Robert Fripp & the League of Gentlemen

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The League of Gentlemen was a short-lived new wave group assembled by King Crimson's Robert Fripp. The group formed in 1980, toured throughout Europe and North America, and disbanded at the end of the…
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The League of Gentlemen was a short-lived new wave group assembled by King Crimson's Robert Fripp. The group formed in 1980, toured throughout Europe and North America, and disbanded at the end of the year, releasing a self-titled full-length in 1981.

The League of Gentlemen was originally the name of an early rock & roll band formed by Fripp when he was a teenager during the '60s; this group also included another future King Crimson member, Gordon Haskell. In 1980, Fripp revived the name the League of Gentlemen in association with a totally different ensemble. Following his return to full-time music-making after the collapse of King Crimson in 1974, he'd left the music business for three years. The League of Gentlemen was one of the main manifestations of his return. In contrast to the mid-'60s R&B-based band, the newer League of Gentlemen -- also formed in Dorset, curiously enough -- was much more an offshoot of the 1973-1974 version of King Crimson, with its cutting-edge timbres and rhythms, and his Frippertronics experiments of the late '70s.

This group consisted of Barry Andrews on organ, Sara Lee on bass, Johnny Toobad playing drums, and Fripp on guitar. The quartet played 77 shows in Europe and the United States that year, and Kevin Wilkinson later succeeded Johnny Toobad on drums. The group stayed together through 1981 and generated just one LP, The League of Gentlemen (1981), which was later combined with God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners onto the compilation CD God Save the King. A follow-up of sorts appeared in 1996, with the release of Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx, a live album recorded in 1980. The group's work is usually categorized under Fripp's name, in keeping with the music of the League of Crafty Guitarists, his collaborations with Brian Eno, etc.