Los Angeles, California – (April 17, 2019) – Julien’s Auctions, the world record breaking auction house, has announced PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF GREG LAKE as part of their MUSIC ICONS auction taking place on Saturday, May 18, 2019 with historical items by other music legends (to be announced) live at Hard Rock Cafe New York and online at juliensauctions.com.
The auction will feature guitars, memorabilia, stage wardrobe, personal items, tour ephemera and more owned and used by legendary singer, bassist, guitarist and producer Greg Lake of the English progressive rock supergroup, Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
Born on November 10th, 1947 in Bournemouth, England, Greg Lake’s music career had an auspicious start when he befriended neighbor and fellow guitarist Robert Fripp. After a brief stint playing with the Gods, Lake joined Fripp on his band King Crimson where the band found success and critical acclaim in their 1969 groundbreaking debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King and in their 1970 follow up In the Wake of Poseidon, both of which showcased Lake’s lead vocals and bass guitar work. But it was in December 1969 while on tour with The Nice that Lake’s life and the history of rock and roll would change forever when he met the band’s keyboardist Keith Emerson. The two shared a musical kinship and recruited drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer of Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster to join their new trio. In 1970, Emerson, Lake and Palmer was born and became an instant sensation upon their arrival on the music scene and one of the most popular and successful progressive rock bands in the Seventies. (pictured above: Lake’s Gretsch guitar)
Their 1970 self-titled debut album and their consequent albums–Tarkus (1971), which hit Number One in the U.K. album charts, Pictures at an Exhibition (1971), their landmark Brain Salad Surgery (1973), Works Volume 1 (1977), Works Volume II (1977), Love Beach (1978)– all went gold in the U.S., and several charted in the Top 10 of Billboard’s album chart. Their songs “Lucky Man,” “Karn Evil 9,” “Tarkus,” and “Fanfare for the Common Man” became prog-rock classics and the group would sell more than 48 million albums with Lake serving as producer for most of the group’s works, including six of the group’s albums that went platinum. (pictured below: Lake’s wardrobe case and leather and suede jacket)
Beginning with their first prominent performance at 1970’s Isle of Wight Festival, ELP’s live sold out concerts became the stuff of legend with light shows and theatrics including the parading of their “Tarkus” mascot. Their grand, symphonic rock musical sound, that fused adaptations of classical music and jazz drew widespread attention and praise from the public, music critics and musicians, including the heavy metal group Iron Maiden who cited ELP as one of their influences, and earned them three Grammy nominations throughout their career. In 1975, Lake recorded a solo single “I Believe in Father Christmas” which became a Number Two hit in the U.K. behind Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and launched a solo career in 1979. The band reunited partially in the 1980s as Emerson, Lake & Powell with Cozy Powell in place of Palmer and in 1991, the original trio reunited and released two more albums Black Moon (1992) and In the Hot Seat (1994) and toured from 1992-1998. In commemoration of their 40th anniversary in 2010, the band played their final performance together at the High Voltage Festival in London. Lake died at the age of 69 in 2016, nine months after the death of Keith Emerson that same year.
Highlights of the auction include Lake’s Persian rug used in the 1970s and one of the most iconic elements of the Emerson, Lake & Palmer stage settings and countless shows throughout their career (estimate: $8,000-$10,000) (photo bottom); his Gretsch G6120 Chet Atkins hollow body electric guitar played during the 2012 Songs of a Lifetime Tour (estimate: $2,000-$3,000); Lake’s handwritten original early working lyrics for the second half of the track "Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression—Part 1" from the 1973 Emerson, Lake & Palmer album Brain Salad Surgery (estimate: $400-$600); his 1901 U.S. gold coin necklace worn extensively in numerous performance and promotional photographs and videos of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); his stage and photo worn wardrobe from the 1970s, including a white leather Maxfield Parrish suit (estimate: $2,000-$4,000), his grey, maroon, and black leather and suede jacket (estimate: $1,000-$2,000), his black ruffle silk and cream manticore shirts (each estimate: $500-$700), his silk shirt with handpainted stars, moons and lightning bolts (estimate: $300-$500); his custom made Peter Cornish rack unit and controller (estimate: $2,000-$3,000) as well as his road, wardrobe and guitar cases, earrings, belts and more.
“Julien’s Auctions is thrilled to present this exceptional collection of the incomparable Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, one of the most influential bands of the late 20th century,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions. “These iconic items chart Lake’s musical genius, original style and innovative sound that would make an everlasting impact on the progressive rock movement and Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s enduring legacy.”