Hey guys: the sun is out, the tide is running and the surf's up. Let's go catch some waves. Surf backwards through time, landing in 1969. Betcha still have your first copy of 'In the Court of the Crimson King'. Do you know where it is? I expect it's a bit battered and faded, the corners bent at the edges. Maybe the record is warped and scratched. Could you really have been expected to take such good care of it, given the action its seen in its life? Its probably been played to death. And what about the things that you have done whilst listening to it? ;)

Does your copy have the original pink centre? Mine has the Island logo.  


The cover became an icon for its times. Do you remember where you were when you first saw those frightened eyes?

The songs have been trapped inside this record for thirty years, until the Schizoid Band came and broke the spell.


The songs have regained their youthful rebellious swagger since the Schizoids began to play them live.

(Catch them on their North American tour in April 2004 if you can.)














Now travel back to before that album existed: to a time when its creation was in the heads of six young men. To West London in April 1969. What did it feel like to be those young men at that time? Bridget knows. She received, and kept, a letter from Peter Sinfield that vividly captures the moment. Views from inside the crucible at a time of great melting and coming together. We can share the excitement of the days - and the pressures and the tension, too.

21st Century Schizoid Man was newly born, "nasty, sick violent words about the nasty sick violent thing called earth".

A poster announcing King Crimson to the London underground trendies is about to be collected. Drums have been painted and that album cover is being planned.

Everything is there that grew into King Crimson: - the hustle, the bizness hassles, the suspicion, the drugs, the social scene, the longing, the loneliness, the adulation, the mounting excitement of music that is so powerful that it makes the players cry. Music that demands to be heard, that cannot be silenced.

Everything is there, too, that grew into Peter Sinfield: the fantastic ideas, the philosophy, the wonderful lyrics, the dislike of touring, the love of good food, the handwriting, the need for convivial company, the shy side of a public face. The man inside the child. The child inside the man.

The letter gives a glimpse of those far-off days. Please read it with a smile.

"Smile at the smiling man

Tear in your eye

laugh in the morning sun

Under the sky."


The letter is found at:

cover page
page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6

Neil Ingram

April 2004

© Song Soup on Sea