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Thread: Failure to Fracture: Learning King Crimson's Impossible Song

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    Failure to Fracture: Learning King Crimson's Impossible Song

    Failure to Fracture: Learning King Crimson's Impossible Song

    In a stunning, full-color book, author Anthony Garone details a 22-year journey of transformation in mastering the intricate complexity of “Fracture” - described by composer Robert Fripp as “impossible to play.”

    “Anthony Garone’s ‘Failure to Fracture’ is a success story.” – Robert Fripp

    Watch Robert Fripp praising “Failure to Fracture”: (

    When progressive rock band King Crimson released “Starless and Bible Black” in 1974, very few recognized the astonishing virtuosity captured in the album’s 11-minute instrumental capstone, “Fracture.” Three minutes into the piece, guitarist Robert Fripp begins a quiet, non-stop barrage of notes called a “moto perpetuo” an Italian term for “perpetual motion.” Fripp’s moto perpetuo requires intense right-hand string-skipping, and picking capabilities only a handful of guitarists around the world possess.

    Musician Anthony Garone was challenged by his father to learn “Fracture” in 1998. As a 16-year-old who practiced guitar six or more hours every day, he could not understand why he could play other technical pieces of music, but not “Fracture.” Over the years, he published blog posts and videos about his efforts. Garone kept working in isolated frustration until he enrolled in a week-long guitar instruction course led by Fripp in rural Mexico in 2015. That week was transformative.

    It was in Mexico that Garone learned the mechanics of Fripp’s very unique right-hand technique. To properly play “Fracture,” Garone had to re-learn how to play guitar, sit, stand, and breathe. It would also require meditation and a new way of using his body.

    Following many months of back-to-the-basics guitar practice, Garone re-trained himself to play guitar, playing a single open string for two hours a day across several weeks. In 2016, he was finally able to play small pieces of “Fracture” without any pain or frustration. He documented his progress on his Make Weird Music YouTube channel in a series called “Failure to Fracture.” The videos garnered hundreds of thousands of views and praise from Fripp himself, who wrote “Fracture is impossible to play, cf. Anthony Garone.”

    “Failure to Fracture” captures Garone’s transformative 22-year journey. The story begins with his time as a teenager developing a friendship with guitar hero Steve Vai in 1996. It ends with video performances of both “Fracture” and the even more difficult “sequel” composition, “FraKctured,” written and performed in Fripp’s own New Standard Tuning. It is a book about achieving the impossible, overcoming one’s limitations, and retraining the mind and body.

    In March 2021, Fripp stated on YouTube: “Anthony Garone is a man who has just written a book about to be published on ‘Failure to Fracture.’ Anthony has spent 22 years failing to play ‘Fracture.’ Actually, he’s done a pretty good job. Anthony’s failure is so well-achieved in my book, it’s a success.”

    More praise from fellow Crims and chums:

    “The best story of the long path of craftsmanship I have come across.” - Trey Gunn, former member of King Crimson

    “This book is a game changer. It delivers a detailed insight into a ‘secret’ world that is hardly ever being discussed in popular culture.” - Markus Reuter

    “The insight in this book goes beyond simply learning to play an impossible song... it provides a roadmap for how to live your best life.” - Gabriel Riccio

    Guitarist, author and composer Anthony Garone pens a compelling story of transformational failure after failure followed by a final victory: the ultimate performance of one of progressive rock’s most challenging and complex songs.

    Release date: May 18, 2021

    To pre-order:

    Contact Information:
    Ken Coffman, Publisher, Stairway Press
    1000 West Apache Trail, Suite 126
    Apache Junction, AZ 85120
    (360) 420-8870

    Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA),

  2. #2
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Northeast Pennsylvania USA
    This guy must have a very organized sock drawer.

  3. #3
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    This guy must have a very organized sock drawer.
    That should be added to the list of "More praise from fellow Crims and chums" quotes.

  4. #4
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    This looks fascinating!

    I think most of us understood it was very, very difficult to play. But I was never quite sure just how difficult. Was it really as hard as Fripp said??

    The book promises to properly reveal that insane level of difficulty

  5. #5
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    ...Was it really as hard as Fripp said??
    From Fripp's blog on DGMLive...

    " took a year to bring my practising up to speed, as it were;
    and four months directly and specifically on Fracture.
    my Wife had quite enough after a few weeks, so i had to lock the door to the Cellar;
    where i practice.

    for the first Euro-leg, between 6.5 - 8 on a scale of 10.

    in between, we had The SOCG in argentina, with final Intro Course.
    my primary responsibility in GC is not towards my playing.
    so upon my return, the athlete was not in race-ready condition.
    my intention was to play Fracture when i was back in top condition;
    but as i became aware that it was on strong demand in italy;
    i did the best i could although not quite ready.
    nevertheless, it seemed well received.

    to keep Fracture-fit takes 80% of my time and attention.
    which is too much.
    and it's almost improper that a man of 70 should be doing the high-wire every night;
    when there's a younger generation who might take it on!"


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