Greg Lake, left, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer that the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer in London on Sept. 30, 1972.

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English absent musician Greg Lake, who aided pioneer the expansive genre of progressive rock in the late 1960s and ‘70s together a starting member of both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, has actually died.

The singer, bassist and songwriter to be 69, and also had battled “a long and stubborn fight with cancer,” his manager, Stewart Young, stated in a statement.

For the record:

7:40 p.m. Dec. 8, 2016

A previous version of this post said the Greg Lake and also Keith Emerson were presented to Carl Palmer after ~ Emerson had left King Crimson. It was Lake that left King Crimson.

Lake was finest known because that his keening tenor vocals on together ELP signature ’70s hits together “Lucky Man,” “From the Beginning” and also his solo vacation perennial “I think in father Christmas.”

His was the voice the the tape that, along with Yes, helped create the prog-rock wing of pop music that consisted of Rush, Genesis, gentle Giant and others that carried dazzling music dexterity and also dance floor-defying tune structures into the popular music mainstream.

“We have a lot of to say thanks to him for,” drummer Carl Palmer, 69, told The time on Thursday. “If friend look at the music landscape of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, he wrote many of the song that got played top top American radio.”

Lake’s fatality — coming simply nine month after Emerson passed away in march at period 71 in what was identified to be a self-destruction — leaves Palmer together the trio’s lone surviving member.

“I had actually known for around a year the it to be pretty bad, yet I didn’t realize it to be as bad as the turned out to it is in — it had actually been maintained a an enig from me,” Palmer added.

“What he lugged was a uniqueness the the music company didn’t have actually at that time,” the said. “We weren’t an out-and-out absent band, and we no play the blues. He to be a choir-boy sort of singer, a very angelic sounding voice.”

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, that drafted Lake because that the 2001 version of his All-Starr Band, tweeted ~ above Thursday “God Bless Greg Lake. Peace and also love to every his family.”

Lake and also keyboardist Emerson first played together at a present in California, at mountain Francisco’s Fillmore West auditorium.

Their respective bands — Lake in King Crimson, and also Emerson in The nice — to be both top top the bill, and also the two musicians very first jammed with each other there, sparking a participation that would proceed for decades.

Of King Crimson, i beg your pardon Lake created in 1967 with childhood friend and also budding experimental guitarist Robert Fripp, Lake said: “One day us were playing to 50 people, the following day come 500, and the day after come 3,000. The general public reaction spread favor wildfire.”

Part that the appeal come U.K. Music pan was that they to be hearing something an ext homegrown than they’d to be accustomed to from various other English bands who were enamored of American blues, R&B and also early rock, such together the Beatles, the rojo Stones and also the Animals.

“People were used to bands playing American music,” Lake said. “All that a sudden there was united state — symphonic, tough, tight and impactful.”

After the initial jam conference in san Francisco, Lake left King Crimson and also latched ~ above Emerson, and they were then introduced by English absent impresario Robert Stigwood to Palmer, who had been a member of atomic Rooster.

As a trio they carried instrumental capability in rock music to new highs — Emerson leaning on his classical training as a pianist, Palmer including a rhythmic complexity that owed lot to jazz greats such as Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, while Lake anchored the rhythm section with freewheeling abandon that expanded on the inventive use of the base by such precursors as Motown’s James Jamerson and also fellow Brits Paul McCartney and also the Who’s john Entwistle.

They released your debut album, “Emerson, Lake & Palmer,” in 1971 and immediately discovered their means into the optimal 20 the the Billboard 200 albums chart, jumping right into the top 10 with its successor, “Tarkus,” later the same year.

The trio’s 1972 album “Pictures in ~ an Exhibition,” an translate of Russian composer usually Mussorgsky’s best-known work, likewise reached the optimal 10, and six months later ELP’s 4th album in just two years, “Trilogy,” reached No. 5 ~ above the U.S. Charts.

Following more hit albums, consisting of “Brain Salad Surgery” in 1973 and also the live album “Welcome back, mine friends, come the display that never ends — Ladies and Gentlemen” that reached No. 4 in 1974 — the group’s greatest charting album —Emerson, Lake and Palmer walk on a two-year hiatus indigenous 1977 to 1979, yet upon the return the birds of pop music had shifted away from prog rock.


Keith Emerson, left, Greg Lake and also Carl Palmer in mountain Diego in 1992.
(Robert Durell / Los Angeles time )
ELP, Yes and also other prog-rock teams helped prompt the development of punk absent in the mid- and also late 1970s as a new generation of music fans rebelled versus the grandiosity that the prog-rock movement.

“To tell girlfriend the truth, the hit us quite hard,” Palmer said. “Our first album was a hit, so we didn’t really have to push hard to acquire our music across at the start. Us knew what the was favor to work tough creatively. Yet suddenly there to be this movement versus what we did.”

ELP reverted in the ’80s as Emerson, Lake & Powell, with drummer warm Powell acquisition over for Palmer, who had actually moved top top to various other musical interests however rejoined his former band mates in the early on ’90s and also continued come play shows until they disbanded in 1998.

The critical reunion the the original lineup came in 2010 for a prog-rock festival in London.

Greg Lake to be born Nov. 10, 1947, in Bournemouth, England. His father to be an engineer and also his mother a housewife. Lake has explained his family as poor, speak they resided in an “asbestos prefab” house.

He and also Fripp common the exact same guitar teacher.

“We practiced guitar together, so when we come to kind King Crimson we each knew what the various other knew, us were like a winter image,” the said. “But due to the fact that King Crimson didn’t need two guitarists, i took over playing the bass.”

He got to a career crossroad while working his job job and playing music at night.

“I was working as a draftsman because that a for sure in Dorchester, but because I was likewise performing in the evenings with a absent group, I preserved falling asleep end my desk,” that told a London interviewer in 2006. “When they put it like that, there was really only one choice.”

In addition to his work with King Crimson and also ELP, Lake approve a couple of solo albums and also periodically rejoined with Emerson and also Palmer.

Still, ELP has not make it right into the Rock and also Roll room of Fame, one omission cited year in and year out by legions of progressive-rock fans.

Yes is on the present slate of nominees for induction in 2017 and is running third, behind Journey and also Electric irradiate Orchestra — two bands who music contains aspects of prog-rock — but not Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Both Rush and Genesis have actually been inducted.

“There is a usual thread throughout all the music,” Lake created on his main website. “The develops may it is in different, however each one come some level draws upon inspiration from the past. I am together proud to have actually been as affected by human being like Elvis and tiny Richard together I to be by composers like Copland and Prokofiev, and also I’m honored when other musician regard me as one of their inspirations.”

He had recently finished composing his autobiography, title “Lucky Man” and also scheduled for publication next year, according to a spokesman.

Lake is endured by his wife, Regina, and their daughter, Natasha.


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2:59 p.m.: The write-up was updated v a staff-written obituary.

This post was originally published at 7:40 a.m.

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