Greg Lake, Emerson, Lake & Palmer Co-Founder, Dead at 69
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:47:17
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Videos
Greg Lake, singer/bassist with King Crimson and co-founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer - musical innovators who contributed to the popular rise of Prog Rock into the mainstream - has died, aged 69.
His manager said that Lake had recently had "a long and stubborn battle with cancer"; the news comes just nine months after the death of his bandmate, Keith Emerson.
"It is with great sadness that I must now say goodbye to my friend and fellow bandmate, Greg Lake," Carl Palmer wrote in a statement. "Greg's soaring voice and skill as a musician will be remembered by all who knew his music and recordings he made with ELP and King Crimson. I have fond memories of those great years we had in the 1970s and many memorable shows we performed together. Having lost Keith this year as well has made this particularly hard for all of us. As Greg sang at the end of Pictures at an Exhibition, 'death is life.' His music can now live forever in the hearts of all who loved him."
Lake famously held a belief that a connection with a musical audience was more important than material success. "It's more important to make some spiritual human contact, or visit someone lonely… We never had any commercial or financial intentions, but of course, now everyone wants to know how it feels to receive all the lovely royalties, which are apparently delivered by wheelbarrow by Santa himself, after a long day climbing down everybody's chimneys."
In 1975, at the peak of the band’s success, Lake released a solo single, "I Believe in Father Christmas," which reached Number Two in the U.K. charting behind Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody."
After Emerson, Lake and Palmer disbanded in 1979, Lake launched a solo career. In 1981 he released self-titled LP, which featured performances by E-Street Band Saxophonist Clarence Clemons, drummer Jeff Porcaro, and legendary guitarists Gary Moore and Steve Lukather.
In the mid-eighties Emerson and Lake regrouped, introducing drummer Cozy Powell in place of Palmer, who was then playing with fellow prog-rockers Asia. Their only album, Emerson, Lake and Powell, proved to be very successful and reached Number 23 in the U.S. Eventually Palmer returned, reuniting the original trio which continued through much of the Nineties, with a reunion in 2010. Lake teamed up with Geoff Downes and released a final album, Ride the Tiger, in 2015.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff