The Nice : Keith Emerson
Welcome back my friends . . .

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cc: Was there a reason for going back out on the road again with this band - are you on a mission?

KE: No, not at all, we'll just play it by ear, see how people react. I'm not going out to educate people. But I am definitely going out to have some fun. Until I get into rehearsal, I really don't know what's going to happen, I'll just have to wait and see and we'll play off each other . . . that sounds a bit weird doesn't it, but you know what I mean?

cc: Well you've got some old friends with you in Brian Davison and Lee Jackson from the original Nice line-up - but no Davy O'List - wasn't he interested?

KE: No . . . I don't think that would go down very well with everybody else.

cc: Do I detect a bit of tension there?

KE: No, there's no tension, but I had to say goodbye to Davy in the late '60s because of things that I don't think would be a good idea to discuss right now . . .

cc: Okay, you've got a full compliment of musicians to work with - but any special guest appearances at all?

KE: I haven't even considered that actually, who would you suggest?

cc: Oh I don't know, maybe that Greg Lake will be up for it now perhaps? How about Carl Palmer, what's he up to?

KE: Oh no, definitely not, I don't think Greg will be there. I don't think Carl would be interested either, but having said that I'm quite approachable by both of them. If they were to call me up and say, listen, could I come along and play, I wouldn't turn the offer down.

cc: I read that it annoyed you that Greg Lake had failed to keep his voice intact during the ELP tour you did with Deep Purple in the '90s. "He's done nothing, its an incredible fucking waste" you said. You have also said "Everything I compose is a gift." It seems you very much believe that anyone with a talent should use it to the fullest extent - is that a fair reckoning?

KE: Well you know I think you're a musician for as long as you can and want to be one. Hopefully I'll carry on for a long time in the grand style of my heroes . . . but endorsing the statement I made about Greg; I respect him tremendously, but he may have made his own decision to stop playing. He certainly didn't rehearse a lot and every time we got back together I'd have to sit and write all the notes out for him again so he was never really prepared when he came back into the studio.

cc: The commitment wasn't there?

KE: That's right. And that's fine. The problem is that one should be very honest and say, listen, I just don't want to do this any more, I want something else, but Greg didn't say anything . . .

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