Keith Emerson

I guess we all know about Cozy’s liking for fast transportation. Nothing unusual about that. We all like to get from A to B quickly. If Cozys’ getting from A to B quickly meant no distance-no time; Cozy could keep them both perfectly. He knew and respected his limitations and when he surpassed himself, which was often, there was never a boastful laugh. Everything he did was omni-directional, he was a great guy that nobody knew from whence he came. It’s even sadder that Cozy didn’t know where he came from either. While bearing a wonderful sense of humility he’d be pushing the envelope, knowing when to lick it down and post it. He was a fun-time Enigma unto himself. A revered Enigma by all of the people he worked with. Above all, one hell of a great drummer.

1986. I remember him bombing down to my barn studio in Sussex, to work with Greg Lake and myself. He set up his impressive drum rig and looked expectantly at both of us. Greg and I looked back. Cozy had no drum sticks! Cozy considered using some fallen branches from my orchard, until a local farmer drove into town to get some proper ones. They were not of the weight that Cozy would appreciate, but were sufficient enough when he held them upside down using the fat end. He went about the task of learning new and old material with total dedication. The old material sounding new, the new material sounding newer than new. For some reason he seemed reluctant to want to take a drum solo. “Nah, everybody does that” he’d say. But then he’d do it and it would be like World War 3 had erupted.

Somewhere I have some Super 8 footage of Emerson, Lake and Powell on board an airplane to their next gig. Cozy is acting the clown demonstrating the oxygen mask routine over the flight attendants drill. We’re all laughing. Cozy is using a plastic cup for the oxygen mask and getting entangled in his belt at the same time. HILARIOUS


Keith played with Cozy in ELP in the mid 1980’s.

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