Emerson Lake & Palmer co-founder Greg Lake dies at 69

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Emerson Lake & Palmer back in the day.

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer died on Wednesday (Dec. 7) after what the band described on its Facebook page as a “long and stubborn battle with cancer.” The singer-bassist-guitarist was 69.

Lake, who was lead singer on the first two King Crimson albums, formed ELP in 1970 with keyboardist Keith Emerson and drummer Carl Palmer and created some of the most popular prog rock of the era.

The band released nine studio albums between 1970 and 1994 and brushed the charts with “Lucky Man” and “From the Beginning.”

Lake also joined Asia for a year – in 1983 – replacing John Wetton (who, as the revolving door of rock sometimes swung, had replaced Lake in King Crimson).

This is the second ELP loss this year. In March, keyboardist Emerson died after battling depression and a degenerative nerve issue.

Palmer said in a statement of Lake, “Greg’s soaring voice and skill as a musician will be remembered by all who knew his music and recordings he made with ELP and King Crimson.  I have fond memories of those great years we had in the 1970s and many memorable shows we performed together. Having lost Keith this year as well, has made this particularly hard for all of us.  As Greg sang at the end of ‘Pictures at an Exhibition,’ “death is life.” His music can now live forever in the hearts of all who loved him.”

The ELP trio last played together in 2010 at the London High Voltage music festival.

Remember Lake with “Fanfare for the Common Man”:


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