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Greg Lake (Lead Singer of ELP) Interview

by Steve DellaSala November 29, 2012
Greg Lake Father XMAS

Greg Lake Father XMAS

One of the most legendary voices of Progressive Music and a master at writing and singing emotional ballads, Greg Lake is continuing his “Songs of a Lifetime” tour in 2013 and is about to release a book about his life in music.  One cannot deny his influence during the 70s with bands that included King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.  In fact, it was a shared concert at famed Bill Graham’s San Francisco based Fillmore between King Crimson and The Nice where Emerson and Lake met for the first time.  That show led to a later follow up meeting where the two discussed forming what would later become one of the best Progressive Rock Bands of all time.

Weaving through a few reformations of ELP, including Emerson, Lake and Powell in the mid-80s (While Palmer was committed to Asia) Greg Lake has a vast array of amazing songs both as a band member and a solo-artist.  Famed EL-Powell song, “Touch and Go” even made its mark during a 1985 ABC Monday Night Football introduction.  Emerson, Lake and Palmer had one more go at it during the 2010 London based “High Voltage Festival.”  In what was likely the last time they would ever play together, the show was thankfully captured on video.  That concert proved that even 40-year’s later the band still had the ability to stun an audience with their amazing talent and music.  Yet, four decades later, ELP, King Crimson and other amazing 70s Prog-Music Bands continue to be shunned by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  We asked Mr. Lake how he felt about this during our exclusive Audioholics one-on-one interview with the father of Progressive Music.

 

AH:  Can you update us on your latest work on new music and the pending book?

GL:  No new music.  I'm touring right now.  I've got a show called “Songs of a Lifetime.”  That's really consuming all of my time, that's what I'm doing right now and so, that's really the focus for this moment.  The book is finished.  I was going to release it during the last part of this year but now we've decided to put it out early next year to coincide with another USA tour.


AH:  In an interview, I believe you said your career was winding down.

GL:  No I didn’t.  I never said it’s “winding down.”  I'm coming towards the end of my career.  It will stop.  But it will never wind down in the sense of getting less and less.  It’ll never do that.  I perform at 100%; you know.  That's the way that I am.  So, I don't want to give anyone the impression that; you know.  All of a sudden I'm working at 20%; you know.  That's really not me. 


AH:  I didn't mean it that way, so I’m sorry.  The question I was going to ask was, what more do you hope to accomplish musically?

GL: I've got no real ambitions; in that sense.  I've done a lot in music, I've achieved a lot in music, and I never have any sort of burning ambitions other than, I enjoy it.  I enjoy writing and playing music.  I love to play with other people.  And so for me, it's not work or its not; you know, achievements in that sense.  I really do-do it for the love of it.


AH:  Of course, there are a lot of us that hope there will be another ELP reunion.

GH:  I don't think there will be; you know.  To be honest with you, I would do it; you know?  But I don't think Keith and Carl are interested in doing it.  And; you know?  As much as I'd love to be able to say to all the ELP fans, "Ya; look forward to a new record."  I honestly don't believe it's going to happen.  I would have liked to have seen the band tour as well.  I've got this sort of belief; when somebody is good enough to buy an album that you've made, you owe them a performance, really.  I look upon it as a sort of a check that you make out from the band.  The check is not the actual money.  It's a sort of promise to pay. And I think the records like that.  A recording is not an actual performance.  It is a kind of promise of a performance.  I've always felt a kind of duty to perform, really.  And apart from that, I enjoy it; I really enjoy performing.  It's one of the highlights of my life.  It's really what got me into the music industry.  The recordings came later; you know.


Lake Songs of a Life TimeAH:  You heard many personal questions and stories from fans during your Songs of a Lifetime tour.  Were they written down and are you planning to do another book with some of those stories based on fans perspectives?

GH:  Well, we did record every show.  The main thing I learned was the power of sharing.  To have grown up in an era when music was shared is a wonderful thing; you know.  I mean when I grew up in music, you used to go buy an album and you'd go and you'd sit around with your friends and you'd listen to the record; and you would pass the album sleeve around.  And, you would share the record, you'd share the beauty of it and you'd sort of chat about what you think about the artists and the songs and whatever.  And that was the age of shared music.  Then one day, along came the Sony Walkman; you know?  But music then changed from a shared experience to a solitary experience.  There's a great deal of difference between those two things.  When music was shared you had all these wonderful events, these festivals, these great gatherings of people who shared in that sense of belonging to a certain.......obviously not to one form of music, but generally, everyone was a part of that feeling that was taking place then.  That musical back drop; that tapestry of creativity.  And that was a great age to belong to and that is what I really got from this tour from the audience.  Was, just how wonderful it was to be part of that sharing.


