The death has been confirmed of Greg Lake, the widely-travelled British rock musician and former member of prog giants Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson. He was 69, and had been suffering from cancer.
Greg’s manager Stewart Young has written on Facebook: “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart for ever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief.”
Many of Lake’s friends and colleagues have taken to Twitter to share their sympathy at the news of his passing, which comes only nine months after Emerson’s death. Rick Wakeman wrote: “Another sad loss with the passing of Greg Lake…you left some great music with us my friend & so like Keith, you will live on.”
His former King Crimson bandmate John Wetton wrote: “And now, I’m so sad to hear of the passing of a musical giant in my genre. Yesterday, my dear friend Greg Lake died from cancer. RIP.” Steve Hackett added: “Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake.”
Greg Lake was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, in 1947 and befriended Robert Fripp at school and in 1969 he became a founder member of King Crimson, playing bass on their classic debut album, In The Court of the Crimson King, and he also had an involvement in writing lyrics for the album as well as producing it after their original producer walked out.
Lake stayed with King Crimson for a year, but after striking up a friendship with the Nice’s keyboardist Keith Emerson – the bands toured America together – Lake and Emerson enlisted drummer Carl Palmer to form the much loved, Emerson Lake & Palmer (ELP). Lake contributed acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, lyrics, vocals and production throughout the 1970s, before they split up at the end of the decade. The group reformed for a number of years in the mid-1990s before permanently disbanding.
During his time with ELP Lake achieved solo chart success when the classic, ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’ which reached number two on the UK singles chart. After ELP, he joined joined Asia, before forming Emerson, Lake & Powell in 1986 with drummer Cozy Powell. In 2010, he toured with Keith Emerson, from which came the live album Live from Manticore Hall and in the same year Emerson, Lake and Palmer gave their final live concert at the High Voltage rock festival, in Victoria Park, London.
Greg Lake RIP