Emerson: I was asked to join Yes
Keith Emerson has revealed he once received a late-night phone call asking him if he’d like to join Yes – but it didn’t take him long to decide the answer was “No.”
The Emerson, Lake and Palmer icon had just returned from a successful world tour when Rick Wakeman made one of his several departures from Yes.
Emerson explains: “I got back to England and my phone rings at 11.30 at night. It was their then-manager, Brian Lane.
“I couldn’t believe that I’d been asked if I wanted to join Yes. My response was: ‘Brian, why would I want to do that? I’ve just come off a tour playing 14,000-seat stadiums, sold out. I’ve got my own band – why would I want to join Yes?’”
Emerson says Lane answered: “Well, there’s no harm in asking.”
Meanwhile, Carl Palmer has discussed the reason why the band never had a guitarist.
His current band, Carl Palmer Legacy, features axeman Paul Bielatowicz performing guitar-based interpretations of Emerson’s work on ELP classics.
He tells Click And Rock: “The guitar is much more advanced today; the technique, and what they play.
“If we could have found a guitar player in the early 1970s like Paul, I’m sure we would have been Emerson, Lake, Palmer and the guitarist. But they weren’t that clever then; they weren’t that advanced. The keyboard players were more advanced.”
ELP did try to collaborate with Jimi Hendrix, but he died before they could move on the idea. Greg Lake recently said he was sure it wouldn’t have worked out in any case.