|(L-R) Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer|
Greg Lake has offered a personal tribute to his former Emerson, Lake & Palmer bandmate Keith Emerson, who died at his home in Santa Monica from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on March 10.
“To all ELP friends and fans all over the world, I would like to express my deep sadness upon hearing this tragic news,” said Lake in a released statement. “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.”
The band shared the news via their social media sites on Friday, writing, “We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected.”
Emerson, Lake and former Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster drummer Carl Palmer formed ELP in London in 1970.
Always a big draw in their homeland, ELP’s first seven albums reached the UK Top 10, with 1971’s “Tarkus” hitting No. 1 and 1972’s “Trilogy” and 1973’s “Brain Salad Surgery” peaking at No. 2.
The trio scored a No. 2 UK hit in 1977 with their version of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man.”
ELP disbanded in 1979, regrouped in 1991 and shut things down for a second time in 1998. They played a one-off reunion show at London’s High Voltage festival in 2010 to commemorate the band's 40th anniversary.
ELP keyboardist Keith Emerson dead at 71