AH:  I do miss the old days of listening to albums with my friends, and you're right.  It doesn't happen that often anymore.

GL:  No, it doesn't.  It's funny you know.  You may run around and see your friends; you might have it (music) on in the background or something.  When I was young, if I would go buy a Jimmy Hendrix album, I'd take it home and that would be the point of getting together, would be listening to that record; you know?  Or a Joni Mitchel record.  That would be the whole point of calling your mates over.  "Hey, come over.  I've got this new record;" you know?  That was a tremendously effervescent time I think, to be young and to be into music.


AH:  There are many who believe you are one of the most influential pioneers of Progressive Music.  Yet, much of your solo work revolves around love and relationship themes in addition to taking on somewhat of a pop sound.  What motivates you to write music like this?

GL:  I believe music really passes between one soul and another.  It's a language.  It's a language of emotion.  The whole idea, really, of Progressive Music was. (Pause).....I don't like the term "Progressive Music" because it sounds a bit pseudointellectual.  Which, really it is not; you know. All Progressive Music is; is music that uses European influences rather than American influences.  You know; that's the main hallmark of Progressive Music.  As far as being one of the people who pioneered it, I supposed in a way I was, but; you know.  It really started before me.  Probably the originators were the Beatles (same band that Jon Anderson gave credit).  They looked in places other than America.  Most Rock in Roll up until then of course, was blues motivated or soul motivated.  You know; American music motivated.  And I think all of a sudden there was this urge to try and be original and to look for something original.  And therefore, one would have to look in a different place.  And that different place, really, was European and to some extent it was India.  I mean, George (Harrison) went to India and pulled in a lot of Indian influences into Progressive Music; modern music.  And therefore, you got all the modal things. So, it is essentially, music from a different influence.  It is Rock and Roll actually from a different influence than American music.  That's all it is really. 

As a song writer, I just love great songs.  I'm a ballad singer really, and a guitar player.  I love playing acoustic guitar so writing those sorts of songs just came naturally.  It's one of those things that came naturally to me.  And, in fact, it was one of those things that as a very young guitar player, I learned to do.   As part of my guitar growing up; my guitar education.  I used to play songs from song books.  It's one of the things I knew how to do.


AH:  Why didn’t you form a sustaining new Prog or Rock themed band in between the break-ups and regroupings of Emerson, Lake and Palmer as opposed to doing solo work?

GL:  I did have various bands at various times.  The band with Gary Moore I had for some while. But, you know, the thing about a band is....You're over in a band, which is, I suppose, where everyone is equal, and you all share in that responsibility and share in the earnings.  Or you hire musicians; you see?   And hiring musicians permanently is very expensive.  I mean if you look at anyone, take anyone; Eric Clapton, Sting.  None of these people have permanent bands.  It's simply is very, very expensive to keep a band on a payroll indefinitely.  I don't know if I really wanted to be in a permanent new band anymore.  I mean, I had years, a decade of it, and I think I really didn't want to be in that sort of band again for a while.


Gibson j200AH:  You have been playing a Gibson J200 a very long time, in fact, almost all your career.  What continues to draw you to that guitar especially knowing you can have any non-commercial custom acoustic guitar you want?

GL:  The J200 is a great guitar for a singer; you know.  It's big, voluptuous, the sound is powerful.  But yet, at the same time you can play very delicate things on a Gibson J200.  So it's a dynamic guitar.  It's a dynamic guitar.  It goes all the way from soft and gentle, to powerful, choppy powerful chords.  That's the reason Pete Townsend uses it, or Jimmy Page uses it.  It's a very versatile guitar.  I love the look of them; you know?  They really look the part.  They're deep rooted in Country music; you know.  They've got this wonderful lineage.  They've been made since the early 1950s, and they have sustained.  They are one of those wonderful guitars that have sustained, rather than the Les Paul or Stratocaster, they have not had to change because they were right in the first place.


AH:  What is the newest J200 you have played and do you find the same quality as what they were when you started using them?

