Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Keith Emerson Nov. 2, 1944 - March 10, 2016 His Keyboards Were Focal Point of Elp's Sound

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Keith Emerson Nov. 2, 1944 - March 10, 2016 His Keyboards Were Focal Point of Elp's Sound

Article excerpt

Rock bands with a keyboard player as the focal point are often at a disadvantage, at least visually, but that was never a problem with Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Keith Emerson was a whirlwind and a virtuoso at his bank of keyboards with Moog synthesizer. He died Thursday at 71 of a gunshot wound to the head, according to police in Santa Monica, Calif., reported Billboard. His death is being investigated as a suicide.

The British musician made his first noise with The Nice in 1967, before joining forces in 1970 with Greg Lake of King Crimson and powerful drummer Carl Palmer to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer, one of the pioneering groups of the British progressive rock scene.

ELP debuted in 1970 with "Emerson, Lake and Palmer," most remembered for the Lake guitar ballad "Lucky Man," which came with a striking Emerson Moog solo.

The band made its Pittsburgh debut on April 27, 1971, opening for Procol Harum at the Stanley Theater, and after releasing a second album, "Tarkus," that summer, returned for its first show at the Civic Arena, on a bill with the J. Geils Band. Mr. Emerson didn't just play the organ, he jumped on it, shook it and stabbed the keys with knives.

An August 1974 show at the arena gave fans a taste of "Brain Salad Surgery," which featured the three-part sci-fi epic "Karn Evil 9," with its call of "Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends, come inside, come inside."

The 1977 tour, originally planned for Three Rivers Stadium but moved to the Civic Arena, featured orchestral backup and was timed to the release of "Works, Vol. 1," which led with Mr. Emerson's 18- minute "Piano Concerto, No. 1."

ELP split in 1979, and the next time Pittsburghers saw them, at the Syria Mosque in 1986, Palmer was out and they were Emerson, Lake and Powell, with Rainbow and Jeff Beck drummer Cozy Powell. …

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