Failure To Fracture by Anthony GaroneRelease date: May 18, 2021
Label: Stairway Press
Let’s take an answer to one of the biggest questions of all; who were some of the bands and artists who wrote some of the most complicated arrangements? Well here’s the answer; there’s Igor Stravinsky, Gentle Giant, Focus, Bela Bartok, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Arnold Schoenberg, and King Crimson. Since their formation in 1968, King Crimson has written one of the most mind-blowing and intense music that most musicians can find it tricky to play from beginning, middle, and end.
But for Anthony Garone, founder of Make Weird Music, started this 22 year ride by tackling one of the most insane compositions written by Robert Fripp. That of course is ‘Fracture’. It’s one of the closing tracks that finishes the album from their sixth studio release, Starless & Bible Black originally released in 1974. Challenged by his dad, Garone documents the story in his second book, Failure To Fracture.
This 320-page book is Anthony’s story on how he went into the lion’s den to tackle one of the most impossible compositions that Fripp had written. Published by Stairway Press, Garone’s journey is a trip down memory lane for most of us to understand Garone’s history of the Crimson classic that has been with him for so many years when he picked up the instrument in his teens.
There is one amazing story that is non ‘Fracture’ related in the book and that was his meeting with the legendary Steve Vai (Zappa alumnist) at his Hollywood Studio in 1996. He got to meet him through his Dad’s connection with bassist John Sergio before flying out to Arizona and driving to Hollywood to meet the maestro. For Anthony, he played Steve’s EP Alien Love Secrets, originally released in 1995 by finding the right notes and determination.
He worked with Vai from May 2002 to January 2003 and coming back for the Summer of that year when he was his at-home guitar tech, roadie, webmaster, computer tech, etc. For Anthony, meeting Vai was like seeing the Beatles when they first came to the States in 1964 after receiving their hit single ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ in the Billboard top 100.
Now there is another moment in the book from page 47 to 51, he demonstrates a guitar tablature of ‘Suite No. 1’ from the 1968 album The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp. He re-worked on the arrangements by using the picking pattern which is the Guitar Craft pick to tackle this song along with ‘FraKctured’ from The ConstruKction of Light released in 2000 on pages 208-211.
This is where I don’t want to go fan-boyish and not go into spoiler town with this, but Garone’s book delves even deeper into the story. Endorsed by Robert Fripp, who he got to be a part of his Guitar Craft class in Mexico City six years ago, he mentions the construction of using the pick, illustrations on how to use it, and what not to do with your guitar pick.
The late great Anthony Bourdain said; “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. The journey changes you. It should change you.” For Garone himself, this is a full circle adventure for him. When we watch his YouTube videos episodes 0 to 7 on his Make Weird Music YouTube page about the impossibility to play ‘Fracture’, he is our online teacher that is brought to life.
Whether they like it or not, Garone’s book Failure To Fracture is the story that is finally brought to life and recognizes that it isn’t us alone in the woods to try to perform the impossible composition. I can imagine there are plenty others out there trying to work on this bad boy. And it’s like I’ve mentioned earlier, if they want to tackle ‘Fracture’ be prepared to go into King Crimson’s answer to The Lion’s Den.