Found: King Crimson – Crimso Communication (1971)
I’m certain that many of you reading this right now did not follow Swan Fungus back in 2009. At that time part of my record store job description involved cleaning, grading, and pricing vinyl records before they hit the sales floor. My co-workers and I sometimes find some insane oddities hidden inside record covers. Envelopes stuffed with hundred dollar bills, baggies with mysterious white powders, we saw it all. Back in 2009, I shared a couple fun relics, like an old letter from one raver chick to her friend. It’s been a long time since I’ve found something noteworthy in a record that could be publicized and memorialized, but a cool memento crossed my path recently that I want to share.
I wasn’t alive in 1970, so I can’t tell you how big the band King Crimson was at that time. I know that when I started collecting records during my freshman year of college (in 2001) I was told I had to hear In The Court Of The Crimson King and In The Wake Of Poseidon. I found copies of both records for $2.99 or $3.99 at Princeton Record Exchange (where I purchased the majority of my collection back then) and fell in love with both records – but that was in 2001. When Crimson released Lizard in 1970? I have no idea how far their fandom stretched outside of England.
Apparently, it reached as far as Southern California. A local collector whose vinyl library contained about 15,000 LPs owned at least a dozen Crimson records, if not more. Many of them were original (or early) British pressings. He even cataloged them with homemade data sheets that looked like library cards. Each sheet had a printed template he would fill in with the artist, title, date of purchase, location of purchase, and any notes about condition or inserts that might come in handy later. His first-pressings of In The Court Of The Crimson King and In The Wake Of Poseidon even had his name and date of purchase etched into the dead wax.
His copy of Lizard was noteworthy because it contained inserts I’d never seen before. Eleven pages printed on 8″ x 10″ light-weight stock referred to by the cover page as a response from Crimso Communication to someone who had written the band. I assume because the album was released in December of ’70 that this dates from ’71, but I could be (and probably am) wrong. While deftly brushing aside the fact that no one who wrote the band was going to receive a personalized response, it lays out how the ensuing pages include “bits and pieces we have got together which we hope answer any general queries regarding the group.” I asked the biggest King Crimson fan I know if he’d ever seen anything like this, and he admitted he hadn’t, so I am putting it here for you all to enjoy. Hopefully you or a King Crimson fan you know will appreciate this relic from the first few years of the band’s existence.
Crimso Communication, 1971
(Click to enlarge)
King Crimson – Bolero [MP3]
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