Robert Fripp has said that his ongoing Sunday Lunch covers series with his wife Toyah Willcox has upset some King Crimson fans.
- READ MORE: Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp’s 10 best lockdown covers – ranked!
Fripp and Willcox began posting cover versions on a weekly basis in 2020 via the latter’s official YouTube channel. Early videos saw the married couple perform classic tracks by acts including Nirvana, David Bowie and Sex Pistols from their home.
Speaking to The Guardian in early 2021, Willcox said that she had decided to launch the Sunday Lunch series in a bid to help her husband get through the COVID-enforced lockdown period.
“I’m doing this to him all the time to make him laugh, because he needs to laugh,” she explained at the time. “If people saw what we got up to, they’d wonder if we were nine years old.”
But the project is still going strong, with recent editions seeing the pair tackle ‘Blind’ by Korn, ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers (featuring special guest Chesney Hawkes), and ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie (in tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II).
During a new interview with The Telegraph, however, Fripp said that not everyone is keen on the joyous – and often bizarre – Sunday Lunch venture (via Louder). “[The series has] upset some King Crimson fans,” he told the paper.
“At the beginning of lockdown, my wife handed me a tutu and a pair of her black tights and took me to the end of the garden and put on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
“My wife insists performers have a responsibility to lift people’s spirits in hard times. Do I respect that? My answer is yes, completely and utterly I do.”
The King Crimson founder and guitarist wasn’t apologetic over his Sunday Lunch antics: “We’re keenly aware of what people have experienced during lockdown. I mean, banged up in a small apartment while your mother’s dying and you can’t go to the funeral. My wife said to me, if all we’ve done in two years is help one person through their bad time, it’s all worth it.
“So I’m not sure if that meets a criteria of serving what is highest in music, but for me, it’s a real undertaking that I respect. And I am quite prepared to strap on a guitar and rock out to a classic riff in order to achieve it.”
He added: “At age 76, why should I give a fuck? This is my life.”
Speaking to NME last summer, Willcox said that she and Fripp were developing their collaborative partnership into a “bigger brand”.
“The aim is to make our site more like a TV station,” she explained. “We’ve loved making the content and we’re going to take it a lot further. There will be a product line, but also it’s going to start to run like Toyah and Robert TV.”
Next year, Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox will take Sunday Lunch out on the road. They announced a joint 2023 tour back in June, but are yet to formally reveal when and where they’ll be playing.