Greg Lake, Legendary Pioneering Prog Rocker, dead at 69
Just as his original solo classic, “I Believe in Father Christmas’ is being added to radio stations all over the world for the holidays comes this sad news.
His manager, Stewart Young, said: “Yesterday, 7 December, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief.”
He was part of Progressive Rock royalty. Lake was a founding member of two huge bands in that genre. First King Crimson. Robert Fripp picked Lake to sing and play bass for the band even though up until that point he usually only played six string. Lake was on their first two albums, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ in 1969 and 1970’s ‘In the Wake of Poseidon.’ Everything changed when Lake and King Crimson toured with The Nice which featured another musical genius – keyboardist Keith Emerson who we lost this year as well on March 11th 2016. He was 71. The two soon discovered how much they had in common and that, in 1970, lead to the formation of Emerson Lake and Palmer with drummer Carl Palmer who is now the only surviving member of the band.
ELP were the quintessential Progressive, symphonic, art rock group and they had huge success. From their self titled debut in 1970 prog fans were pleasantly surprised at their ability to reinventing classical pieces. The very first song on that debut album, the Bartok inspired “The Barbarian” named after his “Allegro Barbaro” was such a brilliant piece. Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone magazine talked about another classic album ‘Brain Salad Surgery, “The real meat of this platter, is the “Karn Evil 9. It’s another tour-de-force where EL&P pull out all the sonic stops, this time around the themes of a tripart epic battle between man and his surroundings.” Lake called his tune “Lucky Man” a medieval fantasy. It was a song he started writing when he was only 12 after his mom bought him a guitar.
When Emerson died we did a poll with the participation a huge fans on Facebook and came up with the Top 10 ELP songs of all time. We will have a link to it at the end of this video
In 1975 Lakes “I Believe in Father Christmas’ reached No 2 on the charts.. It was really a anti-commercial tune about the exploitation of the holiday season.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer broke up in 1979. He formed a new ELP in the mid 80’s – Emerson, Lake and Powell, with Cozy Powell replacing Palmer. The original ELP got back together on and off since 1991.
The band Yes tweeted Very sad to hear of the passing of our friend legendary Greg Lake
Our thoughts & condolences are with Regina & Natasha & all the family -YES
Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett said, “Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake.”
For Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman added, “Another sad loss with the passing of Greg Lake….You left some great music with us my friend & so like Keith , you will live on. – by John Beaudin
LINK TO TOP 10 ELP SONGS OF ALL TIME https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwgZy3_iGcc&t=96s