Photo of Dan Pinto & Keith Emerson taken in New York
City in 1992 at a private promotional party for the release of the Black Moon LP. "Years later after meeting up with Keith again, I showed
him this photo. He almost fell over with laughter and thought it fitting
to inscribe the picture"... "After all these years".
For another cool photo of Keith & Dan, check out the
Dan Pinto: Thats actually something I meant to ask you about the
equipment. Do you think that it was more complicated and more to
deal with then or now with more chance for errors and
Keith Emerson: Yes, I mean although that MIDI enlarges the whole scope of
the band, and we don't have to worry about to keep staying in
tune, you can link one to another, and then you
go, well what else can we do, but then suddenly you find yourself
with your hands full again. It doesn't make it any easier. It really
Dan Pinto: It's actually much more basic back in the
Keith Emerson: It was very basic. The fact with the Moog is that we never
knew if it was going to work or stay in tune or what. It kept you
on your toes and if it didn't work, you had all
the knobs up there and you could screw it up anyway and say, "Hey, I
meant to do it like that"(Laughs) I mean sometimes we did Hoedown and it would
just go "Breeaaahhh"
Dan Pinto: Was that a mistake too, that Hoedown thing that went and
shot up like that?
Keith Emerson: That was, but when we recorded that stayed in tune and it
also stayed in tune when we did it on the road but there was
one time when it did it that one of the
oscillators really screwed up and did a "dooooeeeeaaarrrr", sort of
like a yodel(Laughs), which got laughs, you know.
Dan Pinto: Thats one of those contacts when those Moog's notes just
Keith Emerson: Yeah, that's right.
Dan Pinto: How did you feel during the '77 tour the first time that you
had gotten the response at the Garden to the playing of the Piano
Concerto? The second
Keith Emerson: Amazing!
Dan Pinto: You looked as if you we're just shaking your head in
Keith Emerson: Yeah. Yeah.
Dan Pinto: What a feeling that must have been.
Keith Emerson: It was the second night, that was the one. That was the
Dan Pinto: Second night, right. I was there.
Keith Emerson: Yeah? I mean I expected applause but it just went on, I was
Dan Pinto: Lake came over and shook your hand with his arm around you.
That was pretty cool.
Keith Emerson: Yeah, that just blew me away. It was just another number on
the set list, you know.
Dan Pinto: Not to other people.
Lydia Defretos: I understand that you were talking to "Keyboard Magazine"
about doing classical pieces. I was wondering if you would
ever think of doing an album of covers, just
Keith Emerson: I wouldn't mind actually. What I would like to do really
would be a piano solo album. Just piano, nothing else. No synths,
no strings, just piano. Yeah, that would be
good. Ive got a whole load of piano ballads which I
Dan Pinto: Trilogy was never performed live. What about
Keith Emerson: I don't know, umm. Well, the reason was I think that we just
got cold feet about it. We played it in Germany. But we did do
Dan Pinto: It wasn't in America.
Keith Emerson: No, we did it in England. We definitely toured in England
with it and we toured in Germany with it. When we got to
America, I think we tried it in the first two nights and it just
fell flat. So we took it out.
Dan Pinto: Really? I can't understand why. That was a fabulous
Keith Emerson: We just got cold feet. All the other pieces took off
just(snapping fingers) like that.
Dan Pinto: With today's technology, you should really be able to pull it
Keith Emerson: Yeah. Yeah.
Lydia Defretos: Speaking of technology, I haven't seen it, but from what I've
read about this video, it's pretty wild. This new concept that
your using is pretty
Keith Emerson: Well the only thing amazing about it was that we used these
little tiny remote control helicopters.(Speaking of the
miniature video cameras that were installed on the
Lydia Defretos: Thats right up your alley with flying
Keith Emerson: Yeah, that's right. But I don't think I'd be very good at
doing a remote control airplane. These guys are really skilled. I
asked him, I said, "How long have you been
doing this?" He said just over a year. I said, "Any
accidents?"(Laughing) He said "Not yet" and said well, "good"(Laughs). I said well "what happens if
you know", He said well "If you hear the engine drop,
Dan Pinto: That could be dangerous.
Keith Emerson: Well yeah, it's about the size of this table(referring to
coffee table about 4 feet in length) with a little camera strapped
to it. And they came at speed about 40 miles an hour. I was playing
up on this mountain and I could see this tiny thing coming at me.
And your meant to not look at it, you know. Out of the corner of my
eye I could see this thing "Weeeeeeeee" skinning past my head like
this(gesture's with his hand), you
Lydia Defretos: The places that you are playing at least around here are
smaller obviously compared to the Garden. Venues that you are
used to playing.
Keith Emerson: Yeah.
Lydia Defretos: Are you going to have to trim down your vision of what your
stage show is?
Keith Emerson: No, the stage set is being designed by Patrick Woodroffe. He
knows about all the venues that we're playing. And
obviously we didn't have really big plans. I mean we wanted to do
the spinning piano and everything, but when we looked at the size of
the venues, there were only about 2 or 3 that we could do it in. So the
stage set had to be designed so that we could do all of them. I
think that we do have a facility a bit later on that should we yet do that
then it can be sorted out.
Dan Pinto: That flying piano thing that you did, you got hurt doing
that one time, didn't you?
Keith Emerson: Yeah. I broke my nose.
Dan Pinto: What happened, it just jammed up?
Keith Emerson: Well it spun around very quickly and I was leaning back and
they had fireworks and I couldn't see. "OK, you can stop
now." My voice must have sounded like this..
Wah wah wah(fading in and out). I think he said Stop. So the guys
put the breaks like, Bang! He didn't slow it down, he went boom, like that. And I
went "whoa". So my face went into the piano. Your straight back and
suddenly that momentum stops, you know. I continued playing with the blood
Lydia Defretos: Are you still flying?
Keith Emerson: Yes.
Dan Pinto: Did you ever fly the band around?
Keith Emerson: No, they wouldn't come up with me.(Laughing) They get very
nervous. We used to have a private airplane. We had a lear
jet. I used to sit up front, well in fact the
band wouldn't let me go up front with the pilot. They thought I was
going to do things like barrel rolls.(Laughing) One day when we landed, we dropped Greg and
Carl off and the manager and everybody else and I had some spare
time. And the pilot said "You want to take it?" I said, yeah, OK!
And I'd never flown a lear jet before. He was kind of like here are
the controls. It's, pretty much the same. He said, "just like give it all
that"(motioning with his hands), and it was like "Whoooaa", this is
like, terrific! I mean it just easy, you just pull back and go straight up.
Incredible! We did a few spins in it and barrel
Dan Pinto: What kind of a plane do you have now?
Keith Emerson: Well, I don't own a plane. I have a Cessna, well I hire a
Lydia Defretos: So, are you ready for this lengthy tour? Are you
Keith Emerson: Yeah, I'm excited.
Lydia Defretos: Well we wish you good luck
Keith Emerson: Thanks.
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