Welcome Back - The ELP Story
Emerson, Lake and Palmer: they've sold over 35 million records with music that has become a staple of FM radio. They are a band that has continue to fill the arenas around the world with a spell-binding incredible live show. From the cutting edge progressive rock of "Knife Edge" and "Tarkus" and an innovative version of Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare For the Common Man" to the melodic pop of "Lucky Man" and "From the Beginning," ELP have endured over a quarter century, remaining forerunners on the contemporary music scene.
You'll be hearing the history and the real story behind one of rock's most popular and compelling acts - Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
You'll hear commentary from all three members of the band along with musical highlights of ELP's entire career.
The seeds of ELP were sown in December of 1969, when both the Nice (which featured Keith Emerson on keyboards) and King Crimson (which featured Greg Lake on bass and vocals) performed together at the Fillmore West in San Francisco.
Both bands had been at the forefront of the British rock scene at the end of the decade, and were fast gaining popularity in the States. The Nice had enjoyed several hits, for known more for the wild stage show that was a showcase for Keith Emerson. Emerson was a keyboard wizard and had been tagged the "Jimi Hendrix of the hammond organ."
King Crimson had exploded out of nowhere in 1969, moving in a matter of a couple of months from club obscurity to big stars. The band's debut LP In the Court of the Crimson King had become an instant smash, and established the band in the new format of FM rock radio.
Keith Emerson remembers this period:
Keith : The final months of the Nice were quite traumatic, really, because the Nice had just broken America. And we actually had offers of tours which for the band members would have been very lucrative. But internally, within the band, things weren't really happy. There was a lot of things interfering with our progress, slightly drug-orientated, I suppose.
I was just not really happy with the way things were going. So I was looking for another bass-player and singer. I heard on the radio a recording of King Crimson, playing "Cat Food" and I'd heard a lot about the bass-player, Greg Lake, and what a great voice he had. By chance, the Nice were on the same bill as King Crimson 1969, at Fillmore West and I had the opportunity to approach Greg and ask him if he'd be interested. Things really grew from there.
Greg: The chemistry of the band was unique and special. Even the forming of the band was interesting. I mean, the first person we met in fact was Mitch Mitchell, the drummer for Jimi Hendrix, and it was at one point a session arranged for Jimi and Keith and myself and Mitch to play together. And that didn't happen in the end, partly, because in the meantime we'd met Carl Palmer and also shortly thereafter Jimi actually died, and so it never came about.
Emerson and Lake eventually found Carl Palmer, a nineteen year old drummer, formally trained in percussion. Palmer had been in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown before forming Atomic Rooster with Vincent Crane.
Here is Keith Emerson :
Keith : I'd auditioned lot of English drummers but they didn't seem right, and I was almost going to go to America to look for an American drummer, before somebody suggested Carl Palmer. I remember Carl coming along to a session, rehearsal thing, set his drum kit up and we launched into a blues and that was it really. We said, well that's the band.
Carl Palmer remembers the first time the band played together :
Carl: I think I ended up the rehearsal room on a recommendation from Keith Emerson's manager, Tony Stratton-Smith. He is a lovely man, who's since passed away. I think that's how it came about, the rehersal, the audition, call it what you will, but I can't really recall too much that went on. I know that we talked quite a lot about music, about things we liked, things that we disliked individually and I do recall that at that meeting, Keith and myself had various sort jazz records which we both bought at a very young age. So it seemed to be that we had similar tastes. It's very hard to sort of say exactly what kind of things we listened to as individuals. I didn't really speak to Greg too much on that side, I think, we might have played a couple of pieces, it might have been like a twelve bar and something else. It was a very very simple sort of rehearsal-cum-audition, I must confess.
ELP's early rehearsals were done in Island Studios on Basing Street in London in June. The band had signed with Island Records for Europe and Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion Records for the US. The recording commenced in July 1970, with Greg Lake producing. The album, simply entitled Emerson, Lake and Palmer remains one of the most popular rock albums of all time. Songs like "Take a Pebble," "Knife Edge," "Tank" and "The Barbarian" fuse the band's contemporary hard rock with a subtle nuances of European classical music and American jazz.
But according to Keith, the making of the first ELP album was no small feat:
Keith : It was like pulling teeth, it was the hardest album. I think in order to get the album finished, the second side, which is mainly instrumental, because Greg and I had not really learned how to write together. I was writing music and Greg was writing lyrics and somehow we weren't managing to gel as a writing team. It was very, very hard.
