Adrian Belew: 'I Wasn't Asked to Be in New King Crimson'

"Robert Fripp said I would not be right for what the band is doing," the guitarist explains.

Ultimate Guitar

The recent return of prog icons King Crimson had the fans instantly pumped up for more music and shows from Robert Fripp and co, but also wondering why guitarist Adrian Belew didn't make the new lineup.

Belew recently decided to personally address the matter, confirming that after 32 years, he is no longer a member of the Crims.

The singer/guitarist also gave the answer to whether he was asked to join the new lineup. "No, I was not," he explained. "Robert informed me in an email that he was starting a seven-piece version of the band. He said I would not be right for what the band is doing."

When it comes to his feelings about the current situation, Adrian noted that he's "happy with what I have to be happy with."

"I'm busy creating something I've wanted to create all my life, something which has never been done," he said. "Flux: never the same twice. Creatively I'm exploding with new ideas, songs, and music. In 60 days I'll be touring South America with my beloved Power Trio and next spring I'll be touring Europe with Crimson Project, which is a celebration of the Crimson music.

"Tony, Pat, and I have helped create. Life is great."

Finally, he ended the Facebook post on even more of an optimistic note, pointing out that the Crims definitely deserve fan support. "My advice is to check it out and if you like it - support it. And on that note - thanks to all of you for your continued support of my music. Cheers!" he concluded.

As previously reported, King Crimson have reformed as a seven-piece and will be able to fully perform starting September 2014. The new lineup consists of Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, second drummer Bill Rieflin of R.E.M., virtuoso bassist Tony Levin, third drummer Pat Mastelotto, Mel Collins on saxophone, multi-instrumentalist Jakko Jakszyk and guitarist Robert Fripp.

In which direction do you think the band will head now? Let us know in the comments.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    FINALLY - a decent band that is f**king honest with each other and doesn't bitch about it!
    The irony is I bet you he's pissed off as hell. He's just taking it with class, unlike most people that would in his position go off the deep end.
    I don't inow why anyone would be surprised by this. King Crimson has had an ever changing line-up since its formation. I love Belew's work with them but also look forward to hearing what they'll do without him.
    This, I honestly can't believe I see people bitching and moaning about him not being in the band on belew's fb page. How do these people listen to KC and not understand this is beyond me.
    King Crimson is not a band for the sentimental. They are ALWAYS looking forwards.
    I'm glad there doesn't seem to be any hard feelings; last I heard Fripp had a falling out with him, which is why i thought he wasn't in the new band.
    When it comes to his feelings about the current situation, Adrian noted that he's "happy with what I have to be happy with." Nice one Adrian! I will now have this song playing non-stop in my head all day! Though I haven't heard it in a while, so I'll probably go get out my copy of 'The Power To Believe' and listen to it again. Your trickery to hear Crimso with you in it has succeed!
    Belew is the man, completely changed my take on guitar and music. Suddenly every note began to sound like an opportunity rather than an error or mistake. Glad to hear there's no animosity in his absence, it gets tiring reading about all the back-stabbery the music industry is rife with at the minute.
    Wow, I'm behind the times. I'm glad these guys are back together again. One of the truly progressive bands out there.
    I'm excited as hell. New blood was what King Crimson was always about, and it's not like they stopped shifting the line up after Discipline. That was one album, and one lineup, in the history of King Crimson. I think people should take a little time and consult wikipedia, or even their own ears, before they bother commenting on a band.
    The man gets ****ed in the ass by Fripp and is a goddamn gentleman about it. He's a fantastic musician and a classy mofo.
    I don't get it. Was King Crimson a Fripp-solo project from the start?
    Fripp always said King Crimson was an idea. He essentially hires other musicians to expand on the idea, every now and then the idea changes and with it so does the line-up.
    It isn't, they've had constant lineup changes over the years, but by the time they did Discipline it was consistent again.
    King Crimson always has been and always will be Bob's band. While he is collaborative and amenable, he is definitely the man at the wheel. He is, as GWB would say, "the Decider," and well he should be, he's the only one of the original 1969 line-up who stuck with it and kept things moving forward these many years. Personally, I'm excited to see Mel Collins back after all these years. I'll miss Adrian, but can't wait to see what Fripp has in store. Check out the new band's "Venturing Unto Joy, Part 1" on YouTube at:
    To be informed in an email? Music aside Fripp is a defective human.
    I think if part of the King Crimson ethos is to expand and experiment, it's good to see a change in personnel. If I'm honest, I wasn't really a fan of some of KC's stuff from the Belew era, but loved practically everything else up until '74 (and Discipline and Beat). Besides, I really liked the sound on A Scarcity Of Miracles, quite nice Looking forward to it! D
    This is why I avoid these "hired help" bands. A band should be a.complete democracy, or the hired musicians should be referred tonas such.
    this is the reason? king crimson is the reason? a band that has one of the most consistent, well written and groundbreaking discographies in rock and music as a whole? the formula obviously works for them...
    No, you avoid 'hired help' bands because of ignorance and preconceptions, not anything those bands have done. Do you even KNOW anything about King Crimson, or was this thread a random soapbox for you?
    Belew's work with Danny Carey and Les Claypool was really fun. I'm excited to see what he has in store for us. Also, i'm sure whatever Fripp has lined up will be interesting and amazing