Robert Fripp says his legal battle against Universal Music Group has rendered his musical career “an exercise in futility” – and that’s why he’s given it up.
The King Crimson mainman has been embroiled in a rights fight with the giant label for five years, leading to his abandonment of music-making, with no certainty he’ll return.
He’s furious over the way in which Universal has bought up a series of independent labels that own parts of his back-catalogue, and believes it’s led to the release of unauthorised and unaccounted works under his name.
He cites the example of rapper Kanye West’s single Power, based on Crimson’s classic track 21st Century Schizoid Man – which had been heard over a million times on YouTube before he was even asked whether the sample could be used.
Fripp tells FT.com: “I couldn’t concentrate on music, so I made the choice to give up my career as a musician in the frontline to deal with the business.”
He says the arrangement between artist and label has “moved from a symbiotic relationship to a parasitic relationship.”
Can't say I blame him.