Re: Pretentious music??
We should start a Michael Giles fan club. From my understanding, he just does not like the road. That is why he quit Crimson and that is why we rarely see him perform live.
Cat Food was a good one. As silly as though songs were, there was some nice playing on many of those tracks. Who was the keyboardist on that one?
People say Fripp is quite a reclusive nut these days; but even those who are not a fan of avant-garde rock can find his extreme sense of detached obscurity quite refreshing in a world of overblown celebrity.
I think that the Brits had a greater sense of the dramatic role in popular music due to the long theatrical history and that Shakespeare dude. You didn't have that as much in the states except maybe for Morrison who had a BA in film through the theater department of UCLA.. Then you see it in the Alice and the LA scene of the late 1970s and 1980s. I don't know though. I don't really take the theatrics of Alice, Kiss or performance artists like Madonna that seriously. It's less pretense and more shock value.
It's also the case that in Britain the music itself was more dramatic and American rock really did not have anything in comparison to Webber, Townsend or Waters. We had Grease, and Hair. many people argue rock music destroyed American musical theater. I think a big part of that has to do with rocks demagoguery. The free-ness of a band like Henry Cow really worked against that authoritarianism stance, which of course has a gender if not also a racial undercurrent. it is no mystery that The Ramones reacted specifically against r and b of the mid 1970s, not against prog rock, and wanted to create white music, you know stuff with no rhythm, no blue notes and only three chords.
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"