Gregory Stuart Lake
November 10, 1947 - December 7, 2016
Greg Lake, bassist and founding member of King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer, died yesterday after a "long and stubborn" battle with cancer- according to a Twitter post made by his manager. Lake was 69 years old. Lake's death comes just months after the passing of ELP keyboardist Keith Emerson, who committed suicide by a gunshot back in March of this year.
Growing up the suburb of Oakdale in Poole of Dorest, England, Greg Lake came from a poor family. Despite this, Lake cited that his upbringing was happy. Lake learned to play guitar at the age of 12 and wrote from memory the future ELP hit "Lucky Man." It wasn't until he was 17 years old when he decided to pursue a career as a musician. Prior to joining King Crimson, Lake was in a few bands- one of them being the Gods- with future Uriah Heep members Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake. By 1968, Lake had become friends with guitarist Robert Fripp. Along with drummer Michael Giles, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald and lyricist Peter Sinfield- King Crimson were formed. Lake served as the band's lead singer and bassist. In 1969, the band released their influential debut album In The Court of the Crimson King. Lake would stay in King Crimson until 1970 during the recording of the band's sophomore effort In the Wake of Poseidon when he left the band.
After leaving Crimson, he joined up with former Nice keyboardist Keith Emerson and former Atomic Rooster drummer Carl Palmer. With this- Emerson, Lake and Palmer were formed. Throughout the 1970s, ELP became one of the most successful progressive rock bands around. While music critics dismissed them as overblown and pretentious, it didn't stop people from listening to the music. During his time in ELP, Lake was able to score a solo hit single with "I Believe in Father Christmas" in 1975. ELP would splt in 1979 but did reform several times until 2010.
Lake is survived by his wife Regina and their daughter Natasha.