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What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
#2229876 09/14/10 04:30 PM
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In the past couple of years, we've read quite a few emails asking for more coverage of rock legends Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. As overused as the term "legend" is in music magazines, in their case, it's an understatement.

So, at the risk of jinxing things (editors are a superstitious lot), I'm going to let it out of the bag that we're talking to them about a story where essentially, they do an "artist-on-artist" interview of one another, fielding questions from our wonderful community of readers in the process.

We're shooting for the December issue if all goes well, as it marks 35 years of Keyboard being in print. So, this thread is the place for your questions. I probably don't have to ask this, but they will be watching this thread, so in the interest of this going as planned, let's keep things thoughtful and respectful. The best questions will end up in the interview and be credited to their respective posters. We haven't discussed whether they'll jump in and post on this thread themselves, but I plan to bring that up and will let you know if and when they'll come on.


"I'm just a confused musician who got sidetracked into this damned word business..." -Hunter S. Thompson

Stephen Fortner
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Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

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Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Stephen Fortner #2229882 09/14/10 04:42 PM
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Which synth or keyboard do they miss the most?

Of all the gear they’ve owned and played, which is their favorite instrument, bar none?

Guitarists: Love em or hate ‘em?

Which was their favorite tour, where they personally felt the strongest, the audience connection was strongest, and the band as a whole was strongest?

Who of their contemporaries did they enjoy watching and listening to the most? (Not their influences, but their peers!)

Last edited by tonysounds; 09/14/10 04:45 PM.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Tonysounds #2229886 09/14/10 04:45 PM
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How tired they are of being asked what settings they use.

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Stephen Fortner #2229893 09/14/10 04:54 PM
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For Wakeman: do you ever put on the cape and rock out when no one's around? wink

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
JMcS #2229894 09/14/10 04:55 PM
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Have they ever thought about doing an album together?

What do they think about the current crop of prog players?


A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
kanker. #2229895 09/14/10 04:58 PM
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Is there any cure for the preset generation?


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Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Stephen Fortner #2229897 09/14/10 04:59 PM
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You could ask them if they felt any rivalry between them back in the day, or were they "keyboard buddies".
And about how times have changed since the era when the rock audience was into "art" rock with all its (sometimes pretentious) experimentation.

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Eric Iverson #2229900 09/14/10 05:08 PM
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I would ask Keith if he still runs and if so to what extent?

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Stephen Fortner #2229901 09/14/10 05:14 PM
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In Dune, to rule the universe, Paul Atreides must take mind-altering drugs and look into a dark place that no one else dare look...

If I could, and had the chutzpah, I would ask the two guys with enough musicianship, chops, stage presence, etc. to conquer the musical world and then to lose it, to look into the darkest place in any keyboard player's nightmare:

- Why aren't keyboard players the kings of rock 'n roll?
- Why are we always on the back line? Or worse, behind stage.
- Why don't we get laid like the guitarists? Where is the love for us?

Mommy! I had a nightmare!

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Joe P #2229902 09/14/10 05:17 PM
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(This was also posted on the KB FB page, and some of the responses have been... less than classy.)

How are Keith's arms/hands? What is he doing to maintain his (playing) health?

Has Rick ever had any physical issues that affected his playing? What does Rick think of the direction Yes has taken without Jon Anderson?

What are they doing nowadays to keep their chops up? Are either of them studying anything to improve as players?


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Eric Iverson #2229903 09/14/10 05:21 PM
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Which recent developments in music technology excite you the most (as a means to end for musical expression)? e.g. Software synths, resurgence of analog, etc.?

For Keith: What do you think when you see a "Lucky Man" patch on damn near every synth made?

-John


I make software noises.
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Joe Muscara #2229908 09/14/10 05:26 PM
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A question for both:

Do you ever plan on writing any more concert pieces, like Paul McCartney and Billy Joel have done (to an extent)? I think that Emerson's Changing States would make a fantastic piece for piano and orch (or just Orch), same with many of Wakeman's compositions. Emerson's piano concerto is being played in Harrisburg in October, and I'm wondering if either gentleman plans to go this route in the future.

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Cygnus64 #2229912 09/14/10 05:35 PM
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I would ask what KB(s) and monitoring rig they personally schlep to/from pick-up gigs when they are not on tour. cool


PD

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
ProfD #2229916 09/14/10 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: ProfD
I would ask what KB(s) and monitoring rig they personally schlep to/from pick-up gigs when they are not on tour.
Do they do pick up gigs anywhere? - Ask them, not ProfD. smile


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
johnchop #2229918 09/14/10 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: johnchop
For Keith: What do you think when you see a "Lucky Man" patch on damn near every synth made?

