When I heard that Greg Lake
had passed away earlier this week, I was just as upset, maybe even a bit more,
than when Keith Emerson passed. I like lyrics, I like singers, and I loved
Greg’s songs, all of them. Don’t misunderstand me, Emerson was an amazing
keyboard player, I love Carl Palmer’s drumming, but the words were always
foremost for me.
back, my friends, to the show that never ends.” An invitation to what? A good
time, a wild time, a fun time, or something darker? That’s the wonderful mystery.
I still haven’t solved it for myself, but I wonder every time I hear the song.
what a lucky man he was.” Greg wrote this when he was twelve. He was that sharp
and pointed even then. When this song was first released, it was naturally
taken as anti-war – Vietnam, that is. When I heard it, I thought it was about
WWII, but in interviews I read later, he said it was a Medieval fantasy. That's
the beauty of this song, that it can mean different things for different
people, yet the message remains the same.When I saw Greg play this song live acoustic in 2010, while his voice
was deeper than when he was young. That was the only change. He still sounded
great. And, of course, Keith’s marvelous Moog solo, still a favorite of mine.
day a little sadder, a little madder, someone get me a ladder.” I think
everyone feels like this at times. But for all of those times, there are also
those like Hoedown, happy ones.
are so many others, and everyone will have their own. But I’ll conclude with “I
Believe In Father Christmas” and "21st Century
former has always been one my favorite Xmas songs, especially as its message is
that Xmas shouldn’t be commercialized, something I agree with.
latter is, of course, King Crimson, and another favorite of mine, especially
since it is the 21st Century.
live Greg, ELP, his solo projects, and his songs. I am so glad I got to see him
and Keith on their duo tour. I met him after the show, too. He was a real
sweetheart who put me at ease. People were taking pictures of us, and Greg
clamped his huge arm around my shoulders, said “relax,” and didn’t let go until
everyone had their shot. And that one bit of kindness was I think what Greg was
all about. That, and, of course, his music.