Robert Fripp Recalls ‘Missed Opportunity’ With David Bowie
King Crimson leader Robert Fripp recalled the “missed opportunity” of working with David Bowie in 2002, and said his wife, singer Toyah Wilcox, had never forgiven him for the incident.
Fripp appeared on Bowie’s celebrated albums Heroes and Scary Monsters during a period in which he had also worked with Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno and others. In 2002, Bowie curated the Meltdown festival in London, England, and invited Fripp to take part.
“[There] wasn’t enough time to do it properly, so I declined,” Fripp told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “My wife has never forgiven me. My wife is a very considerable Bowie fan. That’s an opportunity missed, but I don’t feel I could honorably have engaged with it.”
Reflecting on his collaborations with Eno and Bowie, he noted that "with both of them, it was the same -- ‘Here is a context. Robert, please go for it,’ with play and lots of laughter. Lots of fun. What I would ask for from David would simply be chords, so that I wouldn’t have to sit down and write out a chart for an hour, or whatever, so I could go in fresh. ‘Here is the map for the terrain – go.’ And it was wonderful.”
Fripp described each artist as a “charismatic presence." “I regularly have dreams of both Eno and Bowie," he said. "Always interesting, always wonderful in their way. And I’ll just say, whenever you work with someone creatively and intensively, something changes, something is fused. It’s maybe something like having a lover, where they’re always part of your life."