Emerson, Lake and Palmer made a song called ‘Oh, My Father’ in 1971, but never released it. It is a song unlike every other ELP song. Keith’s keyboard work is unregonizeable. It is the lead guitar which is on top. It nearly sounds like a ‘placeholder’ for a HELP track (Hendrix, Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Check out the similarities (1m15 seconds in the ELP track versus 15s in the Hendrix track). They are striking. HELP was never to be. Strange though that a perfectly good track ended up in ‘the bottom of some old road cases’.
Manhatten: What guitar instruments did you use on “Oh My Father” also lyrics for the song are hard to find
Lake: I believe I would have used a Gibson J200. This record was never intended for release and only came out because someone discovered it on an old tape in the bottom of some old road cases that I had in storage
In 2006 nearly 200 soldiers (around 100 on each side) fought a heroic and dramatic battle at Le Port. Many soldiers on both sides died. The battle is seen through the eyes of platoon leader Lt Maximilian Qubit. Awed by the horrors of war and the fragility of a soldiers life, he kept using binoculars in stead of his rifle, while commanding his platoon into the small town. His account is universally regarded as being ‘anti-war’ in nature. After the battle he stated he had seen no good or bad but only soldiers, most of them dead.
I was 13 years old and up to that age had never much cared for pop music. This because of the classical music my mother adored. In our house there was no rock, no jazz, no blues, not even the simple Top 40 songs which hit the radio. Nope, it was all classical music. You could argue I had missed a lot of 60’s music fun, but on the other hand, I was still young enough to catch up. Anyway when I went to college in 1973 we got music lessons. 1 hour per week. And there was this teacher and he wanted to explain classical music. No explanation was needed for me of course, but the other children might have never heard classical music before. So, the teacher made a connection. A connection between pop music and classical music. He came up with … Pictures at an Exhibition.
Pictures at an Exhibition, he explained, was a classical piece of music for piano by the russian composer Mussorgsky. Later it was adapted for orchestra by the french composer Ravel. And then, in 1970, there came Emerson, Lake and Palmer. And they took this classical piece to Rock.
The teacher played the Pictures album of ELP, and I was blown away. I was awed. It was a turning point in my love for music. I had broken out of the classical realm and finally entered modern music. Rock. I bought all existing albums of ELP. And from ELP, I ventured further. Everything progressive rock. And soon after I went for the synthesizer. Keith Emerson, after all, was one of the very first musicians to use a synth. The monster Moog Modular. As the synthesizer became main stream in the eighties, I looked for other musical areas. I went into jazz. And later into modern rock, went back to psychedelic rock and blues rock. In the end I ventured into all sorts of music. But the basis of it all was Keith. Keith had opened the door of my classical music prison. He had the key. And the key was ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’.