Robert Fripp Shares The Beatles Song That Changed His Life
via Robert Fripp / Youtube
Before encountering The Beatles, Robert Fripp had meticulously planned out his entire life, envisioning music as a weekend pastime rather than a full-fledged career.
Despite his fervent passion for playing the guitar, Fripp found himself confined to a conventional nine-to-five professional job, adhering to his family’s expectations.
As he approached the conclusion of his college days, Fripp underwent a remarkable change of heart and abandoned his pursuit of Estate Management, all thanks to The Beatles.
In a documentary, the founder of prog rock legends King Crimson remembered the fateful night that changed his life, “That incredible wind-up at the end of “A Day In The Life”, it terrified me. Shortly afterwards, I was listening to it all at once.”
Quite the leap from real estate to progressive rock
In his early twenties, the progressive rock icon established King Crimson in 1968. While he had dabbled in various bands prior to this period, none of them had attained serious stature.
At the time, Fripp envisioned a future working in his father’s estate agency, although he harbored a deep-seated awareness that real estate wasn’t his true calling. Despite this realization, a career in the arts seemed elusive.
Before embarking on the journey with King Crimson, Fripp found himself on the verge of enrolling in Estate Management, a course that would have equipped him with the qualifications needed to follow in his father’s professional footsteps. He had already parted ways with his first band, The Ravens, redirecting his focus to previous studies at Bournemouth College.
However, the allure of music once again captured Fripp, prompting him to rekindle his passion by joining the Majestic Dance Orchestra.
“Shortly afterwards, I was listening to it all at once”
As he neared the conclusion of his college days, an unexpected turn of events led Fripp to abandon his plans for Estate Management, all thanks to The Beatles.
“When I first started playing guitar, which was December 25th, 1957, when my parents bought me a very cheap guitar for Christmas, almost immediately I knew this guitar was going to be my life. One night, coming back from college, I think it was, I turned on Radio Luxembourg, and it was late. I had no idea who it was, and it was actually Sgt. Pepper,“ the prog rock legend recalled.
Fripp went on, “That incredible wind-up at the end of “A Day In The Life”, it terrified me. Shortly afterwards, I was listening to it all at once,” he added.
Fripp went on to cite albums by John Mayall and The Bluebreakers, Béla Bartók, Antonín Dvořák, and Jimi Hendrix as other significant influences during that period, all of which played a crucial role in influencing his decision.
And thus a beautiful chapter in rock history unfolded
Fripp added that despite the differences in dialects, the voice remained consistent. At that time, he mentioned that he couldn’t decline the opportunity.
“This one night where ‘A Day In The Life’ galvanized me was really the turnaround, I knew I couldn’t go to the college of Estate Management in South Kensington. One of 200 men and four women taking a degree in Estate Management.
Rather than becoming just another statistic in a corporate academic setting, Fripp chose to follow his heart and pursue his dreams. While this decision carried the risk of failure, with the guitarist potentially having to reluctantly re-enroll in South Kensington, “A Day In The Life” served as his signal to pursue his true passion.
Even if it led to disappointment, he could proudly declare that he gave it his best effort with unwavering determination. Fortunately, this choice marked the beginning of a beautiful chapter that continues to unfold to this day.