Carl : So, I thought the album is very, sort of, very daring, you know, in its day. We each had a kind of feature, there was "Lucky Man" from Greg and there was "Tank" from myself and "The Three Fates," which was the name of the piece which Keith recorded. So I really did not know what to expect from the album. It was definately something which was daring, it was up front and I suppose it was very fresh at that time. Things like "Knife Edge" and "Barbarian" are still key tracks which we play today.
It would be the album's final recording , an acoustic folk ballad called "Lucky Man," that would launch the group on radio around the globe. Ironically the song was added as a filler track, designed to increase the overall running time of the album. Needless to say the band was quiet surprised when it became an international hit.
Greg Lake discusses the song:
Greg: It was a song I wrote when I was very young. You know, when I'd just really got my first guitar, my parents had bought me my first guitar, and I wrote this song. Interestingly enough in its entirety, everything, it never got changed ever. You know, not because of any reason that I wouldn't change it, it just kind went down like that, you know. It was complete and it got recorded 8 or 9 years later, when ELP was in the middle of - or actually at the end of recording its first album.
I find that we want one track short and then the records were final and you had to have 20 minutes a side, or whatever it was, and we were one song short and it was the end of the budgeted studio time and so there was this terrible blank-faced stare, you know, around the studio: "Anybody got any more songs?"
And that was all, "Lucky Man" was all there was to do and, I don't really know what it's about, it's a child's vision of what it must be like to be rich and have the nice things in life: "He had white horses and ladies by the score, all dressed in satin and waiting by the door."
Before they even had an album out, the band began playing shows. But unlike most young bands, who start in clubs, ELP made its first global debut at a 3-day music festival, that was the European equivalent of Woodstock. Although they performed one warm-up show in a small theatre, ELP made its debut for the world at the Isle of Wight Pop Music Festival on August 29 for over 500,000 British fans. Since their first album had not yet been released, the audience was not familiar with the music, but responded with thunderous applause nonetheless. The Isle of Wight, with its all star line-up that included Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Free, Sly and the Family Stone, would be a very unnerving experience for the young band, who certainly rose to the occasion. ELP is remembered today for thrilling the audience by firing off cannons on either side of the stage during the climax of its 20-minute version of its classical opus Pictures at an Exhibition. The band further caught the attention of the rock world when it performed its final song, a frenzied version of the old Nice song, "Rondo." For the ending Emerson dragged a hammond L100 organ to the centre of the stage and proceeded to mount it and extract strange tortured sounds by stabbing the keys with 18-inch daggers.
Emerson explains how the dagger routine got added to the act:
Keith : Basically it started when I was playing with a band called the VIP's - they were otherwise known as the V.I.Pills. We were in Hamburg and they had a lot of [?] tablets and so they gave me one. I was awake for 2 nights, offered to drive the bandwagon from France to Germany, crashed the bandwagon. Played onstage that night, went kind of beserk and the band said: "That was really great, you should really do that again". One thing led to another, really. We had as our roadie, a guy called Lemmy, who's now the lead singer with Motörhead. I was actually sticking screw-drivers in the keyboard at that time, to hold down notes. I think it was Lemmy who said: "If you're gonna like stick a knife in your hammond organ," he said, "you'd better get a proper one," and he gave me a couple of Hitler youth daggers, because Lemmy has the biggest collection of Nazi war paraphernalia. And that's really how that started.
ELP would spend much of the summer of 1970 rehearsing and writing material for its debut album.
Having been born out of three established and popular bands, ELP became one of rocks earliest super-groups, often compared from the architectural standpoint to America's Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Keith: Well, the super-group tag was provided by the media. It was as much an over-used word as psychadelic was, I suppose. They kind of aligned us to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, because we, too, used our surnames for our bandname. So I guess that because CSN&Y were referred to as a super-group, the tag followed and stuck with us as a consequence.
But I think it is an apt description. We were a band formed from three other very successful bands.
Greg: It was one of the first bands that ever had this regrettable title of super-group, you know, which I suppose is fair enough. We do come from well-known bands, but what it does, it thrusts you under the spotlight on day one and you never really get the chance to organically develop the band in the way that one would normally do, you know you normally go out, play a few shows somewhere quiet, get yourself together, you know. The second show ELP played was the Isle of Wight Festival.
