Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 19
town that also beget such noted players as Robert Fripp and Andy
Summers. He came to international notice in King Crimson, contributing bass and vocals on In the Court of the Crimson King and
vocals only on In the Wake of Poseidon. He had never before played
bass in a band.
Lake departed King Crimson in 1970 to co-found ELP, a prog-rock
"supergroup" that performed at the Isle of Wight festival that August
then released its debut album three months later. The band was noted
for interpreting classical works on rock instruments, often adding
lyrics; the definitive example was a live rendition of Mussorgsky's
Pictures at an Exhibition, released as the band's third album in late
'71 (a studio version wasn't proffered until '93 as part of the boxed set
Return of the Manticore).
Following the dissolution of ELP, Lake recorded solo albums that
included guitarist Gary Moore as part of his band. In '83, he substituted
for Asia bassist John Wetton during a performance by the supergroup
at Tokyo's Budokon arena. Though asked, he declined to join the band.
"That was all there was to it," Lake said of the concert. "We discussed
the possibility of making an album, but they wanted to go in a pop
direction, which I couldn't do."
The decades that followed saw reunions of ELP members, but not
all three at the same time until the '90s, when they recorded tracks
for the Manticore box, two studio albums, and additional live albums.
A 1997 recording at the more-intimate Montreux Jazz Festival was
released in 2015.
The latter days of Lake's career also involved live albums. The
retrospective Songs of A Lifetime, released in 2013, included onstage
recollections of certain songs. In an interview with Vintage Guitar at
that time, he discussed having recorded it while also working on his
"Every so often, a song would crop up that was pivotal in the development of my career," he remembered. "When I collected them,
I realized what they represented was the journey the audience and I
have shared over these past 40 years."
The album included tributes to the Beatles and Elvis Presley, along
with a re-working of the Impressions' "People Get Ready."
Another live retrospective, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake - Live From
Manticore Hall, appeared in '14.
Lake used numerous basses and guitars throughout his career,
including Fender Jazz models, a Gibson Ripper, a Steinberger, a Tune,
a Spector, and a Gibson J-200. He also enjoyed custom-made instruments by Alembic (including an eight-string heard on ELP's version
of "Peter Gunn" from 1977's In Concert) and a Zemaitis doubleneck
guitar/bass. - Willie G. Moseley
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