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Thursday, June 08, 2000

The University of Upper Baboonsass

Leafy Highgate

Debbie rang me this morning on her way to work. I’m missing her dreadfully having been away for a week. Although we met up briefly for her birthday at the week-end, it’s not quite enough to keep the soul together. I also spoke to Tom and Joe who were greatly concerned that they have been bought a substantial present since I’ve been away for so long.

Sitting in Kimber’s kitchen this morning with sun-burnt lobster red arms, scalded by the sun during yesterdays marathon session with Michael Giles.

Living with the Kimberman this last week has been crucial to the development of the structure of the book and the project as a whole. Though often the butt of many a barbed comment on these pages, Kimber’s value has been to push and prod the level of the discussion within the book away from cliché and the bleedin’ obvious.

For me his chief strength lies in his understanding of relationships and where the power and heat may lie in a given set of circumstances. This analysis relies not so much on a knowledge of KC as a grasp on what makes people tick.

The main advantage here, is having someone who is critical of the prejudices and assumptions I am likely to make as a writer, as I attempt to organise all the information that I’ve accrued so far. So as he cooks the breakfast, he asks "What are you wanting to achieve with the book, El Rotundo ?"

Over a big bacon sandwich, lashings of tea and Islands softly grooning in the background, I splurt out the following by way of reply. I hope that by talking to the ex-Crim’s and others that we can get a better understanding of the circumstances which lead to the formation of King Crimson and the continuing story.

It’s not, as I’ve said previously, the gospel according to St. Robert or anyone else. It’s an attempt to provide a platform upon which the voices and experiences of some of those who took part (and are still taking part) can be heard.

Not being a musicologist or a professor from the University of Upper Baboonsass, I have no great personal theory on the nature of Crimson or any unique judgement on the individuals involved. At best, I offer only my own personal relationship to the music and what leads from that.

So anyone expecting a great theological tome on God, the Universe and Everything is going to be greatly disappointed. What you’re more likely to get is a guide to the local parish churches which offers some commentary from the incumbents and points out some interesting architectural features along the way.

All of which sounds rather po-faced and earnest. We actually have a good laugh as we bat theories and arguments around and it’s this sparring that informs a great part of our friendship. Having said all that, I’m glad to be going home today and concluding the rest of the interviews for the book over the telephone.

"Not as glad as I am " says the Kimberman. See what I mean ?

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