It’s with heavy hearts that we’re looking back on the career of Keith Emerson from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, following his passing from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on March 10. Arguably, one of the first visionary keyboardists to make the move from traditional keyboards into the realm of synthesizers. Striking off with Greg Lake from previous groups The Nice and King Crimson, they set off on a journey to transform Rock as they knew it.
We all remember the excess, but people tend to forget the intricate pop craftsmanship of their favorite ELP records. Few people will ever find the ghost in the machine quite like Keith did. Our playlist above is a good starting point though to figure out why.
To all ELP friends and fans all over the world, I would like to express my deep sadness upon hearing this tragic news. As you know, Keith and I spent many of the best years of our lives together and to witness his life coming to an end in the way that it has is painful, both to myself and to all who knew him.
As sad and tragic as Keith’s death is, I would not want this to be the lasting memory people take away with them. What I will always remember about Keith Emerson was his remarkable talent as a musician and composer and his gift and passion to entertain. Music was his life and, despite some of the difficulties he encountered, I am sure that the music he created will live on forever.
My deepest condolences go to Keith’s family.
May he now be at peace.
- Greg Lake: March 12, 2016
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson.
Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz.
I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft.
I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together. Rest in peace, Keith.
- Carl Palmer: March 11, 2016