King Crimson’s Robert Fripp Says He Didn’t Want To Play Like Eric Clapton

In a recent interview with Guitar World, King Crimson‘s Robert Fripp shared his thoughts about not wanting to sound like Eric Clapton and become a blues guitarist.

Robert Fripp began his musical journey with Michael Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, and Peter Sinfield when they formed King Crimson in 1968. Their debut studio album ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ gained success and popularity by combining rock, jazz, classical and experimental music. Around the same time, Jimi Hendrix came to see them perform at the Revolution Club in Mayfair.

Fripp’s influences, like Jimi Hendrix, helped the guitarist find his sound. Despite King Crimson’s changing sound, the guitarist has consistently received positive reviews from fans and critics for his guitar playing and mastery. He turned to progressive rock instead of the blues and contributed significantly to the band’s success.

In a recent conversation, Fripp stated that he didn’t become a blues guitarist because he thought he wasn’t that good to be one. He explained that although nobody said it out loud, everyone knew that all the young players wanted to sound like Eric Clapton. However, Robert Fripp didn’t want to sound like him; instead, he was more inspired by Jimi Hendrix.

The guitarist’s words on not wanting to play like Eric Clapton:

“Why didn’t I become a blues guitarist? Probably because I wasn’t an outstanding blues guitarist. A lot of young players and some established players have said to me, ‘I only wanted to be like Clapton.’ They didn’t say it, but you knew it. That wasn’t my aim. Stunning player, but the question eventually became formulated for me: ‘What would Hendrix sound like playing the Bartók String Quartets?'”

Robert Fripp’s 32-disc box set ‘Exposures’ is now out via DGM/Panegyric. He has also written a book about the history of Guitar Craft and the Guitar Circle. The book ‘The Guitar Circle’ will be published on September 1 via Panegyric Publishing.