reward of some greater insight into a complex musical genius.
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