Me and my motors: Greg Lake - Corvette Forum

Go Back   Corvette Forum > Off Topic > Politics, Religion & Controversy
Log In 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Vendor Directory

Politics, Religion & Controversy Politics | Religion | Controversy (Non-Corvette)

Me and my motors: Greg Lake

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-20-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
CF Senior Member
gryphon's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 2001
Location: Okemos Michigan
Posts: 17,962
Default Me and my motors: Greg Lake

It's about cars, taxes, and government. All controversial!

Me and my motors: Greg Lake
By Jeremy Taylor of The Sunday Times

Greg Lake, 58, was born in Bournemouth and first achieved fame with King Crimson before fronting Emerson, Lake & Palmer. His solo Christmas hit, I Believe In Father Christmas, is a hardy annual. His latest album is Greg Lake — Live. Lake lives in London with his wife Regina and daughter Natasha

Click the image to open in full size.

Greg Lake’s rock career started with an ultimatum. His band or his job. “I was working as a draughtsman for a firm in Dorchester but because I was also performing in the evenings with a rock group I kept falling asleep over my desk,” he says. His employers told him to quit the group or quit the job. “When they put it like that there was really only one choice.”

It was the best decision he ever made. A year later he would be back visiting his former colleagues. Except this time he would be in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce Phantom V equipped by the coachwork specialist James Young.

“They were really happy for me but I was a bit of a cocky sod,” he says. “I really did go back to see my mates but there was a bit of me that wanted to show the bosses that they had got it wrong and I was a rock star now.

“The Phantom V was the motor of the day. I had seen the Queen riding about in one on the telly and anybody who was anybody had to have that car. It was my background getting the better of me and I just bought it on a whim to show how well I had done. I’d spent a lot of time sleeping in the back of vans and I wasn’t going back there.”

Lake was 21 and had found success as a vocalist and bass guitarist with the band King Crimson. He formed the group after making a name for himself on the London club circuit with the Shame and Shy Limbs.

King Crimson performed at the free Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park in 1969 — an event that catapulted them into the big time — and landed a lucrative record contract. In the process the group became the definitive exponents of a new type of “progressive rock” with their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King.

“I don’t think I would have made a good draughtsman but I came from a poor background in Dorset and it seemed like a safe number. Music was my passion and I loved the gigs, all that travelling around, plus there were girls everywhere. For a lad my age it was heaven.”

Success meant that Lake was able to indulge his passion for cars. He had passed his test at 17 and his first car, after saving hard from labouring jobs, was a Humber Super Snipe. “I sat the test in dad’s Triumph Herald. I thought the Snipe was a bit too flash for a teenager to turn up in.”

The Phantom gave him the taste for luxury and the first car he bought when the money started rolling in was a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur with gleaming ivory paintwork and cream leather upholstery. “It was probably the nicest car I ever owned, the type of motor that you can’t really drive around these days for fear that some nerk will come along with a Stanley knife and decorate the side with his own personal artwork.”

After King Crimson, Lake left to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In 1970 the group played at the Isle of Wight festival before a spectacular series of world tours that brought to a new generation of post-hippie music fans a fresh sound that fused elements of classical music with contemporary themes.

Perhaps the most famous of their recordings was the reworking of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. “That track just happened by mistake. Keith (Emerson) was playing the Copland piece in a studio on keyboards and I just started whacking out some dum-de-dum bass line on guitar. Luckily a sound man hit the record button and we got it.”

But the success of the band brought its own problems. Beset by troubles they disbanded in the mid-1970s, briefly reformed, then disbanded again in 1979. In the meantime, faced with losing 83% of his earnings to the Inland Revenue, Lake became a tax exile in Canada, Switzerland and the Bahamas.

The car that Lake bought when he returned to Britain in the 1980s unwittingly reflected the turbulence of the time: a temperamental Aston Martin V8 Oscar India. “It was cooler than the other side of the pillow but cost me a bloody fortune to run. Every time something went wrong you were absolutely fleeced. I had to replace a small light switch on the dashboard and they stung me for £500.

“I really had mixed feelings about that car because it was a work of art and everybody loves you driving an Aston. It reminds them of the time when Britain made cars that were the best in the world. It’s not the same in a Ferrari — drive one of them and people just hate you.”