Carl :There were lots of silly names which we put into the pot. Things like "Seahorse", I can't remember half of them, but at the time we just thought that using our surnames would be an honest way to put the game, put the actual group to the front.
The band was developing a following, by touring Europe, and on November 20th its self-titled album was released in England. The album would come out 3 months later in the US. The response of radio was immediate and almost overnight ELP was suddenly thrust into the world spotlight. They launched the American debut tour in the spring of 1971, which included a headlining performance at New York's Carnegie Hall.
Greg: The first thing, apart from playing Fillmore East, which was always a sort of testing ground for your acceptance. To play at Fillmore East on April 30th, that was a fantastic reaction to the band, and that kind of confirmed to us, that we were welcome in America and that the band was gonna be well received. But the real highlight of that was playing at Carnegie Hall. 'Cause at that time, Carnegie Hall was still the mark of, you know, if you played Carnegie Hall you were somebody. And we played there, and that was, and it still is, a wonderful thing.
In early 1971 ELP began work on its next studio album. During its tour of Europe Keith developed the "Tarkus" theme. The second album would be called simply Tarkus and was completed in just 6 days of recording. But according to Keith Emerson the album almost sparked an end to the band.
Keith: Tarkus almost didn't get made in fact. We almost split up by the time we came to doing our second album. Greg didn't like the idea of the music. I think I must have frightened him by telling him, listen, I've just written a piece of music, it doesn't have a time signature, it doesn't have a key signature.
Greg came round to my - I had an apartment in London at that time, and I had a little upright piano and I played it to him. He said, if you wanna play music like that, you better do it on your solo album. I said ok, that's what I'll do, I'll start my solo album now.
The management panicked, and they put us all together, Greg - can you rethink and rethink - it's not musical, said Greg, it doesn't have any tunes in it. I don't want to play music like that, so I said, well can you at least try. Greg said he didn't want to waste money trying , but the management said, well you've already paid for the studio time anyway, which you're gonna lose if you don't go in the studio. Why not just go in and try it? That's literally what happened. And in this way it started off kind of bad, but Greg gradually grew more confident, and taking a very active role, of course, producing and sitting behind the desk and coming up with ideas, and it was great to see him go from one period of being so abject against it, you know, and the next being so positive.
So that, really, I think was the turning point.
Tarkus was released in July 1972 in both the US and UK and remains one of ELP's finest albums. It firmly established the band as the premier progressive rock unit and launched the group's career in places such as the Far East. Tarkus went straight to No. 1 on the England album charts and No. 9 on the US album charts and while it was still climbing, ELP immediately began working on its next album. In the interim the band released its live recording of Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, originally recorded in December 1970 at Newcastle City Hall. The band issued the LP against the wishes of its record company. They said it would hurt its career. Ironically it became one of the band's biggest selling albums.
ELP went back to the road from December 1971 through the spring of 1972 . In the new show they performed "Hoedown," adapted from Aaron Copland's Rodeo. In July 1972 ELP's 3rd [4th!] album, Trilogy, was released.
A single, "From the Beginning," was issued. It went top 40 in the US charts and several album cuts, especially "Hoedown," received considerable airplay on US and European radio stations.
Carl: Trilogy was quite an interesting album, because that was the album that over the years has been the hardest to play on stage. It was the album where we used most amount of overdubs, which was quite interesting. And because of that, I didn't actually translate and transfer itself to the stage as easy. That's not to say we couldn't play more of that today, with the advent of midi technology in general, there's a lot more things which can be played on stage. But that was one of our big overdub albums. I sort of liked the album at the time, I like it even more now. I think it's quite an important album.
ELP spent most of 1972 on the road in the US, Canada, the UK and the European continent. They also toured Japan for 6 days, where they experienced a near riot at a stadium show in Osaka. A few days later they played a show in Tokyo during a typhoon. By 1972 ELP was performing about 180 concerts a year, mainly in US. In Melody Maker that year ELP was voted best group in both British and International sections.
In late 1972 there were a few changes for ELP. One of them was the introduction of King Crimson's Peter Sinfield as a writing partner with Greg Lake. The other change was the start of ELP's own record company, Manticore records, to ensure more control artistically.
