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Keith Emerson
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    (November 2, 1944-March 10, 2016)
    Born in Todmorden, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
    Keyboardist for the Nice (1967-70,2002), Emerson, Lake and Palmer (1970-79,1991-98,2010) and Emerson, Lake and Powell (1985-86)
    Recorded the solo albums ‘Honky’ (1982), ‘The Christmas Album’ (1988) and ‘Emerson Plays Emerson’ (2002)
    Composed scores for the films ‘Inferno’ (1980), ‘Nighthawks’ (1981), ‘Murder Rock’ (1986) and ‘Godzilla: Final Wars’ (2004)
    Found dead in his home in Santa Monica, California, from a gunshot to the head
    Death investigated by police as a suspected suicide
    He recalled that his reaction on buying his first Moog synthesizer was ‘Wow, that’s great!... How do you switch it on?’
    His on-stage theatrics sometimes overshadowed his talents: ‘Every TV show I did, came the question, ‘Keith, how do you spin around on that piano? I’d say, ‘What about my music?’’
    In his memoirs, he used the phrase ‘rumpy pumpy’ in discussing his sexual exploits.
    He was described by AllMusic as ‘perhaps the greatest, most technically accomplished keyboardist in rock history.’
    His flamboyant antics on stage, such as stabbing the keyboard with a knife to hold notes, were inspired by Jimi Hendrix.
    A studio built in a barn on his property was destroyed by a runaway tractor (1985).
    Nerve graft surgery on his right hand almost ended his career (1993).
    Although progressive rockers and punks were usually portrayed by the media as mortal enemies, he admitted, ‘I liked the Sex Pistols.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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