REVIEW OF THE KING CRIMSON LP,
THE CONSTRUKCTION OF LIGHT
BY VINCENT GALLO, JUNE 5, 2000
I bought with my own money, well money I stole, my first Beatle album
in 1967. The Beatles were the perfect band for a seven-year-old to get
interested in music, rock music. By the way, I never liked hippies, I
hate hippies, especially pot smoking hippies. Marijuana and socialism
were the evils of the twentieth century.
In 1974 I bought with my own money, well money I stole, my first King
Crimson album. It was their first album which had been released five years
earlier, Court of the Crimson King. Almost twenty five years
later I would use a track from the album titled Moonchild
in my masterpiece film Buffalo 66. The song and the album
are modern classics. You know, in the sixties and early seventies people
under twenty-five years old controlled only a small portion of the economy.
They didnt spend so much money on things that would be mostly insignificant
in their lives. Bands could sell only a hundred thousand copies of an
album and have major impact worldwide. When I say the word impact
I really just mean that if a person, a band, a thing never existed then
the world would be different. Different in a real way, in a way that allowed
other people in the future to move forward in their language and ideas
to have capacity to think new thoughts.
Ronald Regan had impact. So did King Crimson.
When I started listening to King Crimson and some of the better progressive
rock bands then, it really felt like the ideas, sensibilities, aesthetics
and certainly the music were complex and very new and had a real relationship
with the most interesting younger people of the time. Certainly all the
work that Ive done in my life was effected by my experience with
music at that time, in a real way. These bands were not trendy.
Im sure Fripp, the guys in King Crimson, the band Yes
and certainly Genesis had probably idolized several heroes
from their childhood. Who knows who those heroes were, it doesnt
matter because they were able to transcend all their influences, even
their whole ideas about being in a rock band.
When a mini-dwarf rich kid from Nashville like Harmony Korine flies first
class and moves to New York Citys Soho in his plush safe
apartment, running around town quoting Godard with lines like, "Fuck
the bourgeois", its insincere, its calculated, its
unoriginal, and its the worst thing in the world, trendy.
He already knows that he and his boring girlfriend Connecticut Chloe Sevigny
are going to be on the cover of The Face. He knows hell
get his run at The Angelica and be hip in Japan. But no one will ever
make an important film because they saw Gummo or Donkey
The only impact Harmony Korine will have will be on the lives of the girls
he slipped drugs to, got stoned and raped while they were passed out.
An autobiographical scenario he chose to include in his average screenplay
Kids.' Ill fuck your ass Cary Woods.
The friends who I went to see King Crimson, Yes and Genesis concerts with,
were the same friends who were hip enough to go with me to see The Ramones
first gig in Buffalo, and the same friends who later dug Spoony
Where do records go now? Where are they? Who buys them? And why do they
buy them? Did they listen to them? The whole thing? Or just the song on
the radio. And why dont they listen to them anymore? People do a
lot of shopping. Shopping to shop, shop shopping, shopping shop, shippidy
shop shopping. I had a storefront on Elizabeth Street one time, for one
month. As a conceptual joke I put some items in the window for sale. A
one-legged pair of jeans, an empty Evian bottle, a box of dirt, a rotten
banana, and an unused, but unwrapped, condom. The store was mobbed and
The new King Crimson album, The Construkction of Light, will
not have real impact. It is not the best King Crimson record. If I had
to chose, Id have to say I like the song Into the Frying Pan
best, even though its the most mainstream track. Its weird
when a band that existed outside of the mainstream does an album whose
best track is almost a radio song. A radio song in the year 2000.