Today Lake lives in London and is working on solo projects as well as with his erstwhile band members. His choice of car has also settled down. He has just sold a dark blue Mercedes SL 500 because it did not have enough headroom, and replaced it with a Range Rover. His main concern is that a car is practical rather than flashy and he has a Mercedes G-Wagon as his family car. Even if he wanted a sports car, he says he wouldn’t be able to drive it any more. “I live near Richmond and I have to pass 29 traffic cameras to get into town, plus countless speed bumps, and then the cost of parking is ridiculous, if you can find a space. It’s sad but the days of driving for enjoyment are long gone in this country.”

And while he may no longer be a tax exile he still resents adding to the Treasury’s coffers. “I’m totally fed up with the motorist being seen as a target for extracting revenue. Whatever you do behind the wheel you seem to be hit hard for it.”


I’m not interested in contemporary stuff — classical music gives me a lift every time I hear it. I like Andrea Bocelli, Sogno; Handel, Music for the Royal Fireworks; Respighi, Church Windows; and John Lennon, Imagine
gryphon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2009, 08:28 PM   #2
Anti-Obama B4 it was cool
St. Jude Donor '11-'12-'13
Support Corvetteforum!
KenHorse's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 2007
Location: Aurora, OR by way of Maui..... Liberalism is the philosophy of the terminally stupid
Posts: 67,124

I always thought Greg Lake had the best damn voice in all of rock.

Glad to hear he's fairly normal too
KenHorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2009, 08:40 PM   #3
CF Senior Member
gincledon's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 2006
Location: Riverside Califronia
Posts: 2,991

In the seventies I was a dedicated ELP fan. I still listen to them and have all of their music.
gincledon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2009, 12:39 AM   #4
CF Senior Member
Member Since: Feb 2007
Location: Southeast Ohio
Posts: 2,469

Wow, Bournemouth is an unusual tourist town in the South of England. Spent some time there for work. Listened to the Court of the Crimson King a few months ago. I believe King Crimson was used as another term for Mephistopheles .
motogib1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2009, 12:45 AM   #5
CF Senior Member
Levitating_Llama's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 2006
Posts: 856

Cool read. I've been listening to In the Court of the Crimson King a lot lately (the disc is first in the player). I still haven't mastered the bass on 21st Century Schizoid man. Of course, I never will.
Levitating_Llama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2009, 06:36 AM   #6
CF Senior Member
prseasix's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 2004
Location: NW Fla - Take it easy on 06ama- it's his first job!
Posts: 12,273

I had his vinyl album called, I think, Greg Lake around 1980 or 1981. It had a single called Nuclear Attack. The whole album was pretty good.
prseasix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2009, 06:42 AM   #7
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '09
Support Corvetteforum!
Dave1's Avatar
Member Since: Jun 2004
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 73,066

Keith was the best keyboard player of his era, hands down.......

One of my favorite bands growing up.......
Dave1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2009, 10:55 AM   #8
CF Senior Member
tempest62's Avatar
Member Since: Nov 2009
Posts: 24,199

king crimson....ELP....i love them both. fantastic, jaw dropping music.

REAL music, and "musical"..... not the bottom of the barrel, bs, a-hole total crap passed off as music, aka: rap and hip-hop
tempest62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2009, 10:57 AM   #9
CF Senior Member
tempest62's Avatar
Member Since: Nov 2009
Posts: 24,199

Originally Posted by KenHorse View Post
I always thought Greg Lake had the best damn voice in all of rock.

Glad to hear he's fairly normal too
he's certainly up there......i like paul rodgers too
tempest62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Go Back   Corvette Forum > Off Topic > Politics, Religion & Controversy
Reload this Page Me and my motors: Greg Lake

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jeremy Clarkson Says Corvette Z06 is ‘Not A Serious Player’ jmc12 Off Topic 5 05-15-2015 04:23 PM
Carl Palmer"Emerson Lake and Palmer"... motor city dave Off Topic 7 03-21-2015 08:48 AM
The far reaching response to utter idiocy of FauxNews PeterK Politics, Religion & Controversy 62 01-15-2015 02:21 PM
Keith Emerson... motor city dave Off Topic 12 11-02-2014 05:08 PM

astin, emerson, end, german, greg, india, lake, lakes, martin, oscar, palmer, photos, regina, religion, respighi, show, wife

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Click for Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Corvette Store
C7 Parts & Accessories
C6 Parts & Accessories
C5 Parts & Accessories
C4 Parts & Accessories
C3 Parts & Accessories
C2 Parts & Accessories
C1 Parts & Accessories
Wheels & Tires
Sponsored Ads
Vendor Directory

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:04 PM.

Emails & Password Backup