March 11, 2016

Keith Emerson, a class act, bows out.

Rate this item
(714 votes)
Emerson with his "Monster Moog" synthesizer, May 15, 2010 in Atlantic City, NJ. Emerson with his "Monster Moog" synthesizer, May 15, 2010 in Atlantic City, NJ.

There was very little doubt among his peers that Keith Emerson was one of the very best on the keyboards in all of Rock history. He was classically trained and he mixed in his love the classics as well as Jazz in all his style of Rock music.

The first of his bands to make headway in England was a group called The Nice. They were one of, if not the first of all the Rock bands to mix Classical, Jazz and Rock. Keith was very much influenced by an album that was very popular called SWITCHED-ON BACK. That led him to experiment with the electric Moog synthesizer. Along with his powerful Organ and piano, he created a sound that had never been heard before in Rock. Perhaps the sound was too unique because The Nice only had limited success here in the US.

Once The Nice disbanded, Keith teamed up with two other outstanding and well established musicians to form Emerson. Lake & Palmer. It was quite a musical marriage. Greg Lake came from one of the most progressive groups of all time King Crimson. Carl Palmer played with two very theatrical bands, Atomic Rooster and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The combination made for an outstanding live show with a sound that went right through every part of your body.

The big debut for this new “super group” was at the Isle of Wright Concert. I was scheduled to interview the band at the huge English Concert, but was unable to do so. Details on why and how this happened are told in my book “Confessions of a Teenage Disc Jockey”.

My first real opportunity to talk to Keith and the rest of the group came after they had soared to great success. Keith was a real gentleman. I thought I was dining with an English nobleman. He knew so much about wines and what went with them that I was completely lost by his conversation. If you didn’t know better, you would never guess in a million years that Keith Emerson was a Rock star.

Photo Credit: Keith Emerson performs on his Hammond and Moog synthesizer during the Emerson & Lake Tour 2010. This was taken at their final show in Atlantic City, NJ, USA on May 15, 2010 by Mari Kawaguchi licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Leave a comment