Friday, April 19, 2024

RIP: Keith Emerson, Keyboardist Extraordinaire of Emerson Lake & Palmer, 71


Emerson, Lake & Palmer are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They weren’t a singles act. But they were an amazingly influential rock group and a staple of FM radio through the 70s. Now news today that keyboardist Keith Emerson has died at age 71.

Emerson didn’t sing on the albums but he wrote, and one of his pieces– “Karn Evil 9,” stands in rock history for its opening lines “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.” It’s a 30 minute marvel that bled from side one to side two of Brain Salad Surgery.

ELP was famous for its grand orchestrations and bombast. They were in the mode of Yes, I guess, and are refreshingly original listened to now. Like Yes, and Traffic, and some other groups circa 1970 their albums sound better than ever today especially on a real high end stereo system. ELP’s other great hits included “Still You Turn Me,” “Lucky Man,” and “From the Beginning.” They knew more about music than any ten acts combined from today.

RIP Keith Emerson.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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