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Frank and Keith Emerson
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uncle max
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Post 2019-11-07 13:50   [Quote] 
I have recently finished reading "Pictures of an Exhibitionist" an autobiography by Keith Emerson.
I recommend it not only to Keith's (and The Nice and ELP) fans but, in general, to all people who love insight in music business.

Maybe this topic has already been dealt with by here but I couldn't find it with a search, so I will share it with you.

Keith tells this story (according with the book it's around late 1970 and we know Frank was in UK in late November):

... But before ELP took off, heading north on the M1, a call came through via Tony Stratton-Smith.
'Frank Zappa is in town and staying at the Kensington Hilton. He wants to meet with you.'
I found myself knocking on his hotel door.
Much to my surprise, after an hour of deep discussion about time signature, orchestras and avant-garde composers, he gave me a piano transcription written by an Ian Underwood.
‘You should learn this,’ he said.
Most gratified that our meeting had reached such a level of confidence as to entrust me with a rare manuscript, I hurried home and immediately stuck it on the music rack of the upright piano. It was a very demanding piece of piano writing, but I persisted, practicing it until I reached the last page where I hoped a conclusion would be offered. The piece sort of tailed out and Frank had written: ‘More about this later.’

There is a connection with another book I have read recently: “Emerson, Lake & Palmer – every album, every song” by Mike Goode.
In this book, Mike reviews "Tarkus" (released 1971) and while speaking about "Eruption" (the first movement of the "Tarkus" suite) he writes:

As well as Ginastera, Emerson also admitted to a Zappa influence when composing the music for "Tarkus". ‘I was a huge admirer of Frank Zappa and had met him on a few earlier occasions when he wanted my advice on how to cope with English orchestras. Frank was of the opinion that there shouldn’t be time signatures. That’s how I felt.’

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Post 2019-11-07 16:26   [Quote] 
Emerson is an oddball in that he focused on keyboards and had all that sucess. I suspect largely due to Lake. Emerson did not understand guitars as part of arrangement. And the whole lyrics department. I did like the Nice as well, the bassist again supporting.

So I guess it is lucky Zappa understood keyboards.

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yetanother
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Post 2019-11-07 17:08   [Quote] 
uncle max wrote:
Frank was of the opinion that there shouldn’t be time signatures.

Thank you, this made my day.

Time signatures are an arbitrary device invented in the 16th century to facilitate the performance of dance music. Within less than a century, they had become an undisputable dogma. I never understood how the entire West fell for that.

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bazbo
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Post 2019-11-08 06:40   [Quote] 
Frank and Keith. Heroes.
I love that part of Keith's book. (That whole book is very good, hilareous at times.)
Yep, I can hear Frank in Tarkus.
Thanks for bringing this up, uncle max! :thumb:

Guitar Solo Baz

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scherbe2003
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Post 2019-11-08 18:17   [Quote] 
uncle max wrote:
I have recently finished reading "Pictures of an Exhibitionist" an autobiography by Keith Emerson.
The piece sort of tailed out and Frank had written: ‘More about this later.’


The piece was likely "Little House I Used To Live In". The manuscript of LHIUTLI found in Urban Gwerder's "Alla Zappa" also has the "more about this later" remark in the end (and also has a short section featuring additional instruments). I'm not sure where Gwerder took it from. I believe it is also printed in the Frank Zappa Songbook but I don't have it at hand to check.

Emerson has also covered the "Theme from Lumpy Gravy" with The Nice, and a recording is also found on one of the remastered & epanded versions of one of the early ELP albums (or was that The Nice, too?).
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drdork
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Post 2019-11-08 20:15   [Quote] 
scherbe2003 wrote:
The piece was likely "Little House I Used To Live In". The manuscript of LHIUTLI found in Urban Gwerder's "Alla Zappa" also has the "more about this later" remark in the end (and also has a short section featuring additional instruments). I'm not sure where Gwerder took it from.

Down Beat, October 30, 1969, pp. 31–33.

scherbe2003 wrote:
I believe it is also printed in the Frank Zappa Songbook

Yes, minus the other instruments and plus the next twelve measures.
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pbuzby
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Post 2019-11-08 20:24   [Quote] 
Tangentially related...

Piece by Scott Thunes about Keith Emerson (scroll down to "Saturday, July 19, 2014, 6:45 pm
The Story of ELP and Lovely Joan")

https://www.geoscott.com/
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scherbe2003
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Post 2019-11-08 20:35   [Quote] 
Thanks twice, drdork!
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scherbe2003
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Post 2019-11-08 20:56   [Quote] 
pbuzby wrote:
Tangentially related...

Piece by Scott Thunes about Keith Emerson (scroll down to "Saturday, July 19, 2014, 6:45 pm
The Story of ELP and Lovely Joan")

https://www.geoscott.com/


His piece on Chris Squire and other bass players he studied is also interesting. Just surprising he seemingly never listened to Phil Lesh.
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staaan
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Post 2019-11-08 22:18   [Quote] 
drdork wrote:

Down Beat, October 30, 1969, pp. 31–33.


That Down beat link was a good read, I clicked on the link "Grand Wazoo Reviews" and noticed the blurb about the band Hawkwind closing the show following FZ's set.

Lemmy Kilmister was in that band, wrote a song for them called "Motorhead" which as we all know was what he named his new band when he left Hawkwind.

Sorry to veer off topic I just thought I would share
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scherbe2003
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Post 2019-11-09 00:33   [Quote] 
Returning to Keith Emerson's autobio, can this be gotten somewhere in electronic form? The prices for paper copies are just ridiculous and and the few places where to get ebooks that I know don't have it.
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pbuzby
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Post 2019-11-09 02:41   [Quote] 
scherbe2003 wrote:
Just surprising he seemingly never listened to Phil Lesh.


Offhand I can't remember Thunes mentioning Lesh one way or the other, it wouldn't surprise me if Grateful Dead is not his cup of tea.
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brainpang
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Post 2019-11-09 07:43   [Quote] 
Good Lord! Now I have to give Tarkus a listen. I hate you.
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bazbo
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Post 2019-11-09 07:46   [Quote] 
brainpang wrote:
Good Lord! Now I have to give Tarkus a listen. I hate you.


roflol

Guitar Solo Baz

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'You can go my back on' - youngpumpkin
'If it didn't matter, then it would not matter.' - Julian Barnes
'There's no bad poetry; there's only bad people.' - Willem Bierman

'ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL'
- for Walk(spoon) - gone, but never forgotten

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Jim Lahey
Joined: 2006-08-14
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Post 2019-11-09 15:46   [Quote] 
The last part of the studio version of RDNZL always reminded me of ELP (starting around the piano solo through the end).

(Off topic but I always got a Zappaesque vibe from the Bonzo Dog Band's "Turkeys.")
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