Robert Fripp says King Crimson will only reunite to prevent World War III: “I think we have to view the reality of the age of the people involved”

“King Crimson guitar parts for me are the Olympics of guitar playing.”

Robert Fripp

Image: John Atashian / Getty Images

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Don’t hold your breath for that King Crimson reunion tour – as Robert Fripp has made it clear that it’s unlikely the band will set foot on stage together again.

Speaking in a new interview with Billboard, Fripp reveals that there’s “no plans at all” for the band to appear on stage again and admits that doing so would be a tall order considering the age of the band members.

“I think we have to view the reality of the age of the people involved,” Fripp says. “Two of us are 76, and shortly three will be. So going out for eight weeks to do performances of three hours and 20 minutes is a very big ask. It takes me six months to get ready as a player.”

“King Crimson guitar parts for me are the Olympics of guitar playing. And being asked to do athletic feats that I was doing 40 or 50 years ago, that’s also a big ask.”

Physical demands aside, the band’s less-than-stellar experience with touring during the pandemic has also influenced Fripp’s view of tours. Describing the band’s 2021 tours as “logistically terrifying,” Fripp says that they had to fork out $2 million in advance for hotels, trucks, and touring equipment. (via Billboard)

“In the time of lockdown, the people providing services were nervous, and they wanted deposits, quite reasonably,” says Fripp. The group also had to undergo random searches and health checks when they travelled from Europe to the States, only to discover that there were no masks or precautions when they arrived for their first shows in Florida and Texas.

“No one gave a hoot,” the guitarist recalls. “At the time, 40 percent of the new outbreaks were in those two states. If we had lost dates because of COVID, the King Crimson partnership would have been bankrupted. It was that much on an edge.”

As for what it would take for fans to see the band live again, Fripp replied, “If you asked what would it take for King Crimson to go on a major tour again? My quick answer would be: If I knew for certainty that King Crimson touring was the only way to prevent World War III, I’d be making phone calls.”

That said, you can still catch Fripp on stage when he hits the road with his wife and singer Toyah Wilcox on their Sunday Lunch 2023 tour.

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