Once in a Milestone…A Cultural Event for Which There Is No Wine Match


Le Large is my jazz shepherd. I shall not want.

Greek Theater perfect summer evening. Sssssupppperrrrbbb venue inside the city-encircled Griffith Park. King Crimson all seven pieces (sometimes they are 8) on the stage. Their appearances are few and far between; infrequent enough to draw every ProgRock codependent in town and a few hundred miles.

tBoW sits next to LeLarge who has indoctrinated the blogmeister via mandatory ingestion of the greatest ProgRock band in modern history.

click link wait 10 seconds for one King Crimson masterpiece: 21st Century Schizoid Man Including Mirrors

ProgRock? A blend of rock and jazz; short for Progressive Rock. Comparing the music from the fever dreams of Robert Fripp to a bottle of wine m=concocted from Syrah and Reisling…well…NO…not in this town…in this venue…on this night.

Lope de Heredia trio of classics

tBoW is a very recent fan of the Fripp led ensemble. If King Crimson was a wine the closest match might be Lopez de Heredia which releases a vintage every twelve years…when the vintage is at least a decade in the bottle. Crimson tours on a similar schedule. Like Lopez de Heredia one can be confident the contents – wine or music – are for primo highest quality consumption.

One can read about the 50 year history of ProgRock music and KC lineups. What is amazing is that the KC music holds up so well.

We paid for VIP parking and walked to our seats. The Greek is a superb venue for 5700 folks. Forty plus years in LA and this was tBoW’s first visit to the shrine. It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Impressions 24 hours post the three hour tidal wave that washed over row after row of seats. Notes from the King Crimson typhoon.

Crimson lava over Pompei

…melodic gives way to structured and unstructured cacophony that is……rhythmic? Brit musical styles from 15th thru 19th centuries; folk, modern 60s & 70s rock styles…and other

Is that the moody blues [ed. sure sounded like it] or maybe It’s A Beautiful Day? [ed. turns out the KC sound is both highly derivative AND trend setting, inspired by others and inspiring for others to catch on…keep thinking about the wine analogy!]

GWAR meets JAZZ…heavy welders’ torch metal, Pantera… megadeth…mmmmmmm I am hearing Bad Plus [ed. groundbreaking new jazz group from Idaho or someplace equally unexpected]. That is definitely Ornette Coleman meets Beethoven. Seems unusual that KC has THREE DRUMMERS and yet they are mostly NOT overwhelming [ed. sometimes the entire experience is so overwhelming I can only sit frozen in my seat].

Dr Manhattan


Never overwhelming… 3 drums for this noyz… WARNING – do not move or you may fall to your auricular death. If you like shiatsu massage you’ll love KC and the Mad Genius Robert Fripp.

quoth LARGE-nez: Mad genius makes Mad Noyz…Typhoonius Maximus. Fripp Is the mad genius who can burn a brain alive with lava music buries Pompei.

What about craftsman wines? Is Fripp a master craftsman? His musical men are hand picked and long standing like a winemaker picks his growers or even moreso his vineyard manager, botanist, chemist. Choosing labels and bottles is like choosing music by the album covers… does Fripp want control there as well? quoth Le Large: Probably. Fripp is total control freak!

When I think of Fripp as a character I see a guy in a straight jacket or maybe Dr Manhattan [ed. OVER THERE –>]. Is Fripp flawed? A wine can be flawed…  but a flawed wine rarely is spectacular or even notable. Fripp is no brettanomyces. He could be an eccentric – very eccentric – superhero.


  1. Wavatar
    Kris-B says:

    Is this a wine blog?

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      Bacchus says:

      There is no wine that can match up with King Crimson. I would like to post on Rieslings next. When faced with awesomeness on a scale beyond beyond past the land of hope and fear not in Kansas anymore…on the verge of a singularity…science meets mysticism…please send Riesling or at least the most interesting wine you have in the past 30 days. Help a brother out.

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    Igty pp says:

    What’s jazz got to do with wine ?

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      Bacchus says:

      Exactly the point. Jazz as a metaphor is far more manageable than ProgRock icons King Crimson. I can see wines that match harken to TMonk or even Herbie. Certainly Stanley Turrentine even Sir Duke. Keep reading. I hope Dr Manhattan makes my point. There is no analog. You probably don’t even like music for cripessake.

    • Wavatar
      Bacchus says:

      Have a wine you would like to tout? or pan? Send it here. tBoW handelit.

