When I first received the 10(!) cassette collection, my first reaction was, “Oh great, well, let’s hope none of them get eaten by my old tape player!” My second reaction was to search for the tape player. Mere seconds later, it was found and I started my journey. I received the collection just prior to my move to my new apartment, which is presently where my wife and I live. This being so, I had plenty of quality time to listen to the cassettes whilst I toiled away at my room, attempting to sort out some sort of, “trash”, “not trash”, organization.
The first thing that will strike those who have never heard Robert Fripp speak is the sheer elegance and thoughtfulness that go into each word he speaks. This undoubtedly has parallel in the way he performs his music; Thoughtfully, and carefully stroked into being. Reading as much as I do on the DGM diaries and such, it appears he uses the same poetic/craftiness with the business he wills into being.
The tapes are at times repetitive, however, there is always different twists to the story being told, it’s interesting to hear the same story played out in different a light. One of my favorite moments on the tape is when he talks about the music industry. It’s good to hear from someone so knowledgeable about it, to give us the naked truth the industry doesn’t necessarily want us to know.
As all true fans should know, Robert doesn’t hold back his true feelings on a subject. That is, as long as it doesn’t pertain to comments on other bands, both positive and negative, although several bands are mentioned, but in a musically neutral way. He is a fantastic speaker, and a gracious host, you will be amazed at how he mixes the two, and brings his feelings to the forefront of the message.
At the beginning of nearly all of the tapes, Soundscapes are a welcome entrance to Robert’s question and answer session. Questions are received very much like most open forums which Robert has given in the past, whether they be on the Internet or on the radio. The collection brings a grand scope of Robert’s ideas and feelings on a myriad of subjects. At the beginning of my listening I have to admit, I was a bit skeptic that my attention could be captured for so long, but I was handsomely rewarded for my patience each time with laughter, and sometimes sadness.
If you were to ask me whether or not I wanted to meet Robert Fripp, I would say, “Perhaps, but only if he came up to me and introduced himself.” After hearing over and over again, how people “chase” him, and disregard his wishes for a performance, I’m not sure what I could possibly ever do as a fan, to give him his due regards, aside from giving him his space, and his attention during a performance. These tapes are the best way I know, to at once talk to him, and not intrude on him. And if you are reading this Robert, “Thanks! I hope you make more!”.