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Keith Noel Emerson 2/11/44 - 10/3/16

"Even as I write this, with tears streaming down my face, my mangers words are still echoing in my head... "Keith's dead"... and as my foggy brain vainly tries to digest the news, I know that my heart is totally shattered...

Keith was my first musical idol... my uncles played me ELP albums when I was very young, and I wanted to play piano, just like him...

Keith was also a musical genius... always insecure about his own talents, he often looked to other composers for music to cover... But I always preferred his own compositions, and pieces like Tarkus, The Endless Enigma, Trilogy and Karn Evil 9 will forever be a part of my DNA.

Sometimes childhood dreams do come true, and earlier this century I had the privilege of playing and touring with Keith for a few years in the Keith Emerson Band. I can't even begin to tell you what a huge thrill that was, playing and singing songs that I'd grown up listening to... he often credited me with getting him to play live again, which just made the experience even more surreal...

As a band mate he was always so much fun to be around, with a totally unique sense of humour... and some of my favourite on stage moments are of the musical 'duals' we used to have... which often ended with us making 'Clanger' ('The Clangers' was a popular children's television series in the early seventies) noises at each other!!!

In 2006 I was asked to play a 'ten week tour' with Roger Waters... which lasted about seven years!! So Keith and I hadn't played together for a while... but in 2009 he called me up out of the blue, and asked if I would play something with him at his dear mother's funeral... I knew how close they were, and it really was a tremendous honour... that was the last time we ever played together.

I know the World will miss Keith the genius keyboardist... Keith the flamboyant performer, famous for attacking his B3 with knives and riding it around on stage... and who used to play on a piano that was spinning 360' 20 feet up in the air...

... but I will miss Keith the English gentleman... the man with a beautiful soul... who provided the music for my childhood... and someone who I was very proud to call a friend... Rest in peace, Emo.... <3"

- Dave Kilminster 11.03.16

 

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