Monday, June 06, 2016

Across enemy lines

Among the various tributes paid to Keith Emerson when he died back in March, perhaps the most surprising one came from Jim Sclavunos - a CBGBs regular back in the day, sometime member of no wave noiseniks Teenage Jesus & The Jerks and Sonic Youth, and current drummer for Nick Cave's Bad Seeds.

Sacrilege? Not according to Sclavunos, who was unashamed in his admiration for Emerson, Lake & Palmer during their proggy 1970s pomp but also made a convincing case for Emerson as a pioneering hellraiser as a member of The Nice in the 1960s, when he regularly used to physically attack his keyboard and burn the American flag.

In fairness, he's not the first punk aficionado to speak kindly of Emerson. John Lydon, who once upon a time saw ELP as the antithesis of punk, became neighbours with him in Santa Monica and described him as "a great bloke" - even if he still couldn't stomach much of his music.

No comments: