King Crimson founder Fripp and Willcox perform the song in front of a poster reading, "The first revolution is when you change your mind". The quote – which refers to jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron's 1970 classic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – comes from The 90s, an award-winning PBS documentary series first broadcast in 1989.
In episode 306, entitled Race And Racism – Red, White, And Black (opens in new tab), Scott-Heron says, “What that catch phrase – ‘the revolution will not be televised’ – what that was all about: The first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you live… The thing that is going to change people is something that you can never capture on film."
Scott-Heron wrote the song in response to The Last Poets' When the Revolution Comes, which included the line 'When the revolution comes some of us will probably catch it on TV.'
Killing In The Name, meanwhile, was inspired by the beating of black motorist Rodney King by four LAPD officers in March 1991, an event that was caught on camera and widely circulated. The acquittal of King’s assailants the following year triggered the LA riots.
Rage Against The Machine's original version is notorious for its final verse, in which singer Zack de la Rocha – son of a Chicano political artist and grandson of a Mexican revolutionary, bellows – ‘Fuck you! I won’t do what you tell me!’ 16 times.
Toyah? She settles for a single Fuck You.
Elsewhere, Toby Amies' acclaimed documentary about King Crimson, In The Court Of The Crimson King, will receive its first UK showings at the Sheffield DocFest later this month. The film will be screened on June 24 and 25 at The Light’s Screen 6. For ticket information, visit the DocFest website.
Toyah's Electric Ladies tour continues. Joining Willcox at the shows are Lene Lovich and Saffron from Republica, and tickets for the remaining shows are on sale now(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab).
Electric Ladies UK Tour w/Toyah, Lene Lovich and Saffron
Jun 14: Wimborne Tivoli Theatre
Jun 16: Basingstoke Anvil Arts
Jun 17: Guildford G Live*
Jun 18: London Islington Assembly Halls*
Jun 23: Swindon Wyvern Theatre
Jun 24: Birmingham Town Hall
* without Saffron from Republica.