Watch Trailer for Upcoming King Crimson Documentary
In a new trailer for In the Court of the Crimson King, an upcoming documentary about King Crimson, band members past and present muse about the ever-evolving prog-rock act.
Director Toby Amies helmed the film, previously titled Cosmic F*Kc, which will debut in March at South by Southwest. It includes footage from the band’s 2018 and 2019 tours, along with interviews featuring members from throughout their 54-year history.
“It’s the dream band viewed from outside,” former drummer Bill Bruford says in the clip, available below. “It’s the band you could do anything you wanted to in it.” But the trailer isn’t all easy praise, as various alumni reflect on the tensions and dysfunction that's seemed to follow King Crimson since their 1968 formation.
Some of the quotes appear as out-of-context quips. “When I came back from making some of that music, my hair had fallen out,” says former singer and guitarist Adrian Belew. Guitarist and co-founder Robert Fripp, their lone consistent member, fires off one-liners like, “I can’t be the only sane man in this asylum” and “I don’t have the problem; the problems lie elsewhere.” And at one point, co-founding multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald — who left the group soon after their seminal debut LP, In the Court of the Crimson King — apologizes to his former bandmate: “I love you, Robert, and I’m sorry I broke your heart.”
It’s not all dark, though. Fripp directs some words of kindness toward the most recent iteration of Crimson: the eight-member, triple-drummer lineup that might end up as their last. “This is the first King Crimson where there’s not at least one member of the band that actively resents my presence,“ he says. “Which is astonishing.” Fripp offered his thoughts of the film in an email to Rolling Stone, writing, “A grown-up documentary showing the lives of King Crimson’s working players during 2018–19. The rock 'n' roll lifestyle of glamour and excess in fine detail, including getting on and off buses, living and dying, resentment, a little humor and even some music.”
In November 2021, King Crimson released Music Is Our Friend, a live album documenting their tour of the same name.