Robert Fripp broadcasts 23-second Christmas message of love and creativity

Robert Fripp broadcasting to the nation
(Image credit: Robert Fripp)

While the world tuned into King Charles III's traditional Christmas Day message from Buckingham Palace and Channel 4 viewers checked out comedian Stephen Fry's alternative broadcast, a third option was available to anyone with access to the internet and less than 30 seconds to spare. For over on YouTube, King Crimson leader Robert Fripp released a Christmas message of his own, and it was only 23 seconds long.   

"In strange and uncertain times, sometimes a reasonable person might despair," says Fripp in the clip. "But hope is unreasonable and love is greater even than this. May we trust the inexpressible benevolence of the creative impulse."

These are clearly wise words, but they aren't new. They also appeared in the sleevenotes for Fripp's 2005 album Love Cannot Bear (Soundscapes - Live In The USA) and in his book The Guitar Circle – published in 2022 – as the third part of a piece entitled "Seven Affirmations."   

Other affirmations include "Music is our friend, if only we might listen; if only we can listen" and "Although I stumble and fall, each time I will rise again."

Fripp's message was immediately embraced by his following.

"In times of turmoil in our fragile world, it is good to hear the voice of creative reason," said commenter janneswolfs9961. "Thanks for reminding us that honest music smoothens hard times."

"Such helpful thoughts in these absolutely uncertain times," wrote avodiablackheart6131. "Music and love are definite pauses."

And, as if the demonstrate the international appeal of Fripp's message, Russian commentator polar_fox24 wrote "Спасибо за вдохновение!" (Thank you for the inspiration!) while French follower radioparisment628 said, "Longue vie à vous, Robert, dans l'amour et la musique." (Long live you, Robert, in love and music).

In another video, released on Christmas Eve, Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox revealed how they'd been woken by police this week after a neighbouring building caught on fire, and that seven fire engines had eventually brought the fire under control.   

"The experience for me was one of profound gratitude for the services in action," reported Fripp. "The policeman who was taking care of everyone on the street, making sure they were safe, and then the fire service, and perhaps two dozen people. The level of response, it was profoundly moving to me."

Fripp and Willcox also revealed that their own property was undamaged, although they initially feared for the contents of their office, where some of Fripp's instruments are stored, but were unable to retrieve them as the smoke was too thick. 

And finally, on Christmas Eve there was also a long-awaited return for the couple's long-running internet show Toyah & Robert's Sunday Lunch, during which Slade's classic Christmas anthem Merry Xmas Everybody was given a right going-over. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.