Photo by Linda Heath © Linda Heath
-Interviewed July 22nd 2014
By Ray Shasho
is an accomplished pianist, keyboardist, and master of the moog synthesizer, who contributed a unique styling of futuristic and intricate musical arrangements covering elements of classical, jazz, and progressive rock, with such notable bands as and legendary progressive rock trio
-Interviewed July 22nd 2014
By Ray Shasho
Their debut album
received rave reviews. At the end of 1967 they were included in a tour with
Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Move, and Amen Corner. “Lemmy” Kilmister
(Hawkwind, Motӧrhead) became a roadie for In
1969, the band performed at the ‘Isle of Wight Festival’ to an estimated
audience of 150,000 people.
ELP’s electrifying performance at the Isle of Wight Festival delivered the band into superstardom.
In 1973, ELP released
featured another Greg Lake acoustical classic, and featuring
their most noted opening lyric … Supposedly the title for ‘Brain
Salad Surgery’ came from the lyric from Dr.
John’s Top 10 Hit (“Right Place Wrong Time).The album was also their first
under the Manticore Records imprint.
In 1974, ELP was top billing for
. The concert featured Rare Earth, Earth
Wind and Fire, Eagles, Seals and Crofts, Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath,
Deep Purple and . The most
memorable highlight of the concert was performing
on his Grand Piano while The
concert attracted over 250,000 music fans and was broadcasted on the ABC
released in 1977.
Emerson Lake & Palmer disbanded in 1979 but reformed in 1985 with ex-Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell. In 1991, ELP rejoined forces once again issuing the comeback album,
began touring again in 1996.
After more than a decade,
embarked on a North
American tour in 2010. ELP celebrated their 40th anniversary by
Victoria Park in London.
Emerson will also be honored for a
The tribute will be
held at The Madison Theatre at Malloy College -Rockville Centre, Long Island,
New York on . You can
purchase tickets or
got to for more
also busier than ever. The Band’s lineup is … (Keyboards), (guitars and vocals), (Bass), and (drums).
I had the rare privilege of chatting with
about … The brand new Keith Emerson & Greg Lake –‘Live From Manticore
Hall’CD …The legend of the spinning piano… A longtime friendship with Dr.
Robert Moog …ELP ….Future projects … Carl Palmer…
Here’s my interview with pianist/ keyboardist/ moog synthesizer extraordinaire - composer/songwriter & legendary founding member of ‘The Nice’ and ‘Emerson Lake & Palmer’ …
“When I spoke to Greg about doing a duo tour he wanted it bigger, let’s take around on the tour our own setup and build a recording studio onstage so it looks like you’re in an actual recording studio. You can see the engineer behind the mixing desk, and when we’re ready to do a song, our engineer in this case Keith Wechsler, who has been with us for a very long time, he would issue all the instructions and then the red light would go on, record, and then we would do the concert. We did have a record label called Manticore so the idea was to recreate a fantasia of what Manticore Hall would actually look like, and of course it was an expensive trip, whenever ELP or E & L get together it does turn out to be that way, it does get very expensive in production.”
“Greg and I had a rehearsal period in Santa Monica and then our first gig was in Cleveland which got off to a rocky start. Greg’s rig was still being adjusted and I had no time to tune the moog up and do my soundcheck which was frustrating to say the least. There’s no doubt that the concert would have been a shambles so we postponed it till later. But these things happen; the sad thing was that Greg put up on his Facebook that I had stage fright. I mean he couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m sometimes prone to apprehension but not to a degree of stage fright. I don’t know why he had to say that. The reason for the first night being poor was as I said, and if you were to ask any of the road crew they would say exactly the same thing. So you can’t make these sorts of things up. But I’m really pleased to say, after we overcame the first two gigs, and it was unusual, if you’re going onstage with like a larger unit, say four or five people, there are ways if you’re apprehensive about the show, you lookout and cover for each other and that’s the great thing about large bands. But when there are just two of you everything is quite focused and the magnifying glass comes out, you can’t get away with too much.”
“In the middle of the show we had a question and answer thing with the audience which went down really well, and there was one night when we had a lady from the audience put a hand up and a guy in the audience went up to her with a microphone and she said, “You know one of my wishes has always been to sit under the piano while Keith Emerson is playing. So Greg called her up onstage and this young lady lay under the piano while I played solo. (All laughing)”
“I got to North Carolina and went around the moog plants and I walked into this room and I’ve got to tell you… there were two huge identical moog modular systems side by side and I had to say to the people who were showing me around…wow, which one is mine? (All laughing) I really didn’t know until I felt the scuff marks on the side of the casing. I said how does it play? They said exactly like yours … I said bloody hell!”
“I think we actually used it for the first time at Madison Square Garden, it was a Christmas concert. I think people in the audience were so astounded they couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing. Later on that coming year the California Jam came up and I said we have to do that there. Bob drove the whole contraption down to the California Jam and there was very little space to set it up. There were loads of bands up on that stage, all having to do their set and then getting their equipment off. Now, with the moog, the Hammonds, Carl’s gongs and everything, it was hard enough to just get that off stage. We had the spinning piano and everything that went along with it and we tried to find a place to situate it. It ended up going just at the end of the stage, so when the piano went up it was literally over the heads of the audience. After that every TV show I did came the question … Keith, how do you spin around on that piano? I’d say what about my music? (All laughing) When I had the honor of meeting the great jazz pianist Dave Brubeck just before he died, he said, Keith you’ve got to tell me how do you spin around on that piano? Dave Brubeck was 90 years old then and I said Dave, don’t try it! (All laughing)”
“When I did the ‘High Voltage Festival’ with ELP in 2010 I really wanted to reintroduce the spinning piano. Immediately the authorities wanted to see the plans and said outright no way, this would never pass health and safety. So I couldn’t use it.”
“I’ll be at Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York October 10th &11th. They’re doing a 70th birthday tribute concert for me presented by the South Shore Symphony Orchestra.”
Purchase the amazing new CD By Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, two of the founding members of progressive rock legends Emerson Lake & Palmer, recently released their highly anticipated CD 'Live From Manticore Hall' – Officially released July 14, 2014 on Manticore Records, via Cherry Red. The duo's forthcoming live album captures their unique two-man versions of a selection of well known material from ELP’s celebrated catalog, including the hit “Lucky Man”. These recordings were taken from a live show during their 2010 world tour and released now for the very first time! -Purchase now at
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