“In The Court of the Crimson King” with Toby Amies & Tony Levin.
In Toby Amies’ documentary “In The Court of the Crimson King,” exploring the iconic band King Crimson, I found myself unexpectedly drawn in. Growing up immersed in punk rock and hardcore, genres my youthful exuberance viewed as at odds with progressive rock, I initially had a blind spot for bands like King Crimson. However, as my musical tastes evolved, this film offered a revelation into this band and its fandom.
The opening scenes depict liminal spaces within empty concert halls, gradually transforming into vibrant spaces filled with passionate fans. The film provides an uncensored, deep dive into the world of King Crimson, revealing the band mastery as well as it’s blemishes. Despite Robert Fripp’s leadership style reminiscent of a mini-dictatorship, the band thrives. The film balances a biting sense of humor with profound love and admiration, not just for the band but also for the individual members and their dedicated fans.
Director Toby Amies, acting as a one-man crew, takes viewers on an intimate journey, showcasing the band’s dynamics and the unique camaraderie that defines them. The film beautifully captures the essence of King Crimson, with Amies serving as our guide, even if occasionally perceived as a nuisance by the band.
I wanted to dive deeper into this world so I invited Amies onto the show, where he’s joined by King Crimson’s bass player, Tony Levin.