ELP frontman on his desire to reunite with King Crimson and getting sampled by Kanye West
By ANDY GREENE
March 5, 2013 1:00 PM ET
As a co-founder of King Crimson, Greg Lake is without a doubt one of the inventors of progressive rock. His voice powers classics like “In the Court of the Crimson King” and “21st Century Schizoid Man” (recently sampled by Kanye West on “Power”), and as the frontman of the Seventies prog supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer he wrote, sang and produced hits including “Lucky Man” and “From the Beginning.”
Despite these accomplishments, Lake has never gotten much critical acclaim. His key role in the development of King Crimson is often overlooked, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer are perhaps the least respected of the progressive rock giants – and that’s really saying something. Many of the original punk bands pointed to them as the main reason their revolution had to happen, mocking everything from their stage outfits to their massive light shows to their very name.
Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer don’t get along very well these days, and they’ve only managed a single concert in the past decade. Lake tours on his own, performing the one-man show Songs of a Lifetime. It features music from his days in King Crimson, ELP and his solo career. In a unique twist, he invites fans onstage to share their memories of the songs. He also has an autobiography coming out called Lucky Man.
We spoke to Greg Lake about the early days of King Crimson, the fall of ELP, his desire to reunite with both acts, getting sampled by Kanye West, and why he feels that punk isn’t real music.