The return of King Crimson in 2014 was certainly a surprise to everyone. Robert Fripp, let's just call him the lightning rod of the group as well as its most consistent member, had devoted page after page in his online diary about the bliss of not having to endure what he calls the "wretched life of the professional musician." Fripp writes: "But mostly, the life of the working musician is wretched. This is part of the price we pay to live in the hope that music may once more lean over and take us into its confidence."
So why do it at all?
Because we have to; meaning the spirit that resides within makes us long to communicate with others this joy. It is as if this communion is the last and necessary step of the creative impulse.
Fripp's descriptions of domestic life, complete with pictures of homegrown pears, seemed so peaceful and fulfilling that most KC fans believed any reformation was impossible.
One thing keeps of all things Crimson know: expect the unexpected.
The cynical and oft ill-informed rhetoric always appears declaring that musicians, those of the classic (mature) variety, only reform and tour for financial reasons.
It's not that simple. Perhaps Jung can explain: “A creative person has little power over his own life. He is not free. He is captive and driven by his own daimon.
‘Shamefully, a power wrests away the heart from us,/ For the Heavenly Ones each demand sacrifice;/ But if it should be withheld/ Never has that led to good,’
says Holderlin. This lack of freedom has been a great sorrow to me. Often I felt as if I were on a battlefield, saying, ‘Now you have fallen, my good comrade, but I must go on.’ For ‘shamefully a power wrests the heart from us.’ I am fond of you, indeed I love you, but I cannot stay."
The new album is out. Listen for yourself.