Greg Lake has penned a tribute to his Emerson, Lake and Palmer bandmate Keith Emerson, who died Friday at the age of 71. “To all ELP friends and fans all over the world, I would like to express my deep sadness upon hearing this tragic news,” Lake wrote on his official site.
“As you know Keith and I spent many of the best years of our lives together and to witness his life coming to an end in the way that it has is painful, both to myself and to all who knew him,” Lake wrote. Emerson died of a single gunshot wound to the head, with Santa Monica police ruling the keyboardist’s death as a suicide.
“As sad and tragic as Keith’s death is, I would not want this to be the lasting memory people take away with them,” Lake wrote. “What I will always remember about Keith Emerson was his remarkable talent as a musician and composer and his gift and passion to entertain. Music was his life and despite some of the difficulties he encountered I am sure that the music he created will live on forever.”
Following Emerson’s death, drummer Carl Palmer wrote, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson. Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did together.”