We love hearing your memories of the great shows and performances you have seen at Lighthouse and, before that, at Poole Arts Centre. 

Sometimes we can shed more light on those recollections, but there are occasions when we are absolutely stumped. 

And so it was when we heard from Gary Bartlett, who wanted to remind us about the day, almost 40 years ago, that legendary prog rock heroes King Crimson played Poole Arts Centre. 

“It was a great concert as far as I can remember but my main recollection is the support ‘band’ – one guy who put a cassette player on stage, turned it on and then proceeded to dance and sing!” he told us. 

“Do you know who he was, did he ever become famous?” 

We were stumped, but perhaps you can help us out… 

What we do know is that King Crimson played Poole Arts Centre on 14 March 1982, having only returned to the live arena a few months earlier in support of their album Discipline and to road test material for its follow-up, Beat. Both albums featured the line-up of Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, Adrian Belew and Tony Levin that would remain together until 1984. 

Fripp, of course, grew up in Wimborne and was a cornerstone of the local music scene in the early 1960s before moving to London as the band that became King Crimson evolved into one of the most influential acts of the 60s and 70s. 

“I remember he signed copies of their next album Three of a Perfect Pair in Square Records in Wimborne, but in 1982 I was still in sixth form and went to and from QE School by coach. Me and my mates used to try to sit on the left-hand side of the bus on the way home as it used to go up Rowlands Hill so we always looked to see if we could see his parents at their house. We saw them a few times, but never saw Robert! 

“My auntie used to be his cleaner when he lived in Witchampton. She used to call him Bob – I don’t think many people would get away with that!” 

Gary also recalled seeing 10cc the same weekend – they played the Arts Centre on 12 March as part of their tenth anniversary tour. 

“Both great concerts, but as you can imagine, very different in style and audience,” he says. 

Sandwiched between the two gigs was a show from the by-then disintegrating Teardrop Explodes. 

:: If you have memories of any of these shows, particularly if you know who supported King Crimson with a cassette player, then please don’t hesitate to share them on marketing@lighthousepoole.co.uk 


Published 19 October 2021