First, let me be clear. I am a huge Keith Emerson fan and appreciate his talent greatly. His playing style has influenced my own playing for over 40 years. He is a very talented musician and a nice fellow. I met him once after their show and hung out with the Keith Emerson Band. We had a nice time. They put on a great show. So yes, I am a fan. I am glad he wrote the book but my feelings about it are mixed.
I appreciate the honesty Emerson had throughout the book. He did not seem to mind what image a reader would have of him as a person after reading is book. Personally after reading it I felt like I wanted to take a shower. The stories about the band sharing women, etc, etc, etc, and the drugs etc, etc, etc, and how unfaithful he was to his wife,(No surprise divorce there) just felt sort of slimy. Sure it is rock and roll, but gimmie a break! I hope for Keith’s sake he has matured as an adult and acts accordingly. When you are in the public eye, that is a responsibility that I wish he had taken more seriously in his past. But, the past is past.
Readers will differ, but I thought WAY to much time was spent on the Nice. It just was not balanced. I m sure Mr. Emerson has strong ties to the Nice, but the Nice is not what made Kith Emerson, it was ELP. As an editor, I would of cut two thirds of the story line out about the Nice, and introduced more character development with the traveling road show called ELP. For me, most of the Nice in the book was boring.
I have read that this book had a lot humor in it. I did not find it. Of course Brit humor is a bit diff from us Americans. Benny Hill never cracked me up either.
Here is what I loved!! All the stories about other musicians, including Bernstein, just really interesting and I did crack a smile reading some of those stories.
If you keep in mind that is book is written by a top musician, but not a top author, it will make it as easier read. Just enjoyed hearing the history from the man himself.
Bottom line, if you’re a fan. Buy this book. You will enjoy it. If you’re looking for a good book to snuggle up to, this is not it.
Thanks for writing it Keith and keep up the awesome work!! Always a huge fan.
Author of “HOOKED”