In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, there was a lot of thrilling, innovative and powerful music produced which, in those days, captured the imagination of the music community. Known as Progressive Rock, it evolved from Psychedelia and incorporated numerous influences, particularly from European classical music. One of the leaders of this ‘movement’ was King Crimson, who, at the time, relied heavily on the Mellotron, as did several other bands. This site looks at King Crimson and the Mellotron, with emphasis on where they overlap.
1) I’ve put together a history of King Crimson, including its predecessor(s), up to the break up in autumn 1974, though it does tie up a few loose ends up to 1976.
2) There is also a discography of all albums and downloads of the 1969-74 period, consisting of contemporary & retrospective releases, together with some (but not all) compilations. I have NOT included singles, as they were usually an abridged version of an album track.
3) I’ve managed to acquire a list of all KC’s gigs over the period of interest, so a copy of that appears.
4) About 15 people played as members of KC, together with several session players – summaries of their subsequent careers appear.
As this is intended to be a reference source, I would be obliged if you would point out any errors via the contact form, together with the information source of that correction.
The music of King Crimson, be it live or recorded, has always provoked debate throughout the band’s lifetime. For every fan of the band, there was always someone who loathed their very existence. Aficionados, or otherwise, have usually had a strong view, one way or the other.
1) I have written reviews of most Crimson albums from ’69 to ’74 – you are invited to contribute a review to any album. Note that I am ignoring bootlegs, unless they have become an official King Crimson release.
2) In a similar vein, I’ve done reviews for the 3 Crimson gigs I went to in 1972 & 1973. Please feel free to contribute a review to ANY gig between ’69 and ‘74. The JPEGs of the ticket stubs are, of course, optional!
The focal point of the Web-Site is intended to be Crimson’s Mellotrons. The information I’ve picked up is rather meagre, as you will soon find out, so, if you can make any further contribution, I would be most grateful. It has to be said that there isn’t much about Mellotrons on the internet, so let’s see if we can do something about that! As well as a short history of the company that made Mellotrons, there will be a piece showing how a Mellotron works.
There will be a few other bits and pieces that I might include at a later date, such as…
1) A forum. There are a couple of dedicated KC forums, but one tends to focus on Crimson since 1980, and the other has quite an American slant. There are other forums that has Crimson as part of a wider musical area.
2) As an Electronic Engineer, I have a professional as well as a musical interest in the Mellotron, and I MAY have a section of this site devoted to the engineering side of the “beast”. I have, on and off since 2003, been designing a digital sampler to copy the sounds of the Mellotron, but I have run into 3 problem areas. If there is sufficient interest, I may put my thoughts and design on the site.
3) There will be a trading area for items like Mellotrons and their spare parts, King Crimson product, advertising bands that use Trons on stage, etc.
As this site is run by a Brit in Britain (well, Edinburgh in Scotland, actually), the language will be English as practised on this side of the pond, and not that (ab)used by those on the west side of the puddle. So, they will be spelt “centre, favourite, colour” and “defence”. Also, it’s “Autumn”, not “Fall”. Dates will be in the format dd/mm/yyyy (day/month/year) unless I write it out in full. I tend to write as I speak, so don’t be surprised by the odd swear-word.
I must stress that this is NOT a money making web-site. For example…
1) There won’t be any adverts, extolling the virtues of a particular web-based auction site, a mobile phone company, or for any other commercial concern. The nearest thing to an advert will be if I announce the news that, say, the band “Queen Scarlet” (well known users of Mellotrons), will be promoting their new album “In the Break of Horizon”, at the Dirty Duck public house, Pumpherston, West Lothian next Tuesday. I will, however, accept private adverts if you have, say, a Mellotron or Crimson product for sale, but NOT BOOTLEGS! If Crimson decide to tour (I wish!), I will give details, though I would call this a distribution of information, rather than an advert. If I do plug something (e.g. Sid Smith’s book), then it will be relevant to King Crimson and/or Mellotrons. Again, I would classify this as dissemination of data.
2) I will NOT give away ANY e-mail addresses to anyone without the express permission of that address owner. This is to avoid people pestering me, offering £5 per address so that they can send you an e-mail trying to sell you double glazing, Viagra, Stock Exchange services or surgical implants. It just isn’t my attitude. I don’t want spam e-mails, and I’m assuming that you don’t for exactly the same reasons.
Running and maintaining this web-site is an ongoing task, so I expect there to be some mistakes. If you find any, either technical or factual, please let me know, particularly if you have the words “Fripp, Lake, Wetton, Collins, Bruford, etc” in your name! I have embellished some parts of the site with images of photos and record sleeves to break up the reams of tedious text. The chances are that by doing this, I’ve committed a legal or copyright boo-boo, so if I have, I would be obliged if you would tell me. Also, if you feel there is something within the subjects of King Crimson and Mellotrons that is missing, and you would like me to include them in the site, let me know, by completing the contact form and we can sort something out.
At the time of writing, the site is under construction, so please be patient.