ELP started recording songs for the next studio album which would be called Brain Salad Surgery. BSS was released in both the US and England in November 1973. It was their first album released on their Manticore record label and featured the eerie and distinctive art work of H.R. Giger. Giger would later go on to design the creatures and sets used in the Alien movie series. BSS featured the band's most compelling and imaginative music to that day. But it would be the ELP rock and pop orientated tracks that would gather the most airplay, among them Lake's acoustic ballad "Still...You Turn Me On" and the powerful "Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2" with its memorable hook-line : "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends."
Carl : Very exciting to record at the time and it definitely gave me a chance to involve timpani and tubular bells and of course electronic drums, which I really hadn't used before - mainly because they hadn't been invented, and we had to get someone to invent them for us. The development for us was a chap called Nick Rose, who is no longer with us. That was a piece by Jim Astaire called "Toccata." So BSS has a lot of good memories, the actual making of it, I think , was fairly quick.
BSS would also break new ground for audio technologies, especially the use of synthesizers within the recording studio. But was it frustrating to try to recreate the same sounds when ELP went on the road?
Keith Emerson explains:
Keith: It was...by today's standards, where I can pretty much play all those pieces as they were exactly on the album. It was frustrating then, because my equipment consisted of just a hammond organ and piano and a moog synthesizer which was monophonic. Monophonic means you only can play one note at a time. When we started BSS, Dr. Robert Moog had invented the polyphonic synthesizer which I had the first prototype and used it on the recordings. By today's standards it was a very archaic stuff, and it wasn't easy to accurately perform what was on the record. I mean these days by the use of midi you can have piano and hammond organ going at the same time and of course it's all polyphonic. So it was frustrating, but we were the only people out there making those sort of sounds and it was big by those standards, but I would never go back to using simply that amount of equipment. I always imagined then what I'm playing now.
BSS reached the top ten in both the US and Europe. ELP toured the US from December 1973 to February 1974 to promote the album. By this time the band's stage act had grown to immense size. They travelled with 25 roadies and 35 tons of equipment, including a revolving drum kit, quadrophonic sound, 32 sound cabinets, a grand piano that rose 30 feet into the air and flipped end over end, and a special lighting system.
Carl: I think by the time we'd got into production, we tried to build any production that we used, we tried to build it in a sincere way, we tried to build it around the making of any album, so what you saw on stage actually related directly to the music. Hence the BSS tour, where we started hanging a huge sort of disc above the stage which was the album cover, so really the productions were about the music, about the music at that time. We never really did anything just for the sake of doing it.
Greg : Part of the nature of ELP was that it was always looking plainly at something different. We were always looking to do something different. What may have looked excessive then would look small change now. It was not excess for its own sake, we,..... and the production was never gratuitous. It was always something that we felt would dramatize the effect of the music. All the big stage shows that we did were really there to dramatize the music. And still today, that is the principle on which we work.
On April 6th ELP played the biggest show in its career, when the band co-headlined with Deep Purple at the California Jam. The festival featured several other established acts including Black Sabbath, Black Oak Arkansas, Earth,Wind & Fire and the Eagles. It was attended by 350,000 people. California Jam was filmed for television and later broadcast by ABC. This was the first time US viewers had seen ELP perform on television.
Viewers saw how Keith Emerson was spun around and around 30 feet in the air while playing his grand piano, and Carl Palmer spinning around in a mad fury of circles at the climax of his drum solo. In August the triple-album Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends, Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake and Palmer was released. As with the other ELP recordings, fans eagerly embraced it. The live-album hit No. 4 on the US charts and went platinum. It remains one of the only few triple albums to ever hit the US top ten.
After the 1974 tour the members of ELP took a long vacation. Keith took up flying and scuba-diving, Greg and his wife gave birth to a daughter and Carl moved to a house in Tenerife on the Canary Islands near Spain. And he took up karate, eventually earning his black belt in Japan. When they had rested they all began work on solo albums, since it had been decided that each member would do a solo album and the band would not work together for 3 years.
Keith Emerson dove back into work by writing and recording a classical piano concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It would prove to be his most ambitious work.
Keith: There was a side of my compositional skills that I wanted to put across, I wanted people to say, look, I'm a composer, I do write my own music, and what greater challenge than to write a piano concerto. It's not an easy thing to do.
