Robert Fripp on Sunday Lunch cover videos: “Performers have a responsibility to perform and at this particular time to keep people’s spirits up”

He spoke of how the series was part of a very old British tradition.

Toyah Wilcox and Robert Fripp

Image: Toyah Wilcox via YouTube

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King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp has spoken about the significance of his and Toyah Wilcox’s Sunday Lunch series of cover videos, a light-hearted tradition the couple started to lift spirits across lockdown.

When asked by Rolling Stone about the origins of the series, Wilcox described teaching Fripp the moves to Rock Around The Clock, and the subsequent response to filming a performance: “It’s the first time we’d ever posted anything like it, our first step into that form of social media,” she said. “And we got a million hits within a couple of hours as far away as the Philippines and Australia. And we thought, ‘Wow.’”

Fripp added: “Mine is a slightly more nuanced view of this. My wife has been insistent. Performers have a responsibility to perform and at this particular time to keep people’s spirits up.”

He then noted that: “This is a very English cultural tradition. Essentially, when things are really bad in England, what you do is begin laughing and do silly things. A good reference point is the Ministry of Silly Walks on Monty Python. Now it’s, ‘Robert puts on a tutu and dances to Swan Lake at the river’s edge with his wife.’ So I have followed my wife’s sense and vision of these things.”

Wilcox has previously spoken about Fripp’s response to the aforementioned Swan Lake video, saying that he was “fucking furious” at how viral it went. Despite this, Fripp changed his mind as he learned it was a way to stay connected with his fans. “The response was so overwhelmingly positive,” Wilcox said. “And now, six months down the line, he can see that it was quite an important thing to do, in that it became a shared experience with an audience that needed to be reminded of the beauty of human laughter.”

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