After having found the various sources of information on Robert Fripp’s guitar gear over the years to be scattered, incoherent and sometimes difficult to find in the first place, I have decided to do something about it and put together this little guide. Because there is actually a lot of information out there to find – most important are probably Elephant Talk’s interview archive and RF’s own diary, which has shed light on many things and is now, with DGM live, searchable as well. The is also a listing here on the former Guitar Craft website of various past RF gear that is for sale which has proven very informative.
This web page has two basic aims: to gather what information I can find on the subject in one place and to present it in an elegant and straightforward way. There are several gaps in the information that stand out, mostly where I have not heard the actual music. This includes the Darryl Hall, Andy Summers, The Orb and FFWD collaborations as well as most of the ProjeKcts and the mid 1980’s to mid 1990’s.
Not least for copyright reasons, I won’t go stealing photographs and gratuitously slap them on here, but I will quote and/or give an account of other articles with full credit to the source and a link whenever possible. I will keep adding things as they turn up and I’m always happy for any tips, spottings or corrections anyone has to offer.
There is always a danger, when putting together webpages like this one, that somewhere along the way the assumption is made that “once I get these items into my possesion, I will sound just like…” whoever the site is about. Obviously this is not sound reasoning – the only one who can sound, convincingly, like for instance Robert Fripp is Robert Fripp. A guide or collection of information like this one should be seen more as a general guide to how one can achieve a certain kind of sound using certain technical gadgets, instruments and amplifiers and, if one is lucky, why. Personally I find this part of guitarist fandom, the study of equipment, far more interesting than the hunt for autographs. An autograph just sits there, but with a guitar I can make a glorious noise.
Karl Boman, karl dot boman at gmail dot com
You can find my personal adventures in the world of music and life over at kbospeak.
(word definition found in Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English)
These are some bookmarks I had after my early research:
Elephant Talk interviews
Robert Fripp in Guitar Player 1974
Robert Fripp’s Diary on the 1959 Les Pauls
King Crimson photos on DGM Live
The Tommy Bolin Gear page on the Hiwatt Amplifier
League of Gentlemen photos on DGM Live
Robert Fripp in Guitar Player 1986, sidebar article
Robert Fripp in Best Magazine
Elephant Talk gig review, soundscapes in 1997
A davidsylvian.net photo of the black Tokai
The GuitarGeek rig
Robert Fripp’s Diary on the debut of the GP100’s
Robert Fripp’s Diary detailing the Lunar Module signal chain
A diary search on G-Force
Robert Fripp’s Diary on the Solar Voyager and the 1959 Les Pauls
A diary search on Beaudoux
Robert Fripp gear for sale
Some other links that could be of interest:
See the WEM site for more information on the Watkins line of guitars, amplifiers and effects. Charlie Watkins himself is now in his eighties and still active! Tidbit: for the famous Hyde Park gig where King Crimson opened for the Rolling Stones, a Watkins P.A. system was used.