Greg Lake calls King Crimson “quirky”

GregLake150Greg Lake calls King Crimson “quirky”

Bassist says that before him, the band was “offensive”

By Mindy Rochwerg
February 18, 2015

Greg Lake, former bassist of the progressive rock band King Crimson, recently told Something Else Reviews that the band was the only rock band that had no blues and no American influence, referring to the band as “very European, and quirky.”

King Crimson grew out of the fragments of Giles, Giles & Fripp.  Michael Giles (drums, vocals), Peter Giles (bass, vocals), and Robert Fripp (guitar) started working together in late 1967.  Lake says that his entry into the band really changed their style:

“So, when I came into the picture, I really changed the band. Before, they were actually called Giles, Giles & Fripp. You don’t even want to hear that record. It’s offensive; it really is! They were writing funny songs about paraplegic people. It was dreadful!”

Lake also spoke about his chemistry with fellow band member Robert Fripp (guitar/Mellotron): “I could play everything he was playing; he could play everything I was playing,” he said.

Lake called Ian McDonald (reeds, flute and Mellotron) a “very good musician,” who had not had any previous “real rock & roll experience,” and referred to Michael Giles (drummer), as “an extraordinary human being…like a Gatsby character, a very sweet man.”

Giles and McDonald left King Crimson shortly after the release in 1969 of In the Court of the Crimson King.  Lake left after 1970’s In the Wake of the Poseidon and went on to co-found Emerson Lake & Palmer.  Fripp continues to carry on with King Crimson.

Related stories:


Brand new release from Emerson, Lake & … no one!
Leon Wilkeson, Lynyrd Skynyrd

10 (more) bands that changed bass players … and what happened next

Exclusive FBPO interview with Greg Lake

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