Shaun Martin Rock Legend

In The Court of The Crimson King

Episode 14

Three lullabies in an ancient tongue

Oh no, no, no, no, this ain’t happening, said John looking at Paul, how are we going to explain this to ‘The Bishop.’ ‘What ever,’ exclaimed Hannah, both hands held out, palms up as if to show how innocent she was. The four of them sat down in the gilded pews and made themselves comfortable, then strapped in ready for a rough ride through the Spatial Plenum of Luminiferous Aether. John checked the guages for Cartesian Coordinates whilst Paul was checking the Lorentz Transformations. All seemed to be going as expected when suddenly the Galilean Invariance Alarm sounded, Paul stood quickly reaching across to the auxillary control panel for the Pseudo-Riemannian Manifold Control Fluctuator, and then silence. The girls were looking quite pale and placed their arms around the boys and held on tight, John and Paul glanced at each other and rolled their eyes whilst raising their eyebrows to show their delight and approval – of some luck at least.

It sounded a bit bumpy outside of the TARDIS, then the lights went out, after about five minutes of silence, the lights came back on. John and Paul pried off the leach like arms of Hannah and Tilly, still holding on tight to the boys, with the excuse that, anything might happen. Better safe than sorry, said Tilly winking at Hannah. Having freed themselves, John and Paul peered outside, then opened the door. There outside stood two men, very friendly looking men, who greeted John and Paul with the statement: “Not Always So,” the two men continued to introduced themselves as Robert Fripp and Greg Lake. John and Paul seemed okay with what they saw and beckoned Hannah and Tilly to follow them outside. Where are we, asked Tilly. You are in Bath-upon-Zen my friends. Robert Fripp then said, how he thought they were perfect and would hire them for the Gig immediately. Greg Lake then asked the girls if they could sing. You’re ‘kiddin-rite,’ and the girls began a countermelody so pure in counterpoint, that Robert Fripp turned to Greg Lake, and gave ‘high fives,’ with a suppressed shout of, “YES.”

Little did they know it but our two cast away couples had just materialised the TARDIS in the middle of a large cloud of special effects Theatrical Smoke, right on the stage set of King Crimson’s live concert rehearsals, where they were auditioning for new Band members. Robert now asked if by any chance, John or Paul could play keyboards, I play the church organ said Paul. Do you think you could play Mellotron for us, with a few hours practise of course. Paul hadn’t a clue what a Mellotron was but said – lead me to it. What about you John, do you play. Well said John, I can knock out a bit of a tune on a lute. Well look John, take this and plug yourself in, said Robert handing him his ’57 Les Paul Goldtop. ‘Greg,’ said Robert Fripp, I think we have our backing singers, keyboard player, lead guitarist, and to top it all, a smoking TARDIS for God’s sake. What say you we get a sound heck and start rehearsing!

After four hours solid practise, the whole Band, including its four new members, set off to explore Bath Abbey, for some down time and a well earned break. Totally exhausted they hailed a passing Lions Tour mini bus, and within moments they had all fallen asleep. The next thing they knew, was the driver shaking their shoulders, saying they had arrived. Hannah opened a bleary eye and partially gazed out, then suddenly sat up with great speed. Look Tilly, we’re in Malmesbury, ‘What you doing bringing us here,’ she said to the skinny, black bushy haired driver. ‘Sorry, I thought you said the Abbey, this is where I always take my visitors – were you expecting somewhere else.’ ‘Why yes, Bath Abbey!’ ‘Oh well we’re here now, come on Tilly lets show the Band around our own Abbey, and we can all grab a coffee and cake while we’re at it.’

So there they all were – King Crimson in the Court of the Crimson King. ‘Red Henry, we’ve got guests, go tell Stella, coffees for fifteen,’ hollered Hannah. Tilly was busy reassuring Robert and Greg that Malmesbury Abbey was just as good a place to hang out as Bath-upon-Zen‘s Perpendicular Wonder, you may have ‘Jacob’s Ladder,’ but we’ve got ‘The Steps From Hell.’ When inside they sat down and awaited Ruth and Sarah, to bring them their refreshments, and noticed a man sat beside the Font plucking a Gibson L9-S Ripper, whoa, what ya got there pal, said Robert Fripp to the shy looking guitarist. The man raised his head, it was Shaun Martin. Can you play that beauty said Robert. ‘Hang on a minute,’ said Shaun, who reached over to the sound desk and turned his amp up to 11. Then proceeded to perform a perfect cover of Gary Moore’s “The Prophet.”

In walked Dwight who crept over behind the organ and came out with his drum kit, Paul made his way over to the Johnson Pipe Organ and fired it up, Hannah and Tilly took to the Nave before the Altar, and now they were all ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door,’ ‘All Along The Watch Tower.’ Out of the woodwork, first came Robert The Book Boffin, followed by Annetté, Diana, Ann, Chris, Anne, Lorenzo, The B of The Bang, Mike, Mary, Pauline, Sue, Jude, Francesca, Fabricius, even Rob Baker, David Barton, Aldhelm and William of Malmesbury, were all now singing along, such an unearthly sound was now emanating from the Abbey, that it was drawing in people from all over the town. Rock God Shaun was now leaning over backwards and being caught by his Prince Fans, when in walks Roger ‘The Bishop’ from Salisbury, and pulls out Shaun’s jack plug, “Where’s my TARDIS,” he demands to know. The whole crowd answers with, ‘You hum it, we’ll play it,’ and with that, Shaun reconnects his Gibson L9-S Ripper to his huge stack of Marshall amps – and the whole town blasts their way into Heaven.


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“Any resemblance between the characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle.”

24 October, 2017
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License