Music News 12.8.16

Remembering Greg Lake

Prog-rock pioneer Greg Lake died on Tuesday after a “long and stubborn battle with cancer” at the age of 69. Lake was the original frontman and bassist for King Crimson, playing with the group for just two years before becoming one third of the prog-rock supergroup Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. Born is Poole, Dorset, England in 1947, Greg Lake picked up the guitar at 12, but switched his primary instrument to bass in the mid-sixties after his childhood friend Robert Fripp asked him to play bass for a new group he was forming: King Crimson. Together, the pair worked to create the 1969 prog-rock prototypical album In the Court of King Crimson, a process that forged the unique approach to bass playing that Lake would take with him to Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, and nurture it from there. After taking a backseat on King Crimson’s second album, Lake left the group entirely to join forces with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer, forming what would become the legendary Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The group sold 48 million records between 1970 and 1979, but the group became best known for their elaborate stage shows, at one point, toting 140 on the road with 11 tractor trailers. After splitting-up in 1979, the group sporadically reunited several times in the following decades, with their last performance in 2010 marking the group’s 40th anniversary. In 1975, Greg Lake achieved solo chart success with his now-classic song “I Believe in Father Christmas.” Following the simultaneous dissolutions of ELP and Yes, Lake replaced co-Crimson alumnus John Wetton in the group Asia, joining forces with former Yes members Steve Howe and Geoff Downes, and fellow ELP member Carl Palmer. In the last decade of his life, Greg Lake focused on his solo career, performing with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and touring a career-spanning, one-man show called Songs of a Lifetime. In 2012, Lake published his autobiography Lucky Man. (Pitchfork)


-Taylor Wallace

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