Sunday, June 23, 2024

Lucky Man Reworked by Aaron Emerson and Friends

A reworking of the Emerson, Lake & Palmer song ‘Lucky Man,’ performed by Aaron Emerson and friends has been issued as video film by Spirit of Unicorn Music.

This powerful and inspiring version of the classic track written by Greg Lake and originally performed by ELP, features Keith Emerson’s son Aaron and a host of rock music luminaries as they pay tribute to the extraordinary talents of the late Keith Emerson.

The idea to record a version of this much-loved song was born out of the friendship between Aaron and LA-based singer songwriter Brett Copeland. Aaron and Copeland used to play together in a band called The Last Drag, who would regularly perform on Sunset Strip at the world-renowned Whisky A Go Go. 

Emerson recalled, “I remember my dad coming to see us play at the Whisky and telling me that he’d played there with The Nice.  He thought it was really cool to see me up there, on stage.  He even became my roadie that night!”  Through Copeland, Aaron was introduced to guitarist Matt Fuller (Puddle of Mud, Bow Wow Wow) and drummer Zac St John (B52’s, Stevie Wonder, Infinity).

As lockdown descended Aaron and Copeland came up with a plan to record a cover of ‘Lucky Man’ and Fuller and St John were quickly recruited.  Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot, Alice Cooper) soon joined the team to contribute bass guitar, each musician recording their parts remotely due to lockdown restrictions.  Further world class musicians contributed to what was developing into an incredible project, including Marc Bonilla (Keith Emerson Band, Glenn Hughes) and Geoff Downes (Asia, Yes, The Buggles, Downes Braide Association). 

The final piece of the jigsaw puzzle came in the form of Nathan James (Inglorious).  Aaron said “Choosing the singer was really hard because, let’s face it, nobody sounds like Greg Lake,  but Nathan has an amazing voice and he brings a different, more rocky vibe to the song.”

However, this version of ‘Lucky Man’ has its crowning glory and the greatest nod to the genius that was Keith Emerson, comes from the performance of his own son Aaron who takes on the unenviable task of the song’s famous Moog solo.

In a final act of remembrance and authenticity, Aaron flew to the Electronic Music Education and Preservation Project (EMEAPP)in Philadelphia, a private museum where Keith Emerson’s famous Moog resides.  With the help of the project’s own Vince Pupilo and Drew Raison, Aaron was able to perform (and have filmed) the ‘Lucky Man’ solo on his father’s own famous synthesiser, beloved by Emerson fans around the world.  “Playing on dad’s Moog is a moment I will never forget.” Aaron commented “I’m very happy to know that my dad’s entire collection is at EMEAPP and is very much looked after.”

The video that accompanies this reworking of the ELP classic was created by multi-award winning composer and cinematographer, Tim Janssens (Ne-Yo, Flo Rida, Nelly Furtado).

The Keith Emerson box set, Variations, has also been released.  A 20 CD deep dive into the creative life of this musical genius. It is the most definitive collection of his work available. Thus, what better way to honour this occasion than the release of his son’s ‘Lucky Man’ video.

You can read more about the Variations collection by clicking here and watch the video here at RAMzine.

 “I’m so thankful to everyone who put in their valuable time to make this song happen.  Everyone put their own vibe into it – and it works,” said Aaron Emerson, contemplating the fact that everyone involved in this project contributed without compensation, acting purely out of love and respect for his father.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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