Emerson, Lake and Palmer singer Greg Lake has died. Lake was a multi-instrumentalist who was one of the founding fathers of progressive rock music. Lake, who was a founding member of both Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson, finally lost a long battle with cancer. Greg is the second member of Emerson, Lake and Palmer to pass away this year. Bandmate Keith Emerson committed suicide earlier this year, both join a very long list of music luminaries who have died in 2016.
Very sad to hear of the passing of our friend legendary Greg Lake— yesofficial (@yesofficial) December 8, 2016
Our thoughts & condolences are with Regina & Natasha & all the family -YES pic.twitter.com/HFXegYolCe
Lake’s friend and manager, Stewart Young, announced Greg’s passing in a post on Lake’s Facebook page, which said that he had fought a “long and stubborn battle with cancer.”
“Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief.”
Young’s Facebook post has attracted hundreds of tributes to Greg Lake as fans left messages to lament his passing. One Emerson, Lake and Palmer fan summed up the feelings of many with her tribute to Lake.
“Heartbroken at this news. His music was part of the soundtrack of my life in my teens and twenties. To many musicians of my generation have been called home this year. Must be some kick ass jam sessions happening in the afterlife. R.I.P Greg, thanks for the gift of your music.”
Another fan reflected on Lake’s famous 1975 Christmas song “I Believe In Father Christmas” saying that it was her “favorite ever holiday song.” Ironically the Daily Mirror report that Greg recently gave an interview that is due to be released just before this year’s Christmas holiday.
In that interview Lake revealed that the song was meant to describe his disgust at the commercialization of Christmas.
“When Pete Sinfield and I wrote I Believe In Father Christmas it was about how Christmas had deteriorated and was in danger of becoming yet another victim of crass corporate financial exploitation.”
“We never had any commercial or financial intentions, but of course now everyone wants to know how it feels to receive all the lovely royalties, which are apparently delivered by wheelbarrow by Santa himself, after a long day climbing down everybody’s chimneys.”
Carl Palmer, the last surviving member of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, took to Facebook to lament his friend’s passing.
“It is with great sadness that I must now say goodbye to my friend and fellow bandmate, Greg Lake.”
“Greg’s soaring voice and skill as a musician will be remembered by all who knew his music and recordings 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.”
So, How Did Keith Emerson Die?
According to the Daily Mail, Keith Emerson died back in March 2016. Emerson shot himself, apparently because he was worried about his ability to play his keyboards during a planned tour. Emerson had sustained nerve damage to his hands and he was “tormented” because it had affected his ability to play. The Los Angeles coroner confirmed that Emerson shot himself. Health conditions affecting his live performances had “made him depressed, nervous and anxious.”
Greg Lake and Keith Emerson join David Bowie and Prince in a very long list of musicians who have passed away this year.
[Featured Image by Robb Cohen/Invision/AP Images]