GL:  They are good.  They do a different range of guitars, but the best of them are as good as they ever made; you know; possibly better.  It's a funny thing about guitars; I mean, any guitar player will tell you; if you play guitar yourself, you'll know.  Every single guitar is different.  Sometimes when I'm in Gibson at the factory, I'd pick up a cheap one, and I just love it.  There's no... you can't say why, it just speaks to you for some reason.  The other day I took a John Lennon; one of their John Lennon, I can't remember the serial number of it, but it was the John Lennon one.  But it was absolutely lovely to play.  It reminded me of those old Beatles tracks; you know.  Just tremendous sound.  So, the thing is about guitars speaking to you.  You know, I think Martin guitars for example are more of a picker’s guitar.  If you pick a lot then a Martin probably would suite you better.  If you're a strummer, then a J200 is the thing that you want really, I think.


AH:  What other musical equipment and software do you use for live and studio work? (Pedals, amps, mics, laptop software…..)

GL:  Well, interesting.  Um.......Hmmmm.  I use a Fender Jazz Bass; you know.  At the end of the day, I think it's hard to beat.  As far as other gear goes.  I'm a bit of a gear snot really.  I bounce around.  I've got tons of gear; you know.  It's all got something; hasn't it?  You know, every pedal you get, you plug in; "oh, that's lovely."  And then that thing gets put away, and then another one comes, and; "oh, that's lovely."  I very much like, right now, I like Koch Amps, a Dutch amplifier.  Really lovely equipment.  Beautiful sweet sounds from the amplifier.  Another thing I've got into recently, the one that actually endorses me a lot, I went to their factory and they’re quite extraordinary; is Bose.  You know the Company that makes all the theater equipment.  They are an extraordinary Company.  They're really, really quite off the wall in a lot of ways.  But the quality is sensational.


AH:  Are you talking specifically about their PA system?

GL:  Yup.  I have right now on loan.  One of their small gig systems, and I use it at the show for a dynamic shift in the sound section.  I've got one PA for the stage, and I've got one PA for the audience.  And there's this dynamic sound shift which I really love.  But the quality of it is actually superb.  So, I do like their equipment.  And, of course like anyone else, I could talk to you about Eventide, I love the quality of their effects equipment.  Focusrite, the Red (Scarlett) Series.  Lovely stuff.  I mean all of those things any recording engineer or producer knows about.  These are all lovely, lovely things; you know.


AH:  Outside of music, what other hobbies and interests do you have?

GL:  I collect books.  I collect first edition books actually.  I'm not the reader, strangely enough.  But I do collect these books because they fascinate me; you know.  It's a long story, but I was on the road once, and I was sitting in my hotel room, I was just bored.  And I opened the mini-bar and I'm getting out a glass of vodka and tonic; you know.  And a friend came into the room.  He was a Swiss cyclist; and he said to me.  "Gregory (with an accent), why don't you do something better with your time then sitting in the hotel room looking at the mini-bar?"  So, I can't remember where we were....It was probably somewhere like Des Moines, Iowa; you know.  And I said, "Well what can you do in Des Moines, Iowa?"  And he said, "Well, you can collect something."  So I said, "What the hell can you collect in Des Moines, Iowa?"  So he said, "Look, why don't you try collecting coins, as a hobby; just something to do?"  So, for a while, I collected coins and it was quite a good thing, because; you know.....Coins are all about history really.  And so, you know.  I'm more fondly interested in history.  It isn't the coin; it's the history behind it.  Which led me ultimately to books.  Because, books.....It isn't the piece of cardboard and the paper; you know.  It is the history behind the book; you know.  For example, I've got a book which is, "The Origin of the Species," Charles Darwin.  Right?  I mean, incredible; you know.  The realization that it's all about evolution.  That religion; you know.  The idea that we were all created in one big flash by God; you know...Wasn't the case.  We evolved from microscopic little swamp worms into the people we are today.  That's an incredible book because of its historical importance of the awareness it brought to people; that previously had no explanation of how the human race came about.  So, that's an interesting book.  I've got another book which is, "Mutiny on the Bounty" signed by Captain Bligh.  I mean, again, there's a wonderful history about it.  I've got a couple from the private library of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.  Now all of these things, it's not the book so much as the history behind them that I become interested in....and so, the book is just the real token really of the fact that it then and then enables me to go and study the history behind them.  So I am somewhat of a layman historian.  I couldn't rattle the dates of them.....Well; I probably could rap the dates off.  But, that's it really.  It's a source of entertainment for me.


AH:  I'm sure people like getting to know you more outside of music, so I'm glad you spent so much time elaborating.

GL:  You know something.....When you go to a book show, and you walk down the rows that are there, they're all different genres.  Some people are collecting voyages; some people are collecting crime books.  I actually met one guy one day who collected books on conning people.  Would you believe conning people?  There are actually books written on how to con people, and he collected them.  And that was insane; you know.  So it's fascinating.  And; you know....That's why I do it.


