‘Already shaping up to be something special’: Inside the rehearsals for a rebuilt King Crimson

King Crimson Rehearsals 2014

With its eighth lineup now in place, joint rehearsals for the rebuilt 2014 edition of King Crimson are underway in advance of a planned fall U.S. tour.

The newly rejiggered seven-man group, led by stalwart guitarist Robert Fripp, includes four former Crimsos in drummer Gavin Harrison, bassist Tony Levin, drummer Pat Mastelotto and saxophonist Mel Collins. Guitarist Jakko Jakszyk previously collaborated with Fripp and Collins on 2011’s A Scarcity of Miracles, while drummer Bill Rieflin worked with Fripp on 1999’s The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior.

On Saturday, Levin said: “We moved to a bigger rehearsal room, and combined the two parts of the band that had been rehearsing separately. Since February, the three drummers have been getting together, and this past week marked the second time I’d come to Jakko’s home studio to rehearse with him — this time joined by Robert and Mel.”

Fripp then shared a raucous, if way too short, video featuring Harrison, Mastelotto and Rieflin going at it on Sunday at Elstree Studios — as well as the photo, above. “I know the excellent caliber of the drummers,” King Crimson crew member Trev Wilkins said in a rehearsal report for DGM Live. “Combine this with the backline excellence, and it’s gonna be great.”

These initial sessions arrived, coincidentially, as Jakszyk celebrated a birthday. “If you asked me as a teen what my perfect birthday would be? Attending a King Crimson rehearsal,” he said via Twitter. “Guess what I do today?” This is also the anniversary of King Crimson’s first-ever live recording Earthbound, released on June 9, 1972 and again featuring Fripp and Collins.

“The music,” Levin added, “is already shaping up to be something special.”

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