What a year it’s turning out to be.
I’m not going to catalogue all the musicians who have already passed away but it does seem like the Grim Reaper has suddenly turned his attention to the music industry with a certain vigour.
Recently we have bade farewell to so many musical greats. Only this week, the fifth Beatle, George Martin joined this illustrious group – I had the pleasure some years ago of lunching at his home in Oxfordshire with his charming wife. I recall that the corridor was stacked with gold disks, too many than wall space allowed. What a charming pair they were and how inferior I felt in their presence.
As an adolescent, having been sent to a Cathedral choir school from the age of seven, I had a very eclectic and rather over developed musical taste. Much contemporary music was just too shallow for my palate until I came across Emerson Lake and Palmer.
Here I was, as a fifteen year old musician, listening to music that enthralled me and yet I couldn’t fully understand the chord progressions! I had no way of being capable of playing the tracks by ear, something I was able to do with most music of that time!
Fast forward to 1987 and I had the delight of meeting one Keith Emerson of ELP and having lunch with him. Here was a real musical legend and I was sitting opposite him. He was a real gentleman, relaxed and such a pleasant guy. I was in charge of a music store in central London, Keith would come in to town on his motorbike and want to discuss how to control the filters of a Roland sampler from the Yamaha KX88. A quick call to our hexadecimal bods in the R&D section, and we’d have an answer.
Some years later, I remember selling Keith a KORG M1 synth for his son. Everyone wanted the distinctive sound of the M1!
I have often said that if challenged to take one album to a desert island, I would take the strangely entitled Brain Salad Surgery from ELP.
I really can’t handle the thought that Keith has passed. He was only seventy one.
Benny was a bouncer from the Palais de Danse……….
So now he works for Jesus
As the bouncer at St. Peter’s Gate.
God bless you Keith.