Robert Fripp Accuses Billy Gibbons Of Sabotaging King Crimson

Robert Fripp Accuses Billy Gibbons Of Sabotaging King Crimson | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Robert Fripp / Youtube

In a revealing conversation with Guitar World, Robert Fripp shared a striking incident from his band’s past. As the frontman of King Crimson, Fripp recalled an event that took place during a support show for ZZ Top in Denver back in 1974.

Sound Sabotaging Incident

King Crimson’s performance was cut short when, after 20 minutes, the sound unexpectedly went out. Fripp explained:

“I wasn’t very aware of Korn, Megadeth, or Slipknot before ‘Sunday Lunch.’ I did, however, have some familiarity with Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top. King Crimson were supporting ZZ Top at a stadium in Denver back in 1974. We came on, and roughly 20 minutes in, the sound completely died. We didn’t know why, but we left the stage.”

The loss of sound was a baffling experience for the band and the audience. It was 20 years later that Fripp learned of the possible cause of the issue. There was talk that someone from ZZ Top had deliberately cut the power to King Crimson’s set. The rumors varied:

“Twenty years later, I learned that it was ZZ Top who pulled the power – but there were various versions of it. Some people said it was the tour manager, but others have suggested it was Billy Gibbons who didn’t like us and made him do that. Another version is that the tour manager didn’t like us. I don’t know! The tour didn’t last long.”

Fripp’s Tribute to ZZ Top

Despite the murky history between the two bands, Fripp showed his appreciation for ZZ Top’s music. In a demonstration of goodwill and perhaps a touch of irony. Robert Fripp, along with his wife, Toyah Willcox, covered ZZ Top’s songs on their YouTube show in 2021. They performed ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ and ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’,’ showcasing Fripp’s respect for Gibbons’ work. Fripp especially praised Gibbons’ rendition of ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ that was performed on another show:

“As for ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ the best version I know is Billy Gibbons’ Live [from] Daryl’s House.’ I would recommend anyone reading this to look that up. It’s a gentle revelation in that bluesy area. First of all, the click on the ZZ Top version is around 126. On this version, it’s around 115, which means it slides straight into the pocket. There are three soloists, and Billy is first. He doesn’t use a lot of notes… Billy doesn’t have to.”

These performances show that despite past disputes or misunderstandings, music can bridge the gap and allow artists to find common ground.