Interview Roundup: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
In the years after punk and new wave had their moment, it would become fashionable to rag on the so-called “dinosaurs” of progressive rock. The thinking went – or so we were told – that prog artists were pretentious, overblown and detached from the qualities that made rock and roll so visceral and real. Me, I’m not buying it and never really did. I find much to value in progressive rock and in punk and new wave. Appreciation for one does not preclude enjoyment of the other, at least not for me.
Anyway, when assailing prog, many turned their scorn and derision toward one act in particular: Emerson, Lake and Palmer. In retrospect, the trio did have moments one could characterize as pretentious, but with the benefit of hindsight, I’d argue that punk/new wave hero Paul Hewson (that’s Bono Vox or just plain Bono to fans) more than held his own in the overblown, self-important sweepstakes. So there.
I’ve been fortunate to have met each of the men in person, seen each of them live onstage, get their autographs (all on one LP sleeve, though it took years) and interview each of them. Enjoyable experiences all.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.