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Interview: GREG LAKE

Rock Stars...

From "In The Court Of King Crimson" to "Lucky Man", "Pictures at an Exhibition" and beyond, the music of GREG LAKE has thrilled audiences around the world.

Audiences will soon experience the vicious-romanticism of Greg Lake's music as Autumn 2005 sees one of the most long-awaited events of modern times as Greg Lake, founding member and the voice of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer takes to the UK stage for the first time in more than a decade.

As rehearsals for the tour commenced, Lake also announced the signing of a deal with music DVD label Classic Pictures, based at Shepperton Film Studios, UK.

The band moved in their entire tour production set to the Classic T Stage and used the location as base for rehearsals.

What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio, etc.)

I have recently returned from Germany where I performed a concert in Weimar at the Franz List Music University there. Apart from doing a couple of lectures about adapting and performing classical works I also performed a piece of Franz List, (Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Songs). This was a 15 minute piece of music which I intend to record early the coming year. I am currently in pre production rehearsals for a forthcoming tour beginning in the UK.

You’ve a UK tour coming up covering all your musical past. How have you decided on the set list and how did the touring band get together?

I have decided on an initial set list, however the band of musicians that I have assembled are very fluid and talented and I predict things will almost certainly change as the tour progresses along. The current set list is detailed in the Classic Pictures press release. The band is formed of people I knew from previous projects and who I respected for their extraordinary ability.

There will be a DVD of the tour out early in 2006. For the footage shot at Shepperton studios how did this go? What treats can fans expect on the DVD?

There will be two separate releases the first is entitled, “Welcome Back Stage” which features excerpts from the pre production rehearsals and an insight into the band and the motivations behind this new project. The second, as (yet untitled) is a live concert DVD and will be released early in the coming year.

Will ELP ever do any more live shows and have the band ever considered becoming solely a studio based project so at least new material can be created/released?

Obviously one can never say never and I would certainly not wish to do so. However I doubt very much whether ELP would ever reform as a creative force. It was certainly great when it happened and I am proud of all that it has accomplished over the years. I would be prepared to perform with the band again especially if it were in connection with a worthy cause.

What have been the most memorable gigs and why?

Far too many to even begin listing them. I suppose if I had to pick one it would be the Isle of Wight with Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix the Who etc but there are so many it really is hard to say.

How did 'I Believe in Father Christmas' come about? Did you set out to write a Christmas tune and did you think it would still be a Christmas classic all these years later?

I Believe in Father Christmas was not written as a Christmas single. It was originally intended only to be an album cut and a quite serious commentary about how the whole spirit Christmas has somehow fallen from being a time of peace on earth and goodwill to all men, into little more than one huge selling opportunity. Of course I am thrilled that it has now become a Christmas classic, even more so because the lyric itself does serve to remind people of what Christmas is actually supposed to be about.

Of all the music you've been associated with and produced so far which song(s) are you most proud of and why? Any you wish you'd never seen released?

Again there are so many records which contain fond memories and music and songs of which I have to say I am quite proud. There are a couple of tracks which in retrospect on which I now wish I had pushed the red button, however I’m sure this is true of any artist career that has spanned the number of years that mine has. I do not believe however that I have ever made a bad record and I have certainly never made a record to which I didn’t give my complete commitment.

Where do you get your song writing ideas from and who musically is an influence on you?

Everywhere, anywhere, anyway, all ways, some way, the easy way, the hard way, no way, my way, your way, it’s hard to say. As far as artists go, the list goes on forever. My earliest influences were Little Richard, Elvis, and Hank Marvin. Later on my influences became more European, mainly classical.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Very Funny!

Message to your fans...

We have known each other for many years and I very much look forward to seeing you all on the tour.


Interview © 2005 Jason Ritchie

Artist website


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