AH:  What do you target?  What is your genre of book?

GL:  I'm a man without portfolio really.  I get things that catch my eye, or that catch my interest. Then, that's what I get into for a while.  I got into Marie Antoinette, the books of Marie Antoinette’s library when I lived in Paris and I used to visit the Palace of Versailles.  I just learned about it; I learned about the French Royal family.  So, that's how I got into those books; you know.  Book collecting is a strange thing because it involves you in many different worlds.


ELP Pirates from Works Vol 1

 

AH:  Pirates, in my mind, is one of the most tremendous songs ever recorded by ELP and probably even from that period.  Yet it happened at a time where you guys seemed to have been disconnected and working independently.  So, how did you create this masterpiece and what was the central story and theme behind it based on?

GL:  Ha-ha.  OK.  Pirate was written high up a mountain in Switzerland.  Above the clouds and right up where the snow line is.  I had a chalet there, for a time, and Pete and I, Pete Sinfield and I....What we did is.....Well, it started with Keith had written a piece of music.  And I said to Keith, "When you wrote it, what did you have in mind?"  And he said, "Well, I saw this film, 'The Dogs of War' and I wrote this with a view to it being about Mercenaries."  And I said, "Look Keith, you know, with the best one in the world, I don't think a song about Mercenaries is going to work."  I find the whole concept of Mercenaries distasteful.  Hiring people to kill people; you know.  It's not a good thing to write about.  So, but I said, "Look, give me the music and I'll have a think about it."  So, I'm listening to the music, and I can hear in the music; it suggests the sea to me.  If you listen to that music and you just imagine it, you will hear the ocean and waves, and it sounds like the sea.  And then I thought, "Mercenaries.......sea........Pirates."  Right?  Because, they were kind of sea going Mercenaries.  But the difference with Pirates, of course, is the certain amount of romanticism about them.  You know, they were swash-buckling, almost sexy characters; you know.  In a way; some of them.  At least that's the perception.  So I said to Pete Sinfield, "I've got this idea.  How about writing this thing about Pirates?"  So, he could immediately see that it was a good idea.  So what we did is we bought every book we could possibly find on the subject of Piracy, and every video that was available.  And we sat on this mountain and we just absorbed ourselves every day; all day in this language.  And so you get lines like, "The Captain rose from a silk divan with a pistol in his fist.  He shot the lock from an iron box and a blood red ruby Kist.  I give you jewelry of turquoise, a crucifix of solid gold.  One hundred thousand silver pieces.  It is just as I foretold." 


AH:  I must admit.  Having Mr. Lake poetically speak these words to me gave me chills and made my hair stand up.  It was the absolute highlight of all the interviews I have done thus far.

GL:  I mean, these are words out of the......, almost out of the Pirate manual; you know.  It is the language of Piracy.  And, so we studied it hard is the answer.  And in the end, we wrote this story about a Captain.  A Pirate Captain who tried to raise a crew; you know.  Because, it wasn't always easy to get men to sign on to what could be sudden death; you know.  Often they would have to be criminals who were on the run, or people like this.  But in the end, we wrote this thing, and we started recording it in Switzerland.  But, the Orchestra there were....., it's a long story, but I fell out with them.  And so, we moved to Paris and we recorded it in Paris.  And, it just so happened that opposite the studio was Pâté' Marconi Studio, the EMI Studio in Paris.  Opposite there was the Paris Opera House and coincidentally, Leonard Bernstein was conducting in there at the time.  So, my friend (Pete) happened to know Leonard and he said; you know, "I'd love for him to come listen to this Pirates piece to see what he thinks."  And, um, Keith had also written a piano concerto that he was very keen for Leonard Bernstein to hear.  So, I said, "Ya, great.  If he's got a moment, get him to come across.  It'd be lovely, I'd love to play it to him."  So, after an hour or two, across came Lenny.  He was very sort of colorful character; you know.  Very colorful man.  He came in and I was sat at the desk, just recorded a few things.   I said, "Hello Mr. Bernstein, come in, sit down."  And so he sat down by me on the desk and he said, "I hear you've got some music to play me."  I said, "Ya, we've done this thing called Pirates and I just think you might like to hear it."  And he said, "Ya, go ahead and play it."  And, I pressed the play button, and he put his head in his hands and from beginning to end, he didn't move; you know.  And the piece ended, and now there's this moment of silence....... when you just don't know what's coming.  Because Lenny wasn't backward in coming forward.  If he didn't like something, you would be told; Ya know.  And he looked at me, and he said, "The singing's not bad.”……………..And that's all he said.  And I'm sure he didn't realize that I was the singer.  And he comment,......”Singing's not bad."  And then Keith said, "Oh; you know, I've got this piano concerto to play."  So he (Keith) played this piano concerto.  And when it finished, Leonard looked at Keith and said, "Do you know what it reminds me of?  And Keith sort of opened his eyes, waited for the result.  "It reminds me of Grandma Moses."  We didn't know who she was at the time.  I believe she's some folk artists, isn't she?  I'm not honestly sure; ya, "It reminds me of Grandma Moses."   And that was really it; you know.  And we said, "Look, thank you very much for coming over," and that was the end of it really.  And, that was Pirates.  We finished mixing it back then, and that was it.  It's a strange piece because I've always felt it was unfinished.  It doesn't feel complete to me.  And, I think if we'd of have had more time or more patience, maybe we would have gone on and written another movement for it.  But, I agree with you; it is a lovely piece.  And, it is strange; it's on an album that I consider to be the beginning of the end, really.  That was the beginning of the end of ELP.  All the albums that preceded that had this unique sound and concept.  They each had the Hallmark of ELP.  They sounded like ELP.  In Works Volume 1 it was the Orchestra; you know.  ELP were drawn.  ELP had become the composers really.  So, I do like the album (Works Volume 1); I loved it.  There are a lot of tracks on that record (Works Volume 1) that I do like.  I like, "Closer to Believing."  "C’est La Vie" I like.  I mean, there's a lot of good things about the record.  The only thing that's not good about it is; it spelled the end; really, of ELP. 


