Robert Fripp is best known for his work with the Prog Rock group King Crimson – as the founder, driving force and as the bands only constant member. With a career spanning over 40 years Robert Fripp has collaborated with many of the best musicians in the world and is rated number 42 on the Rolling Stones list of “greatest guitarists of all time2 compiled in 2003.
Robert Fripp was born in Wimborne Dorset in 1946. He started learning the guitar aged eleven and joined his first band Giles Giles and Fripp in 1967. Although unsuccessful as a touring band, they released an album called “The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp” before disbanding.
Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles founded King Crimson in 1968. The first album “In the Court of the Crimson King” released in 1969 was ground breaking.
Pioneers of progressive rock, King Crimson released the album at a time when most rock music played 3-minute songs on guitar bass and drums, and is heralded as a milestone in the annals of rock.
King Crimson split up shortly after the release of the first album, caused by musical differences and clashing egos but reformed until 1974 when Robert Fripp decided to disband the group.
King Crimson has reformed and disbanded many times since then. With Robert Fripp as the driving force and bandleader, King Crimson has had three active periods. The first period spanning 1969–1974 followed by a reunion in 1981–1984 and then 1994 until the present day. All together 18 musicians have played in the band as full band members.
In between work with King Crimson, Robert Fripp has worked on numerous collaborations with artists including Brian Eno, David Bowie on Heroes, Blondie, Taking Heads, local friend and Police member Andy Summers and notably David Sylvain with whom he produced some of his best guitar work.
Robert Fripp has also worked as a solo performer on a series of soundscapes. This is music created by digital musical synthesisers played via the electric guitar and is a technique that Fripp invented. The most recent recording was “Sound Sculptures” in Brazil 2007.
Rober Fripp used two Gibson Les Pauls during his early work with King Crimson and has a signature Les Paul named after him.
Rober Fripp is married to 80’s singer Toyah Wilcox.