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flag England - Full Moon 249 - 12/14/16

Gregory Stuart "Greg" Lake
10 November 1947 - 7 December 2016

Greg Lake

We covered the breakthrough of Greg's career as a professional musician in our retroscopic review of King Crimson's debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King some years back. To think that the band opened the free outdoor festival in Hyde Park in July 1969 headlined by The Rolling Stones in front of an estimated crowd between 250 000 and 500 000 people before they had released any recordings at all seems impossible nowadays. Greg left King Crimson by the end of 1969 and spent the remaining decades of his musical life as the bassist, guitarist and lead vocalist of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and a solo artist. Until the long struggle with cancer started, he considered himself a "Lucky Man":

He had white horses
And ladies by the score
All dressed in satin
And waiting by the door

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

White lace and feathers
They made up his bed
A gold covered mattress
On which he was led

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

He went to fight wars
For his country and his king
Of his honor and his glory
The people would sing

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

A bullet had found him
His blood ran as he cried
No money could save him
So he laid down and he died

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

This was the first song ever written by Greg, soon after his mum gave him his first guitar, at the age of 12. The song was used at the end of the first album by Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1970 when they needed one more song to fill the album. It was also released as the trio's first single.

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