Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald  (born 25 June 1946) is an English multi-instrumental musician, best known as a founding member of progressive rock group King Crimson, formed in 1969, and of the hard rock band Foreigner in 1976.  He is well known as a rock session musician, predominantly as a saxophonist.  He also plays keyboards, flute, vibraphone, and guitar.  (More from Wikipedia)
King Crimson’s woodwind man, Ian McDonald eventually co-founded Foreigner, a highly successful though completely different band.  For decades, I confused McDonald with about the only other prominent woodwind player in rock and rollJethro Tull front man and flautist Ian Anderson
(October 2012)
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After releasing their album, The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp in 1968Giles, Giles and Fripp added Ian McDonald – who played saxophone, clarinet and flute – and vocalist Judy Dyble, the original lead singer of the legendary British folk-rock band Fairport Convention.  After Peter Giles left the band, Michael GilesIan McDonald and Robert Fripp formed the original line-up of King Crimson with vocalist Greg Lake and lyricist Peter Sinfield.  Peter Giles later returned as a bass guitarist on the band’s second album in 1970In the Wake of Poseidon; though both of the Giles Brothers left the fold by the time of King Crimsons third album, Lizard


In 1971, two ex-members of King Crimson – Ian McDonald and Michael Giles – along with Peter Giles released an album under the name McDonald and Giles; I actually saw a copy of the album cover last year in a local junque store called Garage Sale.  Even though the disc itself was missing, I bought the cover anyway (that’s how much of a collector I am!).  The entire album is actually available on YouTube, so maybe I don’t need the disc anymore? 


Along with fellow King Crimson alumnus, Ian McDonald plus Jakko Jakszyk (who had previously played with Level 42, Tom RobinsonRobert Fripp and Dave Stewart, among others), the Giles Brothers formed a band in 2002 called 21st Century Schizoid Band, which was named after the King Crimson song, 21st Century Schizoid Man (the opening track on In the Court of the Crimson King).  Though not exactly a tribute band – since they were the original musicians on much of the music – 21st Century Schizoid Band mainly played music from the first four King Crimson albums.  They disbanded within a few years. 


(March 2013)


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The only song on YouTube from the Giles Brothers CD that I own is “Nobody Knows the Game”; it is a 1967 song recorded by the Brain www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy508iQuqLI .  However, there are several songs by Giles, Giles and Fripp and others taken from the McDonald and Giles album – that’s Ian McDonald and Michael Giles, who are both ex-members of King Crimson. 


(March 2015)


Last edited: March 22, 2021