Tag Archives: Keith Emerson

There is no giant band of dead rock stars in Heaven

Everyone who knows me knows I’m a huge prog fan, especially ELP. Keith Emerson was the best there has ever been, at synth and keyboards.

He literally had a God-given talent. He was a musical prodigy, composing at the age of 6. By his early teens he was touring as a star.

He was credited by Dr Robert Moog as being a prime mover behind the development of synthesizer technology that we take for granted today; we can buy a keyboard at Walmart today that would have needed a semi truck and small staff 4 decades ago. The Walmart beater is far more capable, too.

Along the way, new genres of music sprang up from his work. Techno and electronica are 2 of them. ELP has been called ‘The Grandfathers Of Techno’, and it’s not because of Greg Lake’s bass riffs. Very few musicians can claim new branches of music. He was one of them.

And yet, he died alone and in despair. He had come to such a state that he put a gun to his head. He had done a lot of drugs and that had taken its toll. I don’t know if he was saved or not; I’d guess not. That saddens me greatly.

There is no giant band of dead rock stars in Heaven.

And there ain’t no electric guitars in Hell.

Or even a place to plug them in.