May 16, 1946: Robert Fripp Born

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Fripp at right on a 1974 album cover

Fripp at right on a 1974 album cover

Guitarist, songwriter and producer Robert Fripp was born On This Day in 1946 in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England. He is perhaps best known as a founding member of King Crimson, one of the leading lights of the progressive rock movement that Fripp has continued to keep going in various configurations up to the present.

King Crimson’s 1969 debut studio album, In the Court of the Crimson King, was widely influential. Over time, the band’s many members have included such well known performers as Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Bill Bruford, John Wetton, Adrian Belew and Tony Levin.

In addition to King Crimson and his solo albums, Fripp has collaborated with such other artists as Brian Eno, David Bowie (including the Heroes album), Peter Gabriel, Blondie and Talking Heads, among many others. Interesting fact: When Fripp started playing guitar at age 11 he was tone deaf and had no sense of rhythm.

With drummers Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey, as well as multi-instrumentalist Bill Rieflin on drums and keyboards, Fripp has said that this “double quartet formation” is likely to make more noise than ever before. Rounding out the eight-piece line-up are guitarist and vocalist Jakko Jakszyk, long-time bassist Levin, and saxophonist and flautist Mel Collins, who was a mainstay of the group from 1970-1972.

Watch King Crimson perform in 2015

When King Crimson tours, tickets are available here and here.

For his 75th birthday and their 35th wedding anniversary on May 16, 2021, Fripp and his wife, Toyah Willcox, released a clip in their ongoing series of videos, recorded during lockdown.

Watch them perform “Born to Be Wild”

Related: Our Album Rewind of King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King

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  1. KdF
    #1 KdF 16 May, 2019, 16:50

    I wish there was a cleaned up version of “In the hall of the Mountain King” available. The one on the LP is horrid.

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