King Crimson’s Robert Fripp has clarified a misunderstanding regarding his rather odd bit part in the saga of David Bowie’s The Next Day.
When The Next Day producer Tony Visconti spoke to The Guardian about the record, he told a humorous anecdote about Fripp blithely leaking information about Bowie’s highly secretive studio sessions on his blog back in October 2011. According to Visconti, Fripp had been offered the chance to play on the album, but had refused to do so. Visconti wrote:
Over a year ago, he asked Robert Fripp to play on the album and Robert Fripp put it on his blog, something like ‘David Bowie’s asked me to play on his album but I’m too busy’, and no one believed it! If someone was actually monitoring all these leaks, they could have put it together.”
As The Guardian report, Fripp has clarified Visconti’s account, claiming that he was neither aware of, nor invited to be involved in, the recording process for the LP. Writing on his blog, Fripp not only claimed to have received no such invitation, but also stressed that the ‘leak’ in question was actually the result of a bizarrely prescient dream. Clarifying the first point, Fripp wrote:
“I haven’t spoken to David for a while and I wasn’t approached … If I was asked to take part in this totally excellent project, who asked? Nothing ever came to me … My association with David and Tony has provided highlights of my life, not only my musical life. I would regret if anything negative, completely invented, were to query the reality.”
Speaking to the newspaper directly, Fripp – who swore last year to give up music in protest at a copyright dispute with Universal – suggested that he would certainly have considered breaking his silence to play on the LP. He also stressed his admiration for Visconti, claiming to be “not angry at all”: “No one is hurt, I’m not upset, just keen for clarity. My respect for Messers Bowie and Visconti continues undiminished, untarnished. The album is out there. Fab!”
As regards that offending 2011 post, Fripp clarified that the post described a dream he genuinely had at the time that Bowie was back at work in the studio:
“In the creative world, when someone begins thinking, other people sometimes hear what’s going on … who knows on the unconscious-subconscious levels what gets overheard?” Fripp wrote on his blog in an attempt to explain the coincidence. “Both Bowie and Eno are exceptionally sharp creative minds that read the zeitgeist,” he told the Guardian. “Things happen around them that defeat rationality.”
Fripp has collaborated with Bowie before, most notably on 1977’s ‘”Heroes”‘.