-John



EXCELLENT!


Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Tonysounds #2229927 09/14/10 06:08 PM
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What piece of work does each one consider their "high water mark" for their compositional life, so far.


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Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Meisenhower #2229934 09/14/10 06:53 PM
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Can they play "Jump"?


Still playing, still on here, just not "stillgigging"
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Meisenhower #2229936 09/14/10 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: meisenhower
What piece of work does each one consider their "high water mark" for their compositional life, so far.

I like this question a lot. What work are they proudest of? And maybe the flip side of the coin: is there any session that they wish they could take back or do over?

Other questions, some already posted: Feelings about vintage synths versus modern, is there any keyboard they've used in the past that they miss today, what's their favorite keyboard(s) today...

Since both were involved in bands with notorious interpersonal squabbles, you might ask them if it's any easier working with others now that everyone has matured.

Well I wouldn't put it quite like that - but the same question asked with the tact of a pro.

edit: I keep thinking of more questions!

Last edited by Bill H.; 09/14/10 07:24 PM.
Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Joe Muscara #2229941 09/14/10 07:15 PM
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Stephen, this is a really great idea! I can't add much to all the excellent questions that have already been posed, but I will make a request: give this sucker a lot of pages! Let them go where they will with the conversation . . .

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Mike Davis #2229947 09/14/10 07:48 PM
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To Keith: Knives? Really?

To Rick: Capes? Really?

Okay, in seriousness: Which classical composers does each enjoy the most and why?

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Dana. #2229956 09/14/10 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: D-Bon
For Wakeman: do you ever put on the cape and rock out when no one's around? wink


He wears it when there's plenty of people around. eek
Check out Six Wives Of Henry The VIII Live At Hampton Court Palace.


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Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
DanS #2229965 09/14/10 08:51 PM
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I'd like to know if when they soloed on albums, was it one-take improvisation or what percentage was worked out before or during with cutting and pasting.

I remember when I first heard Roundabout and all those wonderful keyboard parts. How were they conceived?

For Keith it's the same thing with Tarkus. I was so blown away the first time I heard that suite.

What jazz pianists (if any) did they they listen to for inspiration and training at the very beginning of their training. If not jazz who were they listening to?


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Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
16251 #2229980 09/14/10 09:38 PM
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Which one of you is better?

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
synthdogg #2229990 09/14/10 10:19 PM
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I remember reading a Keyboard interview with Emerson (a long time ago) where he talked about going to see Jimmy Smith on the south side of Chicago. He walked in with his entourage, and Jimmy pointed them out and made fun of them. Ask Emerson if he ever met Jimmy Smith again.

And can't resist: ask if they have any tips on keeping your cape looking freshly-laundered. :-)

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
DanS #2230000 09/14/10 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted By: DanS
Originally Posted By: D-Bon
For Wakeman: do you ever put on the cape and rock out when no one's around? wink


He wears it when there's plenty of people around. eek
Check out Six Wives Of Henry The VIII Live At Hampton Court Palace.

Is that recent? facepalm

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Dana. #2230028 09/15/10 12:07 AM
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For Rick: Are you enjoying seeing your son Adam have success as a sideman with Ozzy Osbourne?

For Keith: I'm a seasoned live performer and inexplicably can run into random episodes of stage fright, even after hundreds and hundreds of live shows. What do you think triggers that, and what can be done to prevent it?

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Dana. #2230033 09/15/10 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: DanS
Originally Posted By: D-Bon
For Wakeman: do you ever put on the cape and rock out when no one's around? wink


He wears it when there's plenty of people around. eek
Check out Six Wives Of Henry The VIII Live At Hampton Court Palace.

Is that recent? facepalm


Unfortunately, yes.


What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

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Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
Dana. #2230036 09/15/10 12:30 AM
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What are your memories of Bob Moog?

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
The Real MC #2230042 09/15/10 12:50 AM
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If they thought the rise of digital instruments had a negative impact on their music.

Re: What would you ask Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman?
The Real MC #2230043 09/15/10 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: The Real MC
What are your memories of Bob Moog?


This above all, and share the answer with Michelle.

Both Keith and Rick did a great deal to bring Bob's work (as well as all involved) to the public.

For Keith, please talk of Meade Lux Lewis. I know of Keith's respect of Dave Brubeck, but it seems to me that Lewis is the moving force of his boogie playing.

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