Greg Lake regrouped with Peter Sinfield and started writing acoustic songs also to be recorded with a full orchestra. Among the songs recorded during this period were some of his most memorable ones, "C'est la Vie" and "Watching Over You."
Carl Palmer began recording a percussion concerto , a collection of big band recordings with Harry South and a series of individual tracks that included "LA 74" with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh.
With the exception of a few solo singles (Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" and Emerson's "Honky Tonk Train Blues"), ELP was completely out of the public eye in 1975 and most of 1976 and the promised solo albums remained unreleased.
Keith : So here we were, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, all with orchestral recordings. I remember Greg coming to me and saying that piano concerto is great, what are you going to do with it. I said I'm gonna go out maybe as a guest soloist. So he said, I'm working on...you know my recordings have got orchestra in it, too. What about if we just get one orchestra and we tour with an orchestra. In his mind I think that was the only way that we were gonna hold the band together.
Eventually the band finally began recording together and individually again. It would also mark the beginning of the project that became known as Works Vol. I and Works Vol. II, a unique double LP concept. Works Vol. I featured 3 solo sides of material and one side of ELP recordings.
As ambitious as the Works Vol. I album was, it was no match for what the band had up its sleeve for the road show. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of Keith Emerson's, ELP launched its 7th US tour with a full symphony orchestra and a choir consisting of 75 classical musicians. They were taken from a pool of over 1500 musicians auditioned by the band in 6 cities around the world. In 1977 Emerson, Lake and Palmer was now touring with an entourage of over 140 people, and a daily payroll cost exceeding $20,000 per day.
Greg : I seem to remember we had at that time 11 tractor-trailers. I remember we had one tractor-trailer that carried nothing but spares, and was never opened, the complete tractor-trailer. So there were 140 people, it was a massive, massive undertaking, especially at that time. Nowadays, you know, it would be more practical and possible, but then it was a whacking undertaking.
The tour ran into further complications, when union regulations prevented the band from playing more than 3 shows a week, or traveling over 250 miles per day. These regulations made routing nearly impossible and made it financially impossible for the band to continue with the symphony. Before the start of the tour the band knew it would take a lot just to break even. But after 2 weeks they were on track to lose over $3 millon. The truth was painfully evident. The orchestra would have to be dropped. A week later it was, and the band continued on the tour as a trio.
Carl : I think musically the tour with the orchestra was one of the great moments for the band, especially in Montreal in the Olympic stadium, there were 78,000 people there. It was one of the last concerts with the orchestra, it might have been the last one. It was a fantastic experience for the full 3 weeks that we did use them. The combustion of the two areas of acoustic and electronic instruments meeting was just unbelievable.
ELP toured for the Works album from the fall of 1977 through March 6th, 1978, when the band played its final show in New Haven, Connecticut. A collection of additional tracks from the Works sessions was released after the tour as Works Vol. II.
In 1978 the band had wanted to take a few years off, to pursue solo projects. But its label wouldn't let ELP out of its contract. The label demanded a new studio album as required in the agreement. ELP was forced to head to Compass Point studios in the Bahamas to record what would become Love Beach. Love Beach was a distorted, uninspired collection of songs, released in mid 1979. It would also mark the end of ELP for 12 years.
Carl : At that moment in time we were exhausted, we were so frustrated, we had completed most things within our life as a band. We had taken technology by the ears as it were with the moog-synthesizer, we'd recorded with an orchestra, we had toured with an orchestra and we didn't have a lot more to say musically. I think we wanted some free time.
Greg : It wasn't a rock band fighting, it was just a rock band that had enough basically, that wasn't allowed to stop. I mean I don't want to over-dramatize it, but we were basically forced into making the album Love Beach, against our better judgement. We didn't want to make the record, we felt that it was time that we all did something else, at least for some period of time. And we were forced to make the album. I think this was actually, looking back on it, very bad for the band, because it forced us to be lumped together creatively, when really what we wanted, was a break from each other's presence and each other's creativity, and perhaps if we'd have had that break, you know, we'd have got back together sooner than we did.
Keith : The whole musical climate was changing. Punk had started and the corporate rock 'n' roll industry had started too and I thought, what are we doing here? Everything is changing, the radio stations are changing, the attitude to bands like us are changing.
