Do you remember the trashy cymbal sound from King Crimson’s “One More Red Nightmare”? By now, it has become a legend among fellow proggers, with its fast and eruptive decay. But the story of how that sound is actually achieved might be more interesting than you expect.
Below is Bill Bruford himself recounting how he found this broken cymbal… literally from trash:
“The cymbal was featured on ‘One More Red Nightmare’ from King Crimson’s ‘Red’ album, and has quietly become a legend. I found it in the rehearsal room trash can, deposited there by the group in the room before us. It was turned up on one side in an effort to get it to fit in the bin, like an Australian bush hat; it had definitely seen better days. It was a ‘foreign made’ Zilco Standard cymbal imported into the UK by Arbiter Co. Ltd., and, before you ask, I have no idea what happened to Zilco. Anyway, it’s maltreatment had bequeathed it this fabulous trashy sound with a very short, fast decay. It looked so sad; I took pity on it and we fell in love. I used it for about a year or so before it split, and the end came swiftly after that. I sent the CD to Paiste Cymbals in Switzerland, with a view to them creating something similar, but heard no more.”