Greg Lake: Hendrix with ELP would never have worked
The proposed collaboration between ELP and Jimi Hendrix would never have worked, Greg Lake believes.
The guitar icon was set to join the prog rock giants in 1970, but died before it happened. And while frontman Lake regrets that tragedy, he doesn’t think Hendrix and Keith Emerson could have operated together in the same band.
Lake recalls the speculation over the band calling itself ‘HELP’, telling BackstageAxxess: “It didn’t escape the notice of the press at the time.” He continues: “I never believed it would have worked in the long run. It would have been great for a couple of days. Jimi was fantastic, and Keith also – but two virtuoso players in one band? It would have soon melted down.
“It was very sad that when Jimi came back to England he was found dead in his flat. It was a big loss. It was a strange time for us. We’d come close to playing with him, and all of a sudden he was dead.”
On the subject of titles, Lake insists that Cozy Powell wasn’t chosen to work with him and Emerson in the 1980s simply because of his surname – although he accepts no one will ever believe him.
“We’d interviewed a few guys and Cozy was available, and he was a very, very good drummer,” the bassist and vocalist recalls. “Keith and I chose Cozy, not for the ‘P,’ but because he was a great drummer.
“But as good as he was, it wasn’t the original ELP. It was a different band and really it should have had a different name. It wasn’t the same chemistry.”