ELP announced their break up to the press in December 1979, after sales of over 35 million records. The members now looked to their own plans for the future.
The members of ELP didn't take long getting back to work after the break-up of the band. All three members would see varying degrees of artistic and commercial success as solo artists during the1980s.
Emerson did several film scores, including Sylvester Stallone's "Nighthawks" and a few solo albums including 1982's Honky, which was a hit in Europe
Lake put a rock 'n' roll band together with Ex-Thin Lizzy axeman Gary Moore. He returned to playing guitar and released 2 well-received solo albums, Greg Lake in 1981 and Manoeuvres in 1983. Lake had a hit single with the first album and did some limited touring with his own band.
After ELP Carl Palmer formed a hard rock band called PM, which only did one record and never toured. He would emerge again 1982 with Asia, a progressive pop-rock supergroup that also featured members of Yes, King Crimson and The Buggles. Asia would rise to become a pop sensation, filling arenas and selling several million albums with songs like "In the Heat of the Moment", "Sole Survivor" and "Only Time Will Tell ".
In 1986 Emerson and Lake tried to reform ELP but Palmer had already made commitments to Asia and its record company. With Palmer's blessing they regrouped with Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell as Emerson, Lake and Powell. One album and a lengthy tour followed before that project also splintered. The following year Emerson and Palmer regrouped with California singer-songwriter Robert Barry as a trio named simply " Three". It, too would see limited success before breaking up.
It was in 1991 when all three would be contacted by record maven Phil Carson to see about working together once again as ELP. Initially the idea was for the band to write and record music for a film project, that Carson's Victory Records was involved with. That film project never materialized, but a new ELP album, Black Moon, did.
Carl : We got recording, we got rehearsing and a bit more recording and we discovered we had an awful lot of material. We enjoyed the excitement of playing together again after so many years, that we just carried on working, writing, recording, rehearsing and we decided to complete an album. So we had decided that we were having so much fun doing what we doing, we would just carry on and make a bona fide Emerson, Lake and Palmer album, and that was Black Moon.
In 1992 the band returned to concert stages and met the rock press, which embraced the reunion. Black Moon firmly returned ELP to the contemporary music scene and magically bridged the traditional ELP sound with a vibrant modern sonic landscape. The band toured extensively throughout 1992 and 1993 and moved to LA in late 1993 to record the follow-up LP. It was during this time that Keith Emerson began having problems with the nerves in his right arm. The health issues would force him to have an operation on his arm, and would eventually affect the outcome of 1994's In the Hot Seat, which had to be recorded in separate segments and pieced together in the studio. It was also plagued by uneven material. Emerson's health problems also forced the band to suspend touring.
The members took two years off and returned in 1996 for a triumphant US tour with old friends, Jethro Tull.
Although all three members have continued to develop projects outside the band, the warm reception from the fans and the press which ELP has received since their return to touring, has solidified the group once again. ELP plans to continue working as long as the fans are there to listen. Working into the next millenium, the band will be developing more studio albums and continue to tour.
Carl : I could be away from Greg and Keith for like another ten years and we can set the equipment up in a room, we'd all be quite old by then, but if we did set it up in a room, it would be like we'd just played with each other. I mean, there's a funny thing. The band has got - I don't know what it is, I hate to use the word magic, but there is something when we play, it's a very natural experience for us to play music with each other. And to say that we've have 30 years of that, or nearly 30 years of that, you know, I'm very happy, I'm very, very happy.
Greg : Any band is like a cocktail, it's a mixture, a chemical mixture, and it is always effervescent from that point of view, it's always turning over and on the boil. There is always something happening, because people are never, they never remain constant, things are changing and environments change and indeed the times change, there is always something going on.
There is always a perpetual challenge of trying to play as well as possible, make the music sound as good as possible, because I suppose the more one's status is elevated and the more famous you become, and also the longer you're there, in other words some of our fans now have been with us for 25 years, and they have high expectations of the band. And so there's always a challenge to see if we can improve on the way we play the music.
Keith : It's quite incredible, there's been some hilarious times, hilarious...dreadful times. You've gone through the whole gamut of emotions right from the total pit at the bottom, where things have been so goddamn awful and nasty, and so ugly, and then gone to the heights of complete ectasy and everything else, you know, that goes along with it. It's been a hell of life.
[Many thanks to Gudrun for transcribing this article!]