Thursday, December 08, 2016

The End Of The Beginning

Early this year, Keith Emerson died.  Now Greg Lake has died.  I don't mean to sound flippant, but is Carl Palmer getting a little nervous?

When I was a kid, learning guitar, Lake was definitely one of those artists who set the standard we all aspired to.  And he still remains an inspiration.


Anonymous Lawrence King said...

This is so sad! And very sudden.

From the mid-1990s onward, it was quite common for ELP (or Emerson or Lake) to plan a tour and then cancel it for health reasons. I saw ELP in 1998 on their final tour (not counting a one-off reunion show in London in 2010).

Emerson and Lake later went on a two-person small-venue tour which combined electic and acoustic music with answering questions from the audience. I waited in line for many hours for the show in early 2010 but it was cancelled when Lake got a cold. It was rescheduled and I finally saw the duo in May 2010.

Fortunately, after years of press derision, ELP was the subject of an excellent book that gave their intricate music the attention it deserved: an 860 page tome (check out my review of it on the Amazon page).

2:19 PM, December 08, 2016  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Growing up I had a lot of friends who were into prog rock. I can't tell you how many times I heard ELP's early albums (everything up to Brain Salad Surgery). I've been listening to those albums today. It's interesting when you know something so well, then don't hear it for a long time, then hear it again. It sounds fresh, though you still know every note that's coming.

I just listened to Love Beach. It's not that bad.

5:35 PM, December 08, 2016  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Side 2 of Love Beach is a long piece that Macan does a good job of analyzing. He points out that while (unlike side one) Emerson is still drawing on classical influences, his primary influence is now Aaron Copeland. The result is a nice piece, but there is almost no dissonance in it. ELP's earlier stuff, when Emerson was influenced by Ginastera and Bartok, had a lot of dissonance in it.

(The terminology is weird. Outside of the world of "fine" music, the term "classical" refers to everything from Bach to John Williams. In the world of academic discourse, however, "classical" refers just to one period of this long musical saga; by that definition, Bartok, Ginastera, and Copeland are not "classical" at all.)

In 1998, Emerson's right wrist was still recovering from carpal tunnel surgery, so their show was limited to about 90 minutes. (They toured along with Deep Purple.) But that led to an unexpected dividend: they played the entire Tarkus suite, which they hadn't done in decades, because the fastest bits in it are played with the left-hand. Listen to the first couple minutes and you'll see what I mean.... unless you already listened today!

6:23 PM, December 08, 2016  

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