In anticipation of his forthcoming UK tour, Robert Fripp recently engaged in a conversation with Guitar World, during which he reflected on his career history.
He shared an intriguing incident from his time with King Crimson in the ’70s, revealing that either Billy Gibbons or someone else from ZZ Top’s crew had disrupted their performance.
In discussing the songs he has interpreted so far, the guitarist elaborated:
“I wasn’t very aware of Korn, Megadeth, or Slipknot before ‘Sunday Lunch.’ I did, however, have some familiarity with Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top. King Crimson were supporting ZZ Top at a stadium in Denver back in 1974. We came on, and roughly 20 minutes in, the sound completely died. We didn’t know why, but we left the stage.”
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He also brought up the speculation about who might have been behind the sudden interruption:
“20 years later, I learned that it was ZZ Top who pulled the power – but there were various versions of it. Some people said it was the tour manager, but others have suggested it was Billy Gibbons who didn’t like us and made him do that. Another version is that the tour manager didn’t like us. I don’t know! The tour didn’t last long.”
In spite of the previous incident, Fripp acknowledged ZZ Top on his YouTube show in 2021.
He performed renditions of two of the band’s songs, ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ and ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’,’ alongside his wife, Toyah Willcox. While discussing the covers that made an impression on him, the former King Crimson guitarist made a reference to one of them.
“As for ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ the best version I know is Billy Gibbons’ Live [from] Daryl’s House.’ I would recommend anyone reading this to look that up. It’s a gentle revelation in that bluesy area. First of all, the click on the ZZ Top version is around 126. On this version, it’s around 115, which means it slides straight into the pocket. There are three soloists, and Billy is first. He doesn’t use a lot of notes… Billy doesn’t have to.”
In the videos below, you can enjoy Robert Fripp’s cover version as well as Billy Gibbons’ performance at ‘Live from Daryl’s House.’