‘I’ve reached my 70th year': Keith Emerson ponders retirement, dimming hopes for an ELP reunion

Forget an Emerson Lake and Palmer reunion. Is this actually the last we’re going to see of Keith Emerson — period? The legendary progger is hinting at a retirement from the stage, even as he gets set for a tribute performance in honor of keyboard pioneer Robert Moog.

Keith Emerson performs on April 24, 2014 as part of Moogfest in Asheville, N.C., a moment that brings him back to the first meeting with the inventor. Emerson played Moog the memorable synth solo on Emerson Lake and Palmer’s “Lucky Man,” long before the instrument had come to be thought of as suitable for such things: “When the solo came up at the end, he just laughed his head off,” Emerson told the Asheville Citizen-Times. “It was complete disbelief. He was completely blown away.”

The two later appeared at the first Moogfest, held at New York City in 2004. Since, Emerson has gathered with Emerson Lake and Palmer for a one-off 2010 appearance at England’s High Voltage Festival, but nothing more. Their last studio effort was even further back, with 1994’s Hot Seat, leading most to assume that ELP is gone for good.

Emerson’s own advancing age may ensure that the band never performs again, he says. “I’ve reached my 70th year. This might be the last year that I’ll actually perform in public.” Meanwhile, Emerson has moved more determinedly into symphonic rock, notably on his most recent solo effort, The Three Fates Project.

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