Friday, April 08, 2011

Fingers Don't Fail Me Now!

[No Listomania -- Cinema or otherwise -- this week, due to a combination of scheduling problems and burnout. However, have no fear, the List WILL return next Friday, tanned rested and ready. -- S.S.]

So on Wednesday, over at a certain political blog at which I rant present eminently reasonable arguments from time to time, we were exulting (prematurely, it seems) over the results of the Supreme Court election in Wisconsin when somebody broke the news that Rupert Murdoch [R-Locus of Evil in the Modern World] had broken up with the astoundingly odious Glenn Beck.

At which point I observed that if liberal pressure groups had indeed forced the Beckster off the airwaves, than this was the most stunning political victory since rock critics caused Emerson Lake and Palmer to break up after Love Beach.

This wasn't as silly as it sounds; as I mentioned over there later, I once actually got an angry four page hand-written Letter to the Editor at Stereo Review in which a reader went on at some length about how rock critics -- presumably including me -- had conspired to drive ELP to dissolve their artistic partnership, (also) presumably at their artistic peak, and that this was a genuine tragedy or something. The guy wasn't kidding, either.

In any case, it occurred to me that there was in fact one artifact from the ELP axis that I genuinely liked and in fact had owned on vinyl.

And here it is -- from 1976, please enjoy Emerson's spirited remake of the wonderful "Honky Tonk Train Blues" by the incomparable Meade Lux Lewis.



Light years away from the usual ELP pomp and bombast, obviously, and I'm a sucker for both Lewis and honky-tonk piano in general. Say what you will about Emerson, though -- he certainly knows how to move those digits of his.

12 comments:

Billy B said...

Back in the day, I was a big fan of ELP. The band put on great concerts and, as you mention, Emerson is a monster on the keys (Lake and Palmer were no slouch musically, either).

That being said, their music doesn't hold up all that well all these years later.

steve simels said...

Some punk band back in the day did a song called "In and Around Greg Lake."

Heh.
:-)

Anonymous said...

once reviewed an ELP concert and thought I played it down the middle, but then an envelope came to the rag's office with a piece of toilet paper enclosed "because what [I] wrote was shit."

Billy B said...

In and Around Greg Lake


Is that a Yes Roundabout play on words?

Back to ELP, on of the best opening songs I've ever seen at a concert was ELP in 1977 with the Peter Gunn Theme. The stage was black, the announcer said "Ladies and gentlemen, Emerson (spot from directly overhead illuminated Keith), Lake (same thing), and Palmer (again with the spot). The band instantaneously broke into the song. It was impressive.

Anonymous said...

The band that did the song "In and Around Greg Lake" was the Wondermints. It came out on an album called Bali in 2000. The group is always classified as power pop. Two or three of the members have been in Brian Wilson's band for at least 11 or 12 years now. You would really enjoy all of their albums.

steve simels said...

I didn't know it was the Wondermints -- they're great, though.

Ever hear their pop-metal cover of ABBA's "Knowing Me Knowing You"?

To die for....

Shriner said...

"Wonderful World of Wondermints" is probably the only covers album I consistently reach for on a regular basis.

Every cover is a stone-cold winner. I miss the band...

Billy B said...

As for cover albums - I've never heard the Wondermints, but the old "Spitballs" album of covers from the old Berzerkeley label was good.

dfh-in-dubrovnik said...

Steve, you'll enjoy this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvQIobg0BwU

I'm a honky-tonk pianist (and a honkey to boot :-) and would have loved to do that with Oscar.

Emerson actually cheats on that tune: he plays much simplified left hand, and lets the rhythm section take up the slack. What Meade Lux Lewis did with the LH was almost revolutionary, and it was impossible for just about every other boogie pianist to play at the time. It still is virtually impossible for most people, and apparently Keith too :-) Not a slight at all, I love the guy.

Anonymous said...

ELP's Brain Salad Surgery had the great "Bennie the Bouncer" amidst the prog excess. The solo nailed my 15 year old self to the wall.

Marshall Crenshaw did a great "Knowing Me Knowing You" as well.

Padre Mickey said...

I received Love Beach for Christmas the year it came out. It made me suicidal. That God for that punk rock stuff!

Padre Mickey said...

Thank God, not That God. Who the heck is That God anyway?