The Rabbi at the Majestic: Advice on Living and Speaking
I quote Robert Fripp, my brother and founding and
on-going member of the band King Crimson.
My brother Robert Fripp worked in a hotel dance band while going to
college. It may interest you to know that he took the job over from Andy
Summer, later of the popular band The Police, when Andy went to London. This
is the story he tells about what he learned from a Rabbi.
"In 1966-68, when I was 18-21, I paid my way through Bournemouth
College, where I was studying economics, economic history, and political
history with a special paper on social conditions 1850-1900, by playing
at the Majestic Hotel in Bournemouth. The Majestic was a well-known
Jewish hotel, run by Fay Schneider.
The Majestic Dance Orchestra (a quintet) played 3 nights a week during
the winter and 4 nights in the summer, accompanying visiting cabaret
acts on Sundays. In addition to foxtrots, quicksteps, tangos, Jolsons
fast and slow, from time to time we also played for weddings and Bar
At one particular Bar Mitzvah, the Chief Rabbi addressed the
congregation, and the directness of his advice and delivery continues
resonating to this day. The Chief Rabbi spoke very little English, so he
got to the point quickly. He rose and spoke: "When you go into your
shop, say Hello God! and you will have good business." The Chief Rabbi
might have said…
"May we open ourselves to the Unconditioned world, that our wishing for
what is real and true and moves from conscience, hope and faith,
acceptance and love, moves into and permeates a world governed by
fashion, advertising, taste, habit, inventions, prices of near
substitutes, expectations of trends and changes in price, changes in the
distribution of income and the quantity and quality of the money supply,
that our professional lives might be mediated by the imperatives of
necessity and sufficiency."
But he didn't say this: firstly, because his English wasn't very good;
and, secondly, because he wasn't taking a course in economics at
What the Chief Rabbi did do was to convey a complex and difficult notion
– the impossibility of an endless and benevolent Grace entering our
ungrateful and uncaring world – in 15 words: 12 words of one syllable, 3
words of 2 syllables, and one word of three syllables but pronounced as
if having two (business):
"When you go into your shop, say Hello God! and you will have good
Perhaps you agree that coming to hear my brother at our three Fripp and
Fripp events in November would be a good investment in your time?
May be a good investment in your time.
TIMES AND LOCATIONS… for Fripp and Fripp
“From Beginner to Mastery and How to be a Hero For More Than One Day” Robert Fripp speaks in Redmond, WA on the Microsoft Campus Saturday morning, November 8; At the Sheraton Four Points near LAX Sunday afternoon, November 9; At the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix, Tuesday evening November 11, 2008.