Michael Rex Giles (born 1 March 1942) is an English drummer, best known as a co-founder of King Crimson in 1969. Prior to the formation of King Crimson, he also co-founded the short-lived Giles, Giles and Fripp with his brother, Peter, and Robert Fripp the previous year.

Michael Giles
Birth nameMichael Rex Giles
Born (1942-03-01) 1 March 1942 (age 77)
Waterlooville, Hampshire
GenresJazz fusion, progressive rock
InstrumentsDrums, percussion
Years active1967–2011
Associated actsKing Crimson, Giles, Giles and Fripp, Leo Sayer, 21st Century Schizoid Band, Michael Giles MAD BAND

Life and careerEdit

Giles was born in Waterlooville, Hampshire. His technique is complex and polyrhythmic, owing heavily to the jazz tradition, but grounding it in an aggressive rock context. Giles orchestrated much of the compositional structure of the first Crimson album In the Court of the Crimson King,[1] and his ability to weave challenging yet seamless tempo changes and subtle melodic deviations into a piece is not only evident in the compositions, but also in his highly elaborate and skilled drumming.

Giles left King Crimson in December 1969, though he played as a session musician on the band's second album, In The Wake of Poseidon. He joined Ian McDonald to record an album called McDonald and Giles, which was much lighter in style than King Crimson, but just as challenging musically. Giles then worked as a session musician for the duration of the 1970s, working with many popular artists including Leo Sayer, Steve Winwood, and Yvonne Elliman. A solo album, Progress, was recorded at his home studio in 1978, but was not released until 2003. He continues to work as a session musician; most recently he contributed to Ian McDonald's 1999 solo album Driver's Eyes.

In 2002, he co-founded the 21st Century Schizoid Band, a group composed mostly of former King Crimson members but that also included his son-in-law Jakko Jakszyk (later to join King Crimson). However, after one tour, he tired of live work and passed the drum stool over to Ian Wallace, another former Crimson drummer, who died in February 2007.

In late 2008, a new venture was announced, Michael Giles' MAD Band, with Ad Chivers and Dan Pennie.[1] A release and live shows were planned for 2009.

He is often cited by Rush drummer Neil Peart as an influence.

Selected discographyEdit

Giles, Giles and FrippEdit

King CrimsonEdit

McDonald & GilesEdit

Luther GrosvenorEdit

  • 1971 Under open skies

Murray HeadEdit

  • 1972 Nigel Lived

Jackson HeightsEdit

  • 1972 The Fifth Avenue Bus
  • 1972 Ragamuffins Fool
  • 1973 Bump n' Grind

Leo SayerEdit

Kevin AyersEdit

John G. PerryEdit

  • 1976 Sunset Wading
  • 1995 Seabird

Anthony PhillipsEdit

Ian McDonaldEdit

  • 1999 Driver's Eyes

21st Century Schizoid BandEdit


Movie scoreEdit

The Michael Giles MAD BandEdit

  • 2009 The Adventures Of The Michael Giles MAD BAND
  • 2011 In The Moment (with guest Keith Tippett)


  1. ^ "Interview with Michael Giles by Aymeric Leroy – ETWiki". Elephant-talk.com. Retrieved 15 October 2011.