  3. Wavatar
    LeLarge says:

    For those that *dare* question attempting to pair wine with progrock–I say first try one of those Newport Beach smooth jazz concerts–Kirk Whalum, Kenny G, Najee, or (sneer) Brian Culbertson… everybody’s drinking merlot, sheerazzz, or some wretched 16% abv cab from Temecula priced at $65. A lot of wine, tepid musical wallpaper ooze, leisure suits, OC real-estate brokers, and people seeking therapy for inhabiting a complex world. Alternatively, think about hosting a KC listening party with an assortment of challenging, complex–even menacing crimson liquids–maybe something from NoCal – Valley of The Moon with “Moonchild,” or a dead winemaker’s last bottle with “Epitaph” — both tunes fall into the “mournful minstrel” mode with a haunting melody that will lurk in your noggin for days–R.I.P. J. Wilkes–maybe I’ll open that 2004 pinot and listen to “In The Court of the Crimson King” all the way through.

    For the classic 70s KC — pair “Lark’s Tongue in Aspic,” with delicacies–peacock tongues with aged, absinthe marinated truffles? That’s a reference from Chuck Palahniuk, post-USA apocalyptic tome about “bantustans” which have been set up to keep gays, whites, and blacks in their own separate, racially, and sexual preference “purified” geographies–a very sick and incisive neo-fascistic dystopian fantasy that finds a twisted solution for political correctness–I liked the Fight Club better. This one is brilliantly titled: “Adustment Day” and I’m still wincing through chapters. Yet I keep turning the pages, and every so often laugh out loud and nervously look around to see if anybody’s watching me. In the story the blacks have kept secret for centuries their flying pyramid tech — and now their tech dominates this whacked out future. It’s sort of this dark future that the Crims music seems to harken in ever-unfolding musical adventures. Makes me think about buying some futures again to be come more conscious and responsible in combatting global warming… Bachus talked me into doing that decades ago in Santa Barbara… maybe it’s time. – As for this music–surely there is a noble purpose underlying all progrock? Is it the landed gentry searching for something else? Those arcane scales coupled with fluid jazzy solos–ertainly require extremes in musical technique. Many of the Royal Academy of Music’s most accomplished graduates–all contemporaries of (and many collaborators with) Fripp practice the craft (Keith Emerson, Kerry Minnear, Eddie Jobson, ect.)… In the beginning it was all incorrigibly English–hence the strongurge to venture elsewhere for fine varietals–make sense?

    Maybe pair “Starless” (Crimson dark metal-ballad epic with the unparalleled rhythm section of Wetton and Bruford, and that epic category 7 typhoon of a crescendo)–with a soothing, lush Priorat? Or the Balinese-meter-infused 80s KC of ‘Discipline’ with something volcanic from the slopes of Mt. Etna. KC went half-yankee with their 80s lineup, and drew from Zappa’s squadron, along with Tony Levin — originally a jazz bassist who rocked the hell out of Peter Gabriel’s band, where he first collaborated with Fripp. *80s Crimson needs to be paired with something brash, grassy, and intriguingly complex! KC covered Bowie’s “Heroes” on the prior tour-Fripp not only helped shape not only Gabriel’s early career but two of Bowie’s acclaimed albums produced by Tony Visconti (legendary English rock producer who also produced one the greatest prog cult band’s Gentle Giant’s “Acquiring the Taste.” Was that disc about wine? Find out.
    You see I can prat on about this for a while–just this week Fripp just announced his credit dispute with Bowie’s estate over his own epic contributions to “Heroes” and “Scary Monsters.” Fripp is that ubiquitous wizard wearing spectacles behind the velvet, blood red curtain, ready to guide you through hallucinogenic landscapes, and hills rowed with exotic grapes. Think something austere with passionate fruit and distinct minerality for KC introspective instrumental epics, like “The Sheltering Sky,” no doubt a nod to Pawl Bowls fictional walk into the Sahara. Perhaps that rare, exceptional, silky nebiolo field blend from Valle D’Aosta, aged 10 years–or perhaps that Penfold’s Grange that held up after 50 years in a cellar… KC evokes those strange eccentric corners of this, world in abundance. This formidable leviathan of musical mastery, selling out out the finest theaters for multi-night stands from Argentina and Japan to Philly and Moscow–enduring in ever morphing forms for now a half century. The Crimson King hath lurked with lengthy hiatuses to obscure monasteries in Cyprus, or the Institute of Continuous Education somewhere out in the hinterlands of Southern England. Collectively they provide all manner of stories, and poetic fantasies rooted in the laate 60s–intricate and perplexing musical constructions, that keep delving fast forward into our musical futures, and music’s cutting edge of tech. They spin yarn in the infinite variations of red hues, each evoking a cornucopia of dark moods building to frenzied outbursts of supercharged testosterone, and then pastel passages of serenity–each perfectly paired with that mysterious bottle which both conjures the wisdom of the ancients–and bears no label at all…

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