Greg Lake: ELP doesn’t work
ELP frontman Greg Lake would have loved their one-off performance in 2010 to have been followed by a tour.
But he accepts there’s something about the band that just doesn’t work the way it used to.
They regrouped for a 40th anniversary concert at Classic Rock Magazine’s High Voltage Festival in London. But afterwards, discussions about taking things further came to nothing.
Lake tells Rolling Stone: “It frustrates me. It takes a lot of energy and determination to reach a playing standard that people expect from a band like ELP.
“The expectation is very high. People are coming to see ‘the legendary ELP.’ What do they expect? They expect to see the band they heard on record or saw on tour in 1974. And now we’re 40 years older and you’ve got to do it the same. That takes some doing.
“I really wanted to go out and play a world tour. We only got the one show – after five or six more the band would have been formidable.”
When it came to the crunch, bandmates Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer simply “didn’t want to do it,” says Lake. “I don’t know why. It’s very strange, but there’s something about ELP that doesn’t work. It used to work, but it doesn’t work now.”
But he hasn’t given up hope. “That might change. People do change, of course.”
Looking back, he believes the reason the band split at the end of the 1970s was that they’d played about with their own chemistry – and they’d made their last worthwhile album in 1977.
He explains: “It wasn’t the journalists that brought down ELP – I think it was ELP themselves. It started to fragment when they made Works Volume 1. It was a good album, but it wasn’t ELP.
“There was some great tracks on the record, but it wasn’t a record that reflected the chemistry of ELP; it reflected the individuals apart from each other. It was the beginning of the end – after that ELP never made another really innovative record.”
Lake recently released live solo album Songs Of A Lifetime.