AH:  There's a lot of articles you read can read, or stories that were told and such, that mentioned that a lot of the reason why ELP broke up had to do with the Orchestra and the financial burden it put on the band. 

GL:  Actually, that wasn't it because the orchestra came later.


AH:  It caused a lot of stress on the band but I want to tell you.  Touring with the orchestra was probably one of the most tremendous things you guys have done in your career and for your fans.  It's just very unfortunate that there aren't any really good recordings of it. 

GL:  Well, you know, ya, look.....I mean.  This is the thing about a band.  There are high moments and there are low moments and there are great recordings and there are less great recordings; you know.  And that's a career.  I think when I look at it all.  When I look at the whole gather of ELP; the whole thing of it.  I think I've got much more to be proud of and happy about than I have to be sad about or regretful about.  I think we achieved a great deal; you know.  Ya, I think we went up some wrong paths, especially towards the end; you know.  But there you go.  It doesn't take away from the fact that Emerson Lake and Palmer; Tarkus, Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery, Pictures at an Exhibition and Works Volume 1, I think where all really, really outstanding records.  And during the making of them, we played some fabulous concerts and we played every.....This is why I said to you at the beginning, I was insistent at saying; you know; my career wasn’t going to dwindle out; because; you know.  One of the hallmarks that I've always had, and always been associated with is; I do nothing by halves; you know.  I put 110% into everything I do because I believe I owe it to the audience.  I believe; you know; that's what they come to hear.  That's what they come to expect.  And it's my job as an artist to live up to that expectation.  And, so far I honestly believe I've kept that. 

 

King CrimsonAH:  You have in my book.  Do you see the messaging behind Brain Salad Surgery - Karn Evil 9 and Court of the Crimson King - 21st Century Schizoid Man as still being relevant today and do you have a follow up message to tell us from those themes?

GL:  I think there is a relevance.  If we talk about Schizoid Man for a second.  Kanye West, the rap artists, included Schizoid Man in his rap track called “Power.”  You only have to listen to Schizoid Man to see that it is relevant today.  It does have a context; it does feel that as if it was written today.  It was very forward looking I think.  It's a warning really.  It's a warning that 21st century man; you know.  Could become a very unpleasant thing if we're not careful.  We have to think about where we are going; you know.  That is why I like Barak Obama.  He's trying to put some good back in the world and God bless him for it; you know.  And, that's what I think.  So, I think there is a relevance in a sense that you listen to the words, that it's not the way you want the world to go.  So, in that sense that deals with Schizoid Man.

And you know; "Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends," was a kind of; that wasn't so metaphorical.  It wasn't so loaded with meaning.  It wasn't so loaded with subtext.  What it was really was a surreal journey on this kind of imaginary fair ground.  Where things would walk past you; you know.  And it was kind of a picture of that. We weren't trying really, to be specific.  The only thing that we really got....It started to become more specific when we started talking about computers.  "Unload your program.  I am yourself."  I think were the words.  And it got a bit professing the future at that point but it was more or less, something of a surreal fantasy.


