The musician Gregory Stuart Lake was born on this day in 1947.
Born in Dorset to a relatively poor family, Lake first dipped his toes into the musical world when he took up the guitar at age twelve, taking lessons with local teacher Don Strike. From there, this multitalented musician played guitar, bass, sang, and produced for a career spanning nearly fifty years. In that time, he became a giant on the progressive rock scene, as both the voice of King Crimson’s debut album and followup and later as one of the trio of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Along with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer, Lake provided an experience to listeners which was both awe-inspiring and uniquely touching. He lent his talent to songs as simple and pared down as “From the Beginning” and as epic as “Pirates”, creating many masterpieces along the way. When he left the world in 2016, it was without a doubt a more beautiful place than it was when he came to it.
On a personal note, his words and voice uniquely touched me from the first moment I heard them. Many of his songs hit home for me in bad times and kept me going through them; out on the other side, they’ve led me to a world of good. He is without a doubt one of my greatest musical inspirations.
- Note: this was originally published on my personal music blog. It appears here heavily modified from the original version.
- Edit on 2020-05-16: Added information. Fixed formatting.
- Edit on 2020-08-30: Optimized for new site