ELP ReunionAH:  How upsetting was it to have your set cut short (during what was likely the last ELP reunion) during the High Voltage festival by a mediocre band before you that went over their time limit prior?  Especially knowing that you had a film crew out there and everything.

GL:  You know.  To be honest.  In those sort of situations, the artists doesn't have a lot of control; you know.  You're in the back in your Caravan or in your Winnebago, and you sit there, and you're told when to go on.  And you walk up there and you go on.  You know, it wasn't an easy show to play as you rightly point out.  We had a lot of technical......Our crew wasn't good.  And, you know, the show was very tough from a technical stand point.  But, this is one of the great things about ELP; you know.  It rose to the occasion.  It just blistered through all that and played.  And of course; you know.  When ELP is really playing well, there's pretty much no need to worry; you know.  It just played through all the drama and we got over it and it was great.  It was really great.  And I wish, only wish we could have kept the tour going and taken it around the world.  Because, you know I think a lot of people would love to have seen that.  That was the disappointment to me.  Not the event itself, or nothing about the event itself. But, what really upset me was that doing all that work to bring the band together and then; you know, Keith and Carl not being prepared to go around and play the show to everyone else.  That I thought was very silly.

 

AH:  Will you be making a surprise appearance on Cruise to the Edge?

GL:  No!

AH:  Hey, I tried (everyone laughing).  Carl Palmer is going to be there, I wanted to try.

GL: That didn't take long to answer, did it?  NO! (He shouted and laughed).......NO!! (Even louder this time).  They tried to put me on it but I didn't want to be involved in all that.   You know, I very much like Chris Squire; you know, we're friends.  And I like...There are a lot of the boys on that tour that I like.  Of course, Carl.  But, I'm trying to be myself.  I don't want to be bound up in sort of some movement.  As you rightly pointed out.  Look, I'm very grateful to Progressive, to the whole Prog-Rock thing.  But I don't want it to become a prison; you know.  I'm bigger than that.  And to be honest, before I was into Prog-Rock, I was actually playing all kinds of music.  Including Blues, Gospel; a lot of things.  And you know, in a way, I'd like to get back to some of that.  I'd like to open my career out again to be a bit broader, so that I wasn't just in that Prog-Rock band; you know.  I mean I'll never be able to escape it, and nor will I want to, but I do want to broaden out again and perhaps enjoy some of the music that I was kept apart from during those Prog-Rock years.


AH:  Hmm.  Interesting.  So maybe we'll hear a Blues Album out of you in the future.  Do you think ELP and other iconic Progressive Bands will ever be accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

GL:  I don't know but they should do it, because otherwise, it becomes a national thing really.  I mean; how can you really deny the part that Progressive Music played in the development of the whole Rock scene?  It was influential.  It did have a part to play in the development of Rock Music in the latter part of the 20th Century.  To ignore it is really; well, you make your own mind up, but I think it's slightly divisive.  It's trying to ignore something which was a genuine part of the history and I think that is being parochial.  


AH:  Do you know of any newer Progressive Bands that you think might be carrying the torch today.

GL:  I do know there are some.  I can't recite names for you because I just don't follow the stuff.  But, I do know there are good bands who really do identify with trying to keep music moving forward.   And I think it's so vitally important because; you know.  If it stops.....I mean you could have 100 years without any real new music.  If people don't do it, it won't get done.  Believe it or not, certain forms of art do go through these long, baron periods where nothing happens; you know.  People just get into the same old stuff and blah, blah, blah.  So, you know.  I applaud these bands for getting out and really trying to keep the flame going because, it's not easy for them in this climate with digital downloads being so easy to copy and; you know, copyrights itself becoming almost worthless.  It is a very tricky time.  So, although I can't list any names per se, I do hear good bands doing good things quite often.  So, I’m sure there are people out there doing the right thing and I certainly applaud them.


AH:  Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview.  It has been a privilege that I'll never forget.  And, listen.  The next time you tour in the US, don't forget to come to Orlando.

GL:  Well, you make sure you tell the promoters down there, because I really love playing there. 

 

Given the fact that the Christmas season is upon is, it's relevant to share what we feel is one of the most beautiful modern Christmas songs written and performed by no other than Greg Lake.  Enjoy!

Father Christmas performed by Greg Lake